What if we filed the federal and Arizona equivalent of a Massachusetts 51A on the government for abuse and neglect of those children who are piled up in warehouses for what seems like months now?

What if we then did as we do when children are removed for abuse and neglect-place them in fostering homes while we seek their kin for evaluation and placement?

What if we treated all children as if they were our own, and didn’t try to tear them away from their families and country when that is not what is needed or wanted?

What if we carefully determined which children really are truly ‘orphans’, and which have been trafficked or traded for the monetary benefit of someone?

What if we respected those parents who feel their children are truly better off not in the unsafe situations that surround them, and carefully and painfully choose to send them across borders or across families and countries in their very best interest?

What if we made all adoptions open enough to be sure that they are ethical and legal and in the very best interest of the child who will eventually be an adult and who is watching you and will know everything that was done to him/her in the process of changing families?

What if we allocated funds to all children so that between 0 and 5 no matter where they live or what their status they would have full day daycare in a safe and wonderful space with meals and medical care available so that parents who want to or, especially, who have to work, know that these children’s brains- which are at their most elastic-will take in what is needed to grow into wonderful, bright, compassionate people and citizens?

We spend much more pathologizing and demeaning children than we do building them up.

What if we looked in the mirror and saw ourselves in a better light and doing the right thing?

What if we treated all children as if they were our own?

Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao

August, 2014

Joyce Maguire Pavao, (Ed.D., LCSW, LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor), Riverside After Adoption Consulting and Training (AACT), is author of the book The Family of Adoption (1998/2005). Dr. Pavao has received many awards and honors, including the Adoption Excellence Award Family Contribution (2003), and the Angels in Adoption Award (2000). www.pavaoconsulting.com