Sunday, July 24, 2005
Thinking and Doing  

I recently asked a colleague about his upcoming trip to China which I heard about in passing during another meeting in my office. It turns out that he is traveling to China in the spring in order that he and his wife might adopt a baby girl. My colleague and his wife are already the natural parents of two boys.

I naturally asked the question of why they had chosen to adopt from China and why they had chosen to adopt a girl. He indicated two reasons. First, compared to many countries China's adoption procedures are fairly straightforward. Second, he explained how he and his wife thought it made sense to adopt a girl from China because of its one-child policy. Under this draconian policy which attempts to limit families to one child, boys are preferred to girls, and thus, thousands of girls are left in the lurch. They are filling up the orphanages, and thanks to many such as my colleague, some are given homes through adoption. I congratulated him and wished him well that all would go smoothly with the adoption.

In talking to my colleague, however, he indicated his support for zero population growth. In other words, he has bought the atrocious lie that the world is overpopulated. Consequently, those who subscribe to this view, insist that we need to limit the number of births. Now, although we did not discuss his views on the subject, knowing him, I think I have some sense of what he would advocate for how to accomplish this. He is definitely no enemy of abortion. But more than likely he would advocate education, birth control, and economic incentives to help "enforce" zero population growth.

This to me is a clear example of ignorance. In the first place, if he looked into the one-child policy of China, I believe he would be shocked. It is very clear that the Chinese government is using forced birth control (IUDs), forced abortions, and forced sterilization to implement its policy. Officially, the position is that there are simply economic incentives, education, and birth control made readily available to assist couples in family planning. The reality is that there are serious human rights violations being committed against men and, in particular, against women who are bearing the brunt of this brutal policy.

I am always fascinated by folks like my colleague. Because he would identify himself as a liberal, I will use that term. The "liberal mind set" is very admirable. They get involved in a personal way in some issue, and they figure out a way to help someone out who is suffering from the problem at hand. Here my colleague recognizes that there is a problem--little girls are being left to live in the state-run orphanage system which one can only imagine is pretty awful, and he is doing something about it by adopting a girl.

I would hold that his thinking about population growth is somewhat confused, but the question is whether that really matters because, regardless at how he arrives at his course of action, as I say, he is doing something about the problem. There are many of us who might be clear about the fact that zero population is a wrongheaded idea or that China's enforcement of its one-child policy is a violation of human rights, but what good is it to have the right thinking on some issue, if you do not do anything about the problem? Especially in a personal way?

Posted by David at 7:30 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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