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Archive for February, 2011

Perhaps it has to do with NAFTA that creates jobs for Mexicans…in the U.S.  Although Mexico has joined an exclusive club, the average fellow is not making it.

Sophie's choice.

The average fellow I am talking about here is an unemployed mother from the State of Morelos (Mexico). She delivers  a baby and sold it to a midwife for 5,000 pesos ($416). Why? She has a  kid with cancer and she cannot afford the treatment. The  midwife sold the baby for 20,000 pesos to a U.S. citizen who was willing to adopt a kid.

(Vulgar) economics tells us that all we have here is the weighing of the pain of loosing a kid against the satisfaction of saving another from cancer, and a price. So what? There is a choice, possibly a market and if so, don’t mess with it.

(Not-totally vulgar) economics adds: wait a minute. Institutions matter, the most important of all being private property. This mother is not the owner of her kid.  Her deed amounts to treating her kid as a merchandise; it infringes upon his very humanity. What needs to be done is to better define property rights in adoption matters and to regulate adoption.

What vulgar economics and not- totally vulgar economics will never be able to deal with is the regret of this women and of those that are forced to make such choices because of the economic predicament they find themselves in.

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One never touches the bottom of family laws’ insanity.

The Four Hundred Blows (Truffaut)

I just came across a website titled “Child Custody and Termination of Parental Rights.” I thought termination of parental rights was the predicament of folks like me, who don’t see their kids after a lengthy trial in family court that deprived them of their parental rights. Wrong. Termination of parental rights is part of Adoption and Safe Families Act, passed by Congress in 1997. It is supposed to be about facilitating adoption and providing children with the fundamental right of a safe home. The natural parents  loosing their parental rights (the civil dead)  have their ties with their kids severed for ever.  They do not pay child support any more.

What are the benefits of this law?  To make custody battles even more litigious, if it was possible, and hit particularly poor and handicapped parents. Also to open new business opportunities for the booming family industry, which like Elaine (in Seinfeld) “will be  there… for you.”

I am a non-custodial parent from New York State that lost his parental rights in family court. Yet I pay child support, ergo I am not a civil dead. That does not cheer me up.

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