It makes me so sick that adults toy with the lives of children just because laws, regulations and legislations are what we think makes us democratic societies!
I'm not even going to explain the stories behind the mediatic cases of Iara and Esmeralda, because we've been abundantly showered with them by the media. What disgusts me is that children still have no real protection as individuals and can be left to the whims of adults. Now you have a family, now you are institutionalised, now you have another family, now you don't have a family anymore. Yes, this is good policy!
And I also think it's good policy that when you remember that you are a biological parent of someone, you can just look at the judicial system and have that biological stranger with you, because that is your God ordained right. You donated cells, so you can claim the product when you best think you should. Nice!
Now, I've just heard on the one o'clock news that there is a petition going on for Iara not to be taken from her foster family, just when Esmeralda is about to spend her last, and traumatic, Christmas with the people she calls Mummy and Daddy. I am amased at how things are done. Laws have been made to secure the rights of biological parents, but shouldn't there be a vice-versa premise here?
Did you know that childhood and adolescence were only discovered in the 19th century? Well, they were. Until then children were either infants or miniature adults, ignored most of the times and legally abused. Author Jeffrey Richards explains, in Imperialism and Juvenile Literature (1989), that the decline in child mortality and the economic prosperity of the middle classes in the last quarter of the 19th century made people realise that children were distinct from adults. They were physiologically and psychologically different and therefore had different needs. And it was in this period that compulsory schooling was extended and even a period when books started to be compartimentalised so that there was literature for small children, literature for juveniles and literature for adults. This was more than one hundred years ago.
It seems to me that from then on we have evolved little.
P.S. - Obviously there are no images to illustrate this.