Anytime responsible, caring adults take a needy child into their homes and hearts, that’s a good thing. So I applaud Madonna’s adoption, and urge others to follow her lead. But you don’t have to go to Africa.
There are some 3,000 children in long term foster care who need loving supportive homes right here in Sacramento.
14-year-old Meuy Nai Nguyen used to be one of them. She was placed in foster care at age five and spent another five years being shunted from foster home to foster home before she was adopted. She now lives in a large, happy, multi-racial family with six children, all adopted.
Meuy’s experience is typical of adoption in California today. The race of the adoptive parents or parent is irrelevant. Marital status and sexual orientation don’t matter. It is understood that non-traditional families are perfectly capable and often quite willing to take on the joys and burdens of adoptive parenthood.
And that’s good, because the future can be grim for children who don’t get adopted. Fully one half of foster children who turn 18 and age out of the system without connecting to a permanent family end up homeless, in prison, on drugs, or dead within four years.
Want to save a child? Follow Madonna’s lead. Adopt.
Ginger Rutland writes for the Sacramento Bee Opinion pages.