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Discussion Starter #1
My son (8, adopted domestically as an infant) was playing an online game called "Toontown" from Disney last night, and asked my help figuring something out. Basically he was in a part of the game labeled "Pet Store" and was trying to obtain a pet called a "Doodle". The store gave him 2 choices -- he could "adopt" a Doodle or he could "return" a Doodle. If he selected "adopt" it then had a list of different types of doodles and their "costs".<br><br>
Now I'm not usually one to get up in arms about adoption language -- I don't have a problem with people "adopting" highways or get offended when people ask me about DS's "real mom". I even thought the Urban Outfitter's T -- "Adoption is the new black" was somewhat amusing. But to me this crossed a line. Why couldn't they just say "buy" a doodle?<br><br>
What do you think?
 

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I volunteered at a humane society shelter for a while, and "adopt" was the loving term of choice. When people came saying they wanted to "buy" an animal, our eyebrows shot up a bit (just a little...it wasn't THAT weird). I think talking about "adopting" a pet shows a level of care, commitment, and the right kind of attitude for bringing a pet into a family.<br><br>
It's just my .02, but I'd MUCH rather hear of children "adopting" pets rather than "buying" pets...even in a cyber world. I think "buying" makes it a commodity...and lives (human or animal) shouldn't be treated as commodities. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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Discussion Starter #3
RedOakMamma,<br><br>
I hear what you're saying, and I certainly don't have a problem with people saying that they are adopting pets. In fact I think that adopting pets is a wonderful thing to do.<br><br>
However, whether you're adopting a pet or a child, the facts that make it an "adoption" and not a "sale" are similar.<br><br>
1) You don't pay for something you adopt -- you may pay fees that are associated with the adoption or the care your animal or child got before it came to you (e.g. paying for a home visit, paying a spay/neuter fee, paying for birthparent counseling). In this case it was clearly listed -- "This doodle costs X". Doodles of different qualities cost different amounts.<br><br>
2) Adoption is forever -- there are "no" returns on adoption, and certainly no money back refunds! Yes, adoptions (human and animal) sometimes disrupt, but that's a complicated emotional thing. In this case there was one button for "adopting" an animal, and another for "returning" the same animal for a refund.<br><br>
3) You don't adopt in a store -- OK, well sometimes stores like Petsmart offer adoption days, but in general adoption is not associated with stores -- in this game the place where you acquired the "doodle" was labeled with a large sign as a "pet store".<br><br>
If there was a game where characters went into an animal shelter, or called a rescue league, and adopted a pet, without paying for it, and without the option of returning it, I'd be delighted. However if you're going to buy something in a store that has a return policy that's NOT adoption.
 

