Cultural Revolutions

Our Irresponsibilty

In good journalistic fashion, a Chicago Tribune article on Haitian adoptions (“Haitian adoptions left in limbo by earthquake,” January 17) consists of heart-rending descriptions of the plight of an American woman facing the sudden problems created by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti on January 12.  The woman is worried about “her 4-year-old adoptive daughter, who is HIV-positive,” and who is still in Haiti.  The “single mother of five finds herself stuck in an agonizing limbo, frantically trying to help the girl, who survived the massive earthquake, but unable to reach her as food, water and medications begin to run out.”  This woman, a 63-year-old pediatric oncologist, was only recently able to finalize the adoption, after the United States repealed a prohibition on immigrants who are HIV-positive.  This story is upsetting, but not only because of the terrible situation of that little girl.

One may count the ways this incident illustrates our pervasive individual and collective lack of responsibility.  The girl being adopted is four years old and therefore will require constant full-time care from a parent.  She also has HIV, and thus will strain even more the health resources of the United States.  Our State Department will allow her in because it has lifted the former ban on HIV-positive immigrants.  One wonders what illnesses our wise government authorities...

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