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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Ana Adoption issues. Early Understanding (18) RE: Adoption issues. Early Understanding 01 Dec 00

Rather than being a big deal / different etc., adoption is an integral part of many non-white cultures. In NZ for instance adopted children ("whangai") are a very important aspect of family organisation. Many Maori (especially those living more rural areas where the old ways are still very much a way of life) arrange the whangai of their first child to a grandparent. This is very important for several reasons - often the mother will be seen as too young (in terms of wisdom as well of age) and the older person has responsibilities to pass on knowledge. Alternatively when a parent already has several children it makes good use of resources for some one else to raise the child (particularly if it is a childless couple). The child is raised knowing who it's birth parents are. Lineage (or whakapapa) is the essence of who that person is. Those who have lived before are still bound to the living - their bones are ours. In Maori society a child belongs to the family (whanau) not just to the birth parents - in belonging, this means that all have a responsibility to the child. Well that's the theory anyway!!! Ana

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