(For the comment thread that led to this post, please refer to this previous post.)
My response to both questions remains the same. Again, I must stress that I am no expert on adoption.
There are a wide variety of adoption agencies. Jewish adoption agencies cater to Jewish families and operate in a manner that respects their own particular belief system (that of the biological as well as adoptive family). Based on the conditions posed in your question, we can assume that all adoption agencies are funded by all taxpayers (regardless of religion, ethnicity, etc). With that said, regardless of the taxpayers' religion, ethnicity, etc. some portion of money will go to an agency that does not operate in a manner that is 100% in agreement with that individual's particular belief system. This goes for Jewish taxpayers, Christian taxpayers, etc.
If an individual is not particularly happy with the manner in which an agency works, the current model (with various forms of adoption agencies catering to various belief systems, etc) allows for an individual to simply choose another agency that best suits their belief system. The individual is free to adopt from a non-Christian adoption agency that is also supported by taxpayer money.
As it stands, regardless of the system used by an adoption agency…ANY adoption agency is doing the country a service by finding families for children who cannot be supported by their biological family. Closing an adoption agency by freezing funds or by forced closure, in my opinion, does more evil to a society as a whole. It is far easier to support a system that allows an individual to choose between adoption agencies than it is to (directly or indirectly) close many adoption agencies and redistribute the children brought to these agencies. My feelings are that, if you don’t like a particular adoption agency…use another one. If there are plenty of other families that have no problem using this adoption agency…why close it? There are enough children out there in need of a good home and a family…why would we want to add more strain to an already strained system?
If you’re looking at it solely from a financial standpoint, removing Christian adoption agencies (or Jewish, Muslim, etc agencies) due to their particular belief system ultimately costs the taxpayer more money. Closing it would only put more strain on 100% state-run adoption agencies or other agencies that are deemed appropriate by a particular group. As I mentioned before, adopting the “do what we want or we close you down” system only creates more mess and red tape when it comes to redistributing children in need of adoption.
If you feel that I have not answered your question with my reply, I am afraid you will need to rephrase your original question.
As it stands, I feel that your question is not so much about public policy as it is about the term “discrimination” and your views as to what discrimination means and whether you feel it is being practiced by a particular group (in this case, Christian adoption agencies). Both of your questions, as phrased, ask me for my opinion as to whether or not I think the manner in which a Christian adoption agency operates is discriminating against a particular group (in this case, Jewish people).
I think I answered this question as well. As the current model stands, biological parents are given the freedom to choose an adoption agency that respects their own belief system and will allow for their children to be adopted into a family that shares a belief system. This, believe it or not, may make it easier on a parent that is struggling with the idea of adoption. Adoption is, by no means, an easy decision. The current model, however, allows biological parents some choice when it comes to passing down something to their children that is not biological. It allows parents to give their children a part of the childhood that they experienced. A Jewish mother may find some solace in knowing that her son will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah when he reaches a certain age. A Christian mother may find solace in knowing that her child was baptized. A Muslim mother may find solace in knowing that her child will one day read the same passages in the Quran that she reads. Faith is something that people feel really strongly about. I may be Catholic, but I understand how different religions are important to different people. Why deny these biological parents the chance to ensure that their child is, at least, exposed to the same faith as they were?
This brings me to another point, religion is not something that is simply “passed down.” Regardless of an adoption agency’s practices and regardless of the adoptive family’s faith…the child will ultimately come to a point where faith becomes something that comes from within (or from above)…and not so much environmental. As a cradle Catholic, my faith was shaped by far more than my parents’ faith and a few years of CCD/RCIA. It was shaped by my thought, the books I sought, the experiences I had, etc. I know at least one person who even went to Catholic school and turned out to be an atheist. I know of another person who was a very faithful Buddhist that never once believed they would be a Christian...and ended up converting to Christianity. What we are born into does not always define who we become. If that was the case, I'd be a lot better at sewing and playing cards.
With all this said, I do see where Gingrich is coming from. I am of the opinion that adoption agencies (regardless of faith) are not acting in a discriminatory fashion...but simply adhering to a belief system that respects those of the biological parent and adoptive parents that choose to use the service. Likewise, considering how many different types of private, taxpayer-funded, etc. adoption agencies there are out there…I cannot help but stress that the system (as a whole) is not operated in a discriminatory fashion. I, for one, know my tax dollars are funding some things that I wholeheartedly oppose (such as abortion)...but I am also fund things that I support 100% (conservation efforts and education). I have no choice but to pay my dues and hope that my money ends up doing more good than harm....
|I am still hoping for the day where I get a government-issued|
scantron in the mail that allows me to pick and choose
what things my tax dollars will fund... wishful thinking....
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the argument from the other end as well…but I cannot help but feel that closing down certain agencies or turning all agencies into public-run institutions (with the same regulations and ideologies across the board) will do far more harm than good. We saw something similar in Francisco Franco’s regime in Spain some decades ago. During this period of time, the state decided what ideologies were acceptable and which ones were not acceptable when it came to raising children and/or adopting children. What resulted from the state’s idea of “right and wrong” resulted in the theft and relocation of babies from parents with “unacceptable” beliefs or ideas to parents that were deemed “acceptable” by the state. I would never want to see something like this in the United States or elsewhere. We may think we are doing a great good by ensuring that ALL institutions (adoption agencies or otherwise) uphold one set of ideals that are “correct.” However, I feel that doing so would remove far more freedoms than it would create….and be a lot more unfair (and expensive) to tax-payers and adoption system as a whole.
I hope that answers your question.