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<a href="http://www.achildswaiting.com/" target="_blank">http://www.achildswaiting.com/</a><br>
Look around this site....<br>
Sadly.... children are for sale and they are returnable.<br><a href="http://www.achildswaiting.com/adoptive_parents/adoption_disruption/" target="_blank">http://www.achildswaiting.com/adopti...on_disruption/</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Emilie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7974402"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><a href="http://www.achildswaiting.com/" target="_blank">http://www.achildswaiting.com/</a><br>
Look around this site....<br>
Sadly.... children are for sale and they are returnable.<br><a href="http://www.achildswaiting.com/adoptive_parents/adoption_disruption/" target="_blank">http://www.achildswaiting.com/adopti...on_disruption/</a></div>
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Emilie,<br><br>
I agree with you that too often in this world children are "sold" or money enters the adoption picture in ways that are unethical. I also agree that adoptions disrupt.<br><br>
However, I'm still having trouble with these things being portrayed the way they are in a child's game.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Momily</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7973834"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If there was a game where characters went into an animal shelter, or called a rescue league, and adopted a pet, without paying for it, and without the option of returning it, I'd be delighted. However if you're going to buy something in a store that has a return policy that's NOT adoption.</div>
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I see what you're saying (and thanks for clarifying the details of the "adoption" in the game). It sounds like I'd have two bones to pick with that game: 1) That adoption language is being used and 2) That a living creature, a pet, is being treated like it's a sweater you can buy and return at Macy's.<br><br>
I'm always glad to hear when people talk about "adopting" a pet...it's sad that an attempt at the right language ended up in a situation that demeans the use of "adoption" and the healthy/humane attitude toward human/pet relations. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Oh...and at rescue shelters, you DO often pay for a pet. One, because it helps pay for the care of other animals, and two, because research shows over and over again that one of the best ways to insure proper care of a pet is to charge money for it. Someone who understands what caring for a pet is going to involve (not just time, attention, and love, but also food, vet care, etc.) is going to understand why a pet would cost money. Often (not always) people who are looking for a "free" pet, or a cheap pet, aren't going to want to invest in the time, care, or money that good pet care requires.<br><br>
At pet-care education clinics, one of the messages given is that you should never give a pet (or a pet's kittens/puppies/etc.) away "free," because people looking for a deal shouldn't be looking for a pet. On the other hand, if people are looking for the *right* kind of pet for their family, and other factors besides cost are their primary interest in choosing this particular pet, then you have some clue that they "get" what pet ownership is about. I get the feeling I'm not explaining it very well, but what I'm trying to say is: Charging money, even a small fee, for a pet is one way to separate the dedicated pet owners from the people that are doing it on a whim.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>RedOakMomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7977768"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I see what you're saying (and thanks for clarifying the details of the "adoption" in the game). It sounds like I'd have two bones to pick with that game: 1) That adoption language is being used and 2) That a living creature, a pet, is being treated like it's a sweater you can buy and return at Macy's.<br><br>
I'm always glad to hear when people talk about "adopting" a pet...it's sad that an attempt at the right language ended up in a situation that demeans the use of "adoption" and the healthy/humane attitude toward human/pet relations. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Oh...and at rescue shelters, you DO often pay for a pet. One, because it helps pay for the care of other animals, and two, because research shows over and over again that one of the best ways to insure proper care of a pet is to charge money for it. Someone who understands what caring for a pet is going to involve (not just time, attention, and love, but also food, vet care, etc.) is going to understand why a pet would cost money. Often (not always) people who are looking for a "free" pet, or a cheap pet, aren't going to want to invest in the time, care, or money that good pet care requires.<br><br>
At pet-care education clinics, one of the messages given is that you should never give a pet (or a pet's kittens/puppies/etc.) away "free," because people looking for a deal shouldn't be looking for a pet. On the other hand, if people are looking for the *right* kind of pet for their family, and other factors besides cost are their primary interest in choosing this particular pet, then you have some clue that they "get" what pet ownership is about. I get the feeling I'm not explaining it very well, but what I'm trying to say is: Charging money, even a small fee, for a pet is one way to separate the dedicated pet owners from the people that are doing it on a whim.</div>
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See, I always looked at the fees associated with adopting an animal as similar to the fees associated with adopting a child. I paid money in association for my child's adoption -- I paid the lawyers, I paid the pediatrician who saw him while he was in foster care, I paid the agency, I paid the social worker etc . . . But I didn't pay for my child (yes, I hear what Emilie is saying that sometimes people do pay for their children, but when adoption is done ethically that's not how it works).<br><br>
When I've adopted a pet in the past, I paid for a spay neuter fee, paid for the homevisit to see if I could handle an animal, paid for the foster care my animal received while he was in my care. However, I didn't pay for the animal, and I certainly couldn't "return" that animal for my money back.
 

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I know it's not really paying for a child...but it is a huge financial investment...maybe it can be looked at that way.<br><br>
After my amom passed, I found all the documentation on my adoption...All told, they spent $75,000 to bring me home. That's an awful lot of "fees" especially back in 1965. I never felt bought until I saw that final total. (this was a legal adoption through a reputable agency that is still around today, so I have to believe that this was not too unusual)
 

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I know it's not really paying for a child...but it is a huge financial investment...maybe it can be looked at that way.<br><br>
not really..... cause your hoping to get a return on your investments...<br>
I wonder how much mine cost?<br>
It was thru Children's Home and Aid society.
 

