AN ADOPTION ABORTED
Like many people, I have a warm spot in my heart for adoptions. I have a niece who’s adopted and a godchild who’s adopted. A large fraction of my friends have adopted children. And despite the fact that I know better than to have any more kids, I even wonder from time to time about what it would be like to adopt a kid of my own.
I especially appreciate seeing gay people adopt. It’s not that they’re better parents than anyone else. Most of us stink at parenting – gay or straight. It’s just that I enjoy almost any conduct that gives the finger to those who have misread the Declaration of Independence. I feel quite comfortable in assuming that if Jefferson were alive today – not Jefferson the plantation squire, but Jefferson the statesman – he’d favor same-sex adoptions. And speaking of sex, that’s the only downside of adoptions: there’s no period of time when your spouse feels compelled to have sex with you just because of the need for a child. Too bad for adopting fathers.
It was this time last year when adoptions were on everyone’s mind. We weren’t talking, though, about adopting a baby. We were talking about adopting a city.
That’s right, this time last year,
After the horrors of the first week or two, I actually became intrigued by the prospect that we were assuming responsibility for a whole city of poor Americans. Remember all the empathy that disaster created? Remember the President’s speech when he pledged so much assistance? Remember the talking heads on TV predicting that we’d be throwing gobs of money at the problem? There would obviously be a lot of waste, I thought, but there would also be a great opportunity for us to learn which anti-poverty measures worked and which ones didn’t, and to replicate elsewhere all the lessons we learned. In other words, the
For the first time in decades, Americans were coming to grips with the fact that poor people live right here on these shores -- that poverty isn’t the sole
Well, it never materialized. And the opportunity has now slipped away.
Recently, amidst all the stories about a city that remains neglected, I noticed that a bunch of the Katrina victims have descended upon