Toni Morrison: In Defense Of Life

  • Q-This leads to the problem of the depressingly large number of single-parent households and the crisis in unwed teenage pregnancies. Do you see a way out of that set of worsening circumstances and statistics?
  • A-Well, neither of those things seems to me a debility. I don’t think a female running a house is a problem, a broken family. It’s perceived as one because of the notion that a head is a man. Two parents can’t raise a child any more than one. You need a whole community-everybody-to raise a child. The notion that the head is the one who brings in the most money is a patriarchal notion, that a woman-and I have raised two children, alone-is somehow lesser than a male head. Or that I am incomplete without the male. This is not true. And the little nuclear family is a paradigm that just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for white people or for black people. Why we are hanging onto it, I don’t know. It isolates people into little units-people need a larger unit.
  • Q-and teenage pregnancies? 
  • A- Everybody’s grandmother was a teenager when they got pregnant. Whether they were 15 or 16, they ran a house, a farm, they went to work, they raised their children.
  • Q-But everybody’s grandmother didn’t have the potential for living a different kind of life. These teenagers-16, 15-haven’t had time to find out if they have special abilities, talents. They’re babies having babies.
  • A-The child’s not going to hurt them. Of course, it is absolutely time consuming. But who cares about the schedule? What is this business that you have to finish school at 18? They’re not babies. We have decided that puberty extends to what-30? When do people stop being kids? The body is ready to have babies, that’s why they are in a passion to do it. Nature wants it done then, when the body can handle it, not after 40, when the income can handle it.
  • Q-You don’t feel that these girls will never know whether they could have been teachers, or whatever?
  • A-They can be teachers. They can be brain surgeons. We have to help them become brain surgeons. That’s my job. I want to take them all in my arms and say, ‘You baby is beautiful and so are you and, honey, you can do it. And when you want to be a brain surgeon, cal me-I will take care of you baby.’ That’s the attitude you have to have about human life. But we don’t want to pay for it. I don’t think anybody cares about unwed mothers unless they’re black-or poor. The question is not morality, the question is money. That’s what we’re upset about. We don’t care whether they have babies or not.
  • Q-How do you break the cycle of poverty? You can’t just hand out money
  • A-Why not? Everybody gets everything handed to them. The rich get it handed-they inherit it. I don’t mean just inheritance of money. I mean what people take for granted among the middle and upper classes, which is nepotism, the old-boy network. That’s shared bounty of class.

Truth Out! Adoption Collective’s Mission Statement

Truth Out! Adoption Collective is a group of young adults who were adopted internationally and transracially and who have connection to domestic infant adoption. Because of our multi faceted experiences  we are a critical voice in the adoption discourse which is dominated by people who adopt.  Unless we–the ones who were adopted, our mothers, and our families–speak in favor of adoption and adhere to the status quo, we are cast away and our voices made invalid by the dominant culture. The dominant people in adoption are the dominant people in society today–white “upper class” people. They write the adoption legislation, make the law, are the judges, sit on the board of adoption agencies, run adoption agencies, lobby congress, are in congress, and own the corporate media thereby control public opinion on adoption.

We–people who were separated from our original families/communities/cultures thru adoption and our families–do not hold this power. We as a whole are from the exploitable section of this society.

There is a huge power disparity between people who adopt and  us –people who are adopted and our families. It is a class war.

This power disparity is present in international adoption, domestic infant adoption, CPS/foster care.

This needs to be talked about Truth Out! Adoption Collective will talk about it.

We will not cater to the white adoptive parent gaze. We are not here for their approval. They can eat a huge slice of humble pie and learn. Or not.

“We currently have ample evidence that reveals that adoption is not “about children”. I no longer feel the need to argue about adoption along lines which take for granted its status quo acceptance. And I would like to go on the record as saying: As opposed to seeing adoption as a beneficent action, it can instead be stated that its very presence marks the failure of a society to care for those in need.”–Daniel Ibn Zayd

* We know Adoption is a profit driven industry. Billions and Billions and Billions and Billions. Hmm…couldn’t this be used to keep families intact…

*We know that the Adoption Industry is nothing like indigenous African community care–which is about helping out a family in need and never about separating children from their mothers/families.

*We know that Adoption has been used as a tool of colonialism and cultural genocide and is used today for the same.

Truth Out! Adoption Collective is a safe space for adoptees and mothers/first families to share their stories. If you would like to share your story or guest blog contact us.