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This Is Our Social & Cultural Issues Thread

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2 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

I think this just leads to a slippery slope of what do we do if the parents are technically competent to raise the child, but they don't want to. That could lead to the child being neglected anyway. I'll search for some sources myself, but there are cases of child neglect because that's a real thing that happens. 

Absolutely.  And happens in horrific ways -- our local Sunday paper this morning has as its headline story just such a case which ended up in the death of a 7 year-old.  Short of death, neglect is not uncommon.

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Even if it's not outright neglect as in lack of care, there's still the factor of raising a child that wasn't wanted and the mother resents. My uncle is several years younger than his siblings and was born at an inconvenient time in my grandparents' lives. Perhaps if abortion was legal, he would have been aborted. He was never outright mistreated, but he always knew he wasn't exactly wanted and that my grandmother resented having to start over with another child. They never had a good relationship and he left home at 16. So, I don't think women should "have" to raise a child they don't want. It shouldn't be abort or parent. Adoption is a choice, and I am pro-choice, all choices. 

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8 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

But adoption is not this evil thing, not always. There's always going to be that ugly side to any social issue, but it doesn't mean it's an overall bad thing. I know you pointed out in a previous post this remark:

Not to mention, adoption is much, much better than foster care.  Adoption provides a permanent, "forever" (as many call it in the adoption world) home.  It's not unusual for kids to attend two or more schools over the course of a year because they had to change foster parents.  This is NOT good for them socially OR academically. 

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One thing regarding adoption that hasn't really been addressed and it is a thing that I didn't factor in in my comments.

I am 71, so my cousins were all adopted in the 50's and very early 60's.  Times were very, very different then.

Abortion was illegal and frequently lethal to the mother and the fetus.  Both often died.  Not to mention furtive and expensive.

Pregnancy outside of marriage was TABOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You were a SLUT and a BAD GIRL. 

IF you were lucky, you were sent away to 'relatives' out of state.

You were most certainly not a candidate for marriage to a 'good' man.

Keep in mind that the jobs you would get were very poorly paid: teacher, secretary or nurse, that was it - unmarried mother - kiss it all goodbye.  Trust me, those jobs DID NOT PAY WELL; nothing like they do today.  I know whereof I speak.

The first teacher contract I signed in 1969 contained a "morals clause".  I would be fired if I were found out to be living with a man or pregnant w/out marriage.  I would never have been hired in the first place if I had had a child w/out a husband (and proof) that one I was a widow.

I am so sorry to hear that in this day and age, with options for the young women who are pregnant or the women who simply can't have another child, that adoption feels 'forced' or the option only for the wealthy and willing to 'pay for a baby'.

My god, what have we come to?

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Some very thoughtful and interesting posts. 

And many of them lead me back to 'personal responsibility'.  If you can't financially or morally support a child, then you shouldn't raise one.  Having a child is not a 'right'.  And if you can't give a child all that he or she deserves aka decent standard of living, why is it society's responsibility to do so?   There are so many parents out there who choose to not have a child or more children because they do take responsibility.  Mostly because they just can't afford it.  But at the same time they're 'expected' to help others by way of additional taxes to support those who don't take responsibility.  Don't get me wrong.  It's not the child's fault but at the same time, we have to change the attitude of the people who are having children that they're ill prepared to parent.

OK.  So we can go into poverty.  Change yourself and your station in life before bringing a child into the world.  Addiction.  Change yourself before bringing a child into the world.  Hard times.  I get it but don't have another child when you're going through it.  Personal responsibility.  You want to have sex.  Take personal responsibility.  Are there exceptions?  Sure.  But you also have alternatives. 

I hate seeing so many children who are not getting the basics of a decent life.  It's not OK.  And it's not OK for parents to make excuses about it.  Personal responsibility.  And we can go into a whole other discussion about so many of these parents' and their hardships.  Sorry, but they're just excuses.  Life ain't easy.  Again, having a child is not a 'right'.  You've got to get 'you' straightened out. 

Lastly, thank you to all the people in the world who have opened their hearts to a child through adoption.  Yeah, there are some who do so to 'substitute' for not being able to have a child of their own but I believe the vast majority of them do so out of wanting to give love.

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I may be opening up another can of worms, but here goes. I used to live in a South East Asian country where I lived in a building inhabited mostly by expat families. And that's the only time I got into close contact with adoption (international in all cases).

#1 was my next door neighbour, an American executive who had adopted a baby girl from an orphanage in China. She adopted her in the late 1990, where the politic of the single child was still in full force, and the orphanages in China full of little girls. I met that family in the early 2000s. The little girl was well cared for, and the mum took special care to sign her up for Mandarin classes so that she could know her mother tongue, while giving her overall a very American education.