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nak<br><br>
i just found this....it was really educational for me. The OP makes much more sense to me now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><a href="http://www.adoptivefamiliesmagazine.com/articles.php?aid=739" target="_blank">Adopt-A" Programs Diminish Our Families</a><br>
Two mothers share the letters that made a difference in their communities.<br><br>
San Francisco Zoo<br>
1 Zoo Road<br>
San Francisco, CA 94132<br><br>
RE: RESPECT ADOPTION<br>
As an adoptive parent and passionate advocate for adoption, I was disappointed and saddened to see the following announcement on your website:<br><br>
ADOPT-AN-ANIMAL<br>
Looking for a unique and "wild" gift for a business associate, friend, family member or loved one?<br>
Such cavalier use of the word adoption suggests—particularly to children, who make up a sizable portion of your visitors—that adoption is a short-term commitment of money to a cause, not a lifelong commitment of parents to children. The "adopt-an-animal" marketing ploy creates confusion in the minds of adopted children and their nonadopted peers, encouraging predictable (and avoidable) teasing and taunts equating our children with wild animals and questioning the permanence of our families. It diminishes a wonderful, life-affirming, permanent way to form a family that deserves your respect.<br><br>
Adoption is not sponsorship. It is a permanent commitment. For those of us touched by adoption, we know that adoption is forever, and we cringe when the word is used in an ostensibly child-friendly institution as a fundraising gimmick. Adoption is a legal, sacred bond that forms a loving family equal in every way to families formed through birth. Adoption is just another way to build a family, one of which we are justly proud. Why does the SF Zoo undermine us and our children in this thoughtless way?<br><br>
Lest you think we are oversensitive, let me stress that language is important. The way we describe such things as adoption tells us—and our children—how society really feels. While we see such things as "adopt-a-highway," "adopt-an-animal," and even "adopt-a pothole," such usage does not make it right and only underscores society’s ignorance. Some adults may understand that you’re just being cute. Young children will take you at your word.<br><br>
The National Zoo solved this problem decades ago by calling their program Friends of the National Zoo. The Oakland Zoo recently responded to adoptive parents’ request and changed their program to Sponsor-an-Animal. Clearly, this is not a new concern but one that we continually face. Some organizations "get it" and make the switch to more accurate and respectful language. When will the SF Zoo get it?<br><br>
There are thousands of adoptive families in the San Francisco area. Indeed, one-third of the nation is touched by adoption within their immediate families. It is a growing way to build a family, and it is changing the face of the American family as a result.<br><br>
We in the adoption community understand that the use of adoption language in fundraising is born of ignorance, and it is up to us to educate. By writing this letter, I hope that you will take our concern to heart and finally, after so many years of having this problem brought to your attention, get it--and fix it.<br><br>
We ask that you respect adopted children and adoptive families by using the appropriate word to describe your program: Sponsor-an-Animal. We look forward to hearing that you have reconsidered your past resistance to change and are now willing to hear us, validate our concerns, and respect our children.<br><br>
When that day comes, my husband, daughter, and I will be pleased to join the San Francisco Zoo at the family level. We’ll even sponsor an animal.<br><br>
Sincerely yours,<br>
Amy Klatzkin<br><br>
Letters to the Editor<br>
The Forecaster<br>
Falmouth, ME 04105<br><br>
Dear Editor:<br><br>
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. And until this year, it was also Falmouth Memorial Library’s "Adopt-a-Book" month. Starting this year, however, the library’s campaign to build the children’s book section is called "Gift-a-Book." Why the change? It’s quite simple, really: perusing the display of new children’s books, choosing a favorite and giving $10.00 to the library is a fabulous thing to do. But it’s not an adoption. I’m a big fan of books, whales, owls, classrooms and clean highways. All of these worthy causes deserve generous public and private support. But, as an adoptive mother, I believe "Adopt-a-fill in the blank" misuses a very special, potent word and can add to the public’s misunderstanding of adoption.<br><br>
Adoption creates a sacred, legal, and everlasting bond between a child and a parent. When a child is adopted, he or she becomes a permanent part of a family. And yes, there is more than one meaning to the term "adopt." A city council adopts a resolution. A board of directors adopts a position. A company might adopt a new production method. But let’s be clear: organizations use the familial sense of the word to play on people’s emotions, to hook them, to make them feel more committed to a particular cause, and to open their wallets. The fund-raising use of "adoption" is not a new meaning of the word * it is a recent distortion that confuses children and does a disservice to adoptive families. Adoption is much more than sending in a check and getting some "adoption papers" in the mail, or getting your family or company name some recognition in the community. When was the last time you joyously welcomed a whale or a highway to your family?<br><br>
There’s a very simple, fitting word that works very well in these scenarios: "sponsor." When you sponsor an owl or a classroom, you support the actions taken largely by another party. You may write a check and have someone else actually carry out the work, or you may even donate some of your own time and energy. You often get some recognition for your donation. Sponsoring a whale or highway can be a very rewarding experience, just as sponsoring a child can be. We all know the difference, don’t we?<br><br>
I don’t believe that the fund-raising folks who employ "adopt-a-fill in the blank" are deliberately trying to misuse the word or insult anyone. I bet they’ve just never stopped to think about it. When I asked for some time at the November 2002 meeting of the Falmouth Memorial Library’s Friends’ Committee, they very generously agreed to hear my position and read some materials I’d brought along. Almost all of the members were quite surprised by my point of view. They were very kind, well-educated, well-intentioned people who appeared never to have really thought about the implications of their campaign name. But when I challenged them to consider what message the "Adopt-a-Book" campaign sent to my children when we entered the library, and what lessons it taught Falmouth’s children about the true meaning of adoption, they changed their thinking. I give them all tremendous credit for changing their campaign to "Gift-a-Book," a much more accurate, appropriate name.<br><br>
My message here is simple. Adoption is adoption and fundraising is fundraising. Let’s not debase one concept in service to the other. All good causes need our collective support. However, all children and families, not only those directly touched by adoption, need to understand what it really is: an age-old, sacred way of joining a loving family - forever. With the growing numbers of adoptive families * international, domestic, biracial, mixed with biological children, open * our culture needs a clear understanding of the concept. To the Falmouth Memorial Library, thank you for your part in this effort.<br><br>
Cathy Breen
 

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i think it comes fromt eh new fad of adopting animals -- even at pet stores -- which is good in a way of making it more of an "Addition to the family" and not jsut "purchased" assessory. leads to better mind set and treatment of the animals.<br><br>
I can see how that would be tough for a kid though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
no good answers.<br><br>
(and I for one do NOT like the adopt a highway and stuff -- i saw a billboard in KS years ago i did like... after the adopt a highway program started there were billboards from SRS says "adopt something that matters...a child")
 
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