Firstly, thanks for the responses on the Assisted Suicide topic. It was great to read them all, including those with opinions that conflicted with my own, a several religious perspectives to the subject.
If nothing else, I hope it sparked some interesting thoughts and conversations for you all.
This subject was suggested to me by ~UniquelyOdd. While I couldn't find a new article directly relating to the case she mentioned seeing in a documentary, I did find other background info. So, please read this before voting in the poll!
In China, part of their population is subject to the One-Child Policy, which limits families to having only one child, to try and control their increasing population. Families found to go over this limit often find government officials coming to their homes, and taking their children off to orphanages. From here, they are adopted for the price of a few hundred dollars per child. Not only does this appear to enforce the law, but it's also a source of income for the government. (Source: [link]
There are many recorded cases, however, of children being removed from their families despite being the first and only child. Sometimes, as in the source above, this is done by the government. In other cases, however, it is done via kidnap. These cases of child trafficking are becoming more publicised now, with efforts to prevent and stop it increasing.
The story UniquelyOdd shared with me was one she was on a documentary. A Chinese girl, named Lee, was adopted by an American couple. Lee was kidnapped at the age of two. I don't know whether the American family knew she was kidnapped, but for the sake of this discussion, let's assume they were unaware.
Lee lived happily with her new family, and was brought up in a loving and supportive environment. Her new parents loved her as if she were their own (the couple being unable to conceive their own children), and for all intents and purposes, it seemed to be the perfect family situation for Lee.
Four years later, however, she was traced and rediscovered by her biological Chinese parents. Lee was now six years old, and in a position where she was more able to understand what was going on around her. Memories are hazy at the age of two, but at six, she's much more likely to be traumatised by being removed from what she now views as being her family. Not only that, her lifestyle would change entirely, as well as the language used around her.
So! The question is this:
If you were in charge of the legal decision in this case, what would you do? Would you rule that Lee remains with her new, American family... or allow her biological parents, whom she was kidnapped from four years ago, reclaim her?
I suffered quite a difficult chain of thoughts on this. My first thought was an emotional one. I thought she should be left with her family, who she has now developed strong emotional and psychological attachments to. At six, she's in an age psychologically that will define her character quite largely for the future, and major disruption to that could be harmful. Not only that, but she's brought such huge joy to a couple who have already suffered so much due to an inability to conceive. My heart said it was right to let her stay with the new family.
But then, as always, my brain kicked in. Firstly, what about the rights of her parents? Let's dehumanise this for a moment. If we look at Lee in this case as being property, then the situation would be much more clear-cut. Knowingly or not, the American's are in possession of something stolen. By all rights, this property should be returned to it's rightful owners. Of course, this is a child, not a television, so there is much more to it than that, but at the bare bones, this is a case of theft, and it's right to return what was stolen to where it belongs.
I also considered the precedent this set for other kidnap/adoption cases. If Lee were to be allowed to remain with her new family, this sets a rule for other similar cases that follow it. It could encourage further child traffickers to set up adoptions in America, knowing the law would rule the child remains with their new family, and thus covering the traffickers backs. Parents whose children are snatched from them will be doomed to be blocked from them forever by the American legal system. It's a very dangerous precedent to set.
I started out knowing exactly what I thought was right for the situation... and ended up being twisted entirely by having to compare what I thought was right emotionally, and what I thought was right legally.
Even now, I'm still not sure what I would do.
I'm interested in hearing peoples arguments and opinions on this, either for Lee remaining with her new family, or for her being returned to her biological parents. Maybe your views will help me shape my own!
So! Go vote on the poll, and leave your comments either here or on the poll comments. I'm looking forward to reading them!
Thanks to ~Ariyaunna for the avatars!
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