#2 was an Australian couple, in their 40s-early 50s, the mum a diplomat. When I met them, they had just adopted a son, from Thailand. The kid was severely malnourished, all bones, very short and extremely light for his size, not easy, had numerous issues, didn't socialise well, etc., but boy, how they showered that little boy (who was 7-8 when adopted), and how he ended up becoming much more comfortable in his own skin. It's was a miracle to see the change in that little boy. They didn't want him to be raised as a single child so they had applied for an other adoption and this time I witnessed the length and the difficulty of the process. It took two to three years, even after meeting the child it still took close to a year for the adoption to be finalised. The child they adopted was around 6 at the time of adoption - he came to them straight from an orphanage, he was half Cambodian, half European, the mother was a prostitute who couldn't keep him due to social stigma. They had a lot of information about that second son of theirs, and so little about the first one. I've always admired how patient, loving and understanding they were with their kids and I have no doubt that taking them out of the orphanage, giving them a loving home and telling them about their birth parents was overall very positive for these little munchkins. 

#3 was a French expat family, who moved for the father's jobs and had adopted 2 boys from the same country they were expatriated to. The boys, who had grown up in France, were rowdy as many French boys are, totally French, and totally loved.

I have absolutely no experience with other adoptions. I do have a harrowing family experience though. When I was a baby/toddler, my parents, who lived in various places in Europe, so not sure where they came from that time, took a road trip to Morocco. At one of their stops, a woman, seeing me, well dressed, well fed, I guess that's all she based it on, begged them, literally begged them, to take her daughter and raise her with me. I'm not adopted and I look like my parents. There was no misunderstanding of what she wanted, because my dad grew up in Morocco during his pre teen and teenage years and was not only fluent in Arabic but studied it too. Of course this was told to me much later, but it always struck me that that woman must have been both very desperate with her situation and willing for her daughter to have something she couldn't give her but which I had. The scene must have taken place in the late 60s/early 70s.

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8 hours ago, kaygeeret said:

One thing regarding adoption that hasn't really been addressed and it is a thing that I didn't factor in in my comments.

I am 71, so my cousins were all adopted in the 50's and very early 60's.  Times were very, very different then.

Abortion was illegal and frequently lethal to the mother and the fetus.  Both often died.  Not to mention furtive and expensive.

Pregnancy outside of marriage was TABOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You were a SLUT and a BAD GIRL. 

IF you were lucky, you were sent away to 'relatives' out of state.

You were most certainly not a candidate for marriage to a 'good' man.

Keep in mind that the jobs you would get were very poorly paid: teacher, secretary or nurse, that was it - unmarried mother - kiss it all goodbye.  Trust me, those jobs DID NOT PAY WELL; nothing like they do today.  I know whereof I speak.

The first teacher contract I signed in 1969 contained a "morals clause".  I would be fired if I were found out to be living with a man or pregnant w/out marriage.  I would never have been hired in the first place if I had had a child w/out a husband (and proof) that one I was a widow.

I am so sorry to hear that in this day and age, with options for the young women who are pregnant or the women who simply can't have another child, that adoption feels 'forced' or the option only for the wealthy and willing to 'pay for a baby'.

My god, what have we come to?

Hey, pregnancy outside marriage is STILL taboo in some cultures (or at least some families).  I SWEAR I have a cousin in Hong Kong who wants to have a baby outside marriage/a relationship (I'm pretty sure she's even looked up prospective donors since she seems knowledgeable ).  Her parents will, however, likely dislike it.  Guess how old my cousin is?  36!

Children's services like to keep birth families together if possible.  Good for that.  But if the birth families cannot care for a child, why move them from foster home to foster home?  How stable is that?  In addition, the whole belief of "adopting takes a child away from his/her family/culture" ignores families who wish to adopt children from SIMILAR faith and/or ethnic cultures - especially when it comes to international adoption.  As I've noted before, there are very few kids of Asian descent available domestically. 

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6 hours ago, breezy424 said:

I hate seeing so many children who are not getting the basics of a decent life.  It's not OK.  And it's not OK for parents to make excuses about it.  Personal responsibility.  And we can go into a whole other discussion about so many of these parents' and their hardships.  Sorry, but they're just excuses.  Life ain't easy.  Again, having a child is not a 'right'.  You've got to get 'you' straightened out. 

It's not OK, and excuses are like a**holes, everybody has one.  But reproduction is a basic right or freedom in some sense, it's how the species continues, that will never change.  Something like 40 to 50% of us arrived on the planet via unplanned pregnancy.  People will have sex and sometimes without contraception and sometimes with contraception that fails or is used improperly.  That's a reality that some would like to wish away.  We can reduce teen pregnancies and make contraception more easily available, and that will help.  There will still be unplanned pregnancies, and children born into poverty.  So both safety nets, and adoption, will need to be solutions, and oh yes, abortion.  Unfortunately, people hoping to adopt healthy babies outnumber people hoping for older children or kids with health problems and other special needs.  The old 'don't have sex until you are ready to raise a child' bromide has truth at its core but is not very helpful up against human nature/biology.  It's an ideal to shoot for, it's the best case scenario, but life is messy and mistakes happen. 

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11 minutes ago, PRgal said:

Children's services like to keep birth families together if possible.  Good for that.  But if the birth families cannot care for a child, why move them from foster home to foster home?  How stable is