I’ve tried so hard to avoid commenting on this month's celebrity adoption circus, which seems to roll around these days with depressing regularity. I did very well – until I saw the look of abject terror on the face of Angelina Jolie’s newly adopted child as it was being whisked away from the only life it has ever known. By a complete stranger (earning herself the more common moniker, ‘the womb raider’, but I digress). Then I couldn’t bite my tongue any longer.
The pattern is always the same: celebrity picks up cute brown baby, within the same timeframe and signing the same amount of paperwork that would normally go into the purchase of a second hand car.
Only things are not quite as they seem. For this poor, desperate and bereft child, that has just been WAITING for a crazed American actress to swoop down and bundle it into a private jet before it has chance to learn the words, “who the fuck are you?” in English, never mind say them, isn’t an orphan. Either it has known and named living parents (as was the case with the most vulture-like smash-n-grab adopter, the ever lovely Madonna), or it has been abandoned as an infant (as is the case with Angelina’s child-of-the-week, her second choice from the South East Asian baby menu).
Perhaps these selfish, ignorant people think that there is no difference between being an abandoned child and being an orphaned one. Wrong. It makes the world of difference to any adopted child to have a sense of belonging, some sense of genetic rather than selected history. Living genetic parents provide that sense of history. For Angelina Jolie’s children, who appear to be acquired in much the same way other people buy shoes – one in each colour – this is even more pertinent a truth, for these children haven’t got any real chance of feeling as though they are valued and that they belong in their cobbled-together family, because their ‘mother’ is clearly less interested in her children’s wellbeing than she is in her disgusting crusade to bring a Benetton advert to life.
This time around, Angelina has even gone the Meg Ryan route and renamed her latest acquisition. She has RENAMED a frightened three year old child, as we might a goldfish that we were getting bored of; she has conveniently repackaged human life to suit her own ends.
Have a think for a moment about the sheer insensitive, self-indulgent shamelessness of such an act, and then tell me whether anyone – ANYONE AT ALL – could honestly believe that this woman actually cares about the needs of the vulnerable infants she seems to be making a collection of?