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Charlize Theron Adopts & Brings A World Of Judgement On Her Head!

I’m sure all South Africans know by now that our very own Charlize Theron adopted a son. It’s been all over the news and in the media in general, including SM. Of course, as South African’s we seem to be most irate that she adopted from the United States, the country she now calls home, and not from South African. This seems to have opened a world of judgement on her from our corner of the world. Why, when she claims to be so proud of her South African roots, did she not adopt a child from here when there are so many adoptable babies and children in our country.

Does she have a responsibility as a celebrity to set an example?

There are a million different opinions on this topic. I, for one, don’t really have an opinion. I for one, who has looked at and experienced adoption don’t feel that we have any right to judge her choice.

I think the single biggest mistake that the uninformed public is making is that Charlize adopted out of a sense of wanting to do something “good”, of making a difference in a child’s life, of rescuing them from a life spent growing up in an orphanage or children’s home. But what people so often misunderstand is that adoption is very rarely ever considered out of a need to do something “good”. Yes, there are plenty of blended families out there who, after having a number of biological children of their own, will look to add to their family via adoption but this is very rarely the case. Most often, the reason’s for adoption are in fact self centered, I know it was in my case and when one looks at Charlize’s story, I suspect her reason’s are the same. A unmarried woman, approaching her 40’s with the longing to parent a child, a child to call her own, to experience motherhood fully.

For woman like her, for women like me, there are two alternatives… fertility treatment, which is hugely expensive, emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausting and comes with no guarantee’s or the adoption option. The option to adopt is not purely out of a desire to fulfill a calling to do something “good”, it is way more about fulfilling a desire to be a mother.

In addition, the South African Department Of Social Services, who child welfare and the like report to, have a very strict policy on adopting children outside of our borders, preferring to keep them here and keep them in touch with their culture. On an intellectual level this makes sense, but practically it does not as it means that only a tiny handful of adoptable children in SA will go into loving homes and the remainder will grow up in children’s homes, orphanages and institutions. The is a sad reality.There have been numerous cases in the news of families from all over wanting to adopt a South African child and have been put through the ringer over a period of years to work through all the red tape that is required to adopt the child and get them out of South Africa.

In addition, if we’re to judge Charlize for not adopting from South Africa, then what about all the South African’s who have adopted from outside of our borders? What about all the people who paid huge sums of money to travel to Kazakstan, Russian & other Eastern block countries to adopt children and babies and bring them back to South Africa? Should we not then be judging their choices, their decision to not adopt locally?

Further too that, if we’re so outraged by the number of adoptable children living in children’s homes around our country, should we not then put pressure on fertile couples to not get pregnant and rather adopt because the need to do something “good” should override the desire for a child genetically ones own?

I think not.

I think this is a deeply personal decision, born after much investigation and consideration. Adoption is a complex issue, it is not a simple process and never one that is entered into lightly.

I think all the people so outraged by Charlize’s decision should really be asking themselves, why don’t they then decide to do something “good” and adopt an adoptable child into their families?

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12 Comments

  • Reply Jenny

    You make good points. I also really don’t have an opinion. I feel like as a celebrity she has an opportunity to highlight the plight of our many abandoned babies but then why should she?Does she – just by virtue of her job and profile – have an obligation to save the world with every move she makes. That could get pretty tiring, pretty quickly. But I think it is an issue that should be discussed instead of the blanket “Who Cares a child is happy” tweets that I got last night because yes, that is true, but it is also more complex than that by virtue of who she is.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      I agree with you, it is a much more complex issue. But I don’t feel it’s fair that she should have to justify or explain her adoption choices to anyone. The sad fact that anyone who falls into the adoption triad has, willingly or not, a responsibility to educate the masses, liked or not. If she’d adopted from SA, there would have been an outcry from sources here saying that she has taken a child away from his culture. She was damned either way no matter what choice she made.
      But ultimately, it’s a deeply personal decision, as is having a baby by whatever means and no one should have to justify or explain their choices.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm
  • Reply blackhuff

    I never gave Charlize’s adoption any thought whatsoever. I never thought about how she did not adopt a child out of SA. I am just happy that she DID adopt. Giving a home to a child who needs it.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Gina

    Brilliant post!

    March 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm
  • Reply Trish

    I couldn’t agree more – very well said!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm
  • Reply CBoBez

    Well Said!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm
  • Reply Julia

    Gosh. I think that Charlize has the right to adopt from where ever she wants? If she had adopted from SA then there would ALSO have been an outcry about the child being removed from his culture etc. She can’t win either way and I think you are right. She shouldn’t have to explain her choices to anyone.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Kitty8218

    Very well put Sharon! I totally agree. People are far to quick to jump on their high horses and judge, without actually knowing the full story or having the ‘right’ themselves to judge. In the sense that they have never been in the situation or no nothing about it.
    I have read articles that make it literally impossible for a Foreigner to adopt a SA baby and take it back with them, because in some illogical sense they want to keep that child close to it’s ‘cultural roots’….so rather they grow up in an orphanage!!!! GRRR it makes me mad. So all those people so quick to judge and ‘have their say’ clearly don’t even know their own countries laws!
    The fact of the matter is that she has adopted and given a child a ‘fighting chance’ at a better life and given herself the chance to be a mother – her right!

    March 30, 2012 at 8:25 am
  • Reply TJ

    I believe celebrities have a MORAL responsibility. This does not fall into that responsibility! This is as you said a personal choice! And yes, she would have had flack had she adopted from SA too. It’s a no win situation so I don’t understand the outcry!

    In all honesty, she is now an American citizen, No? So first and foremost we look to our country of residence (or we should), and if we can’t find what we want from there then we look abroad! She’s human and has every right to do as she pleases in making this decision. I doubt it was even an easy choice for her to make to start off with. Now she must face all this flack from the public.

    I think those that judge her should go and find something better to do!

    March 30, 2012 at 8:45 am
  • Reply mommyjesse

    I never thought twice who or where she adopted. A child is a child – they all precious. We all need to do what is right for us. I’m just glad she did adopt its an amazing experience and how sad for her if she never found a life partner to miss out on motherhood . And for this boy missing out on one woman loving and nurturing him – we all deserve to be nurtured in a deep way no matter who you are and where you from.

    March 31, 2012 at 9:31 am
  • Reply St. Elsewhere

    Oh my, create controversies where there is no need to.

    I suspect the same. I think she must have been having a hard time in the fertility department…maybe that’s why.

    Your points are all bullseye and valid.

    Well, Congratulations Ms. Theron!

    March 31, 2012 at 10:52 am
  • Reply To Love Bella

    I started reading the article in the Heat with much interest (and excitement). But then I INSTANTLY lost interest when the judgement started, so I turned the page. Really??? Seriously? WTF. People need to get over themselves .. .rather focus on bigger issues, like Kim Kardashians’ butt…

    April 2, 2012 at 8:47 am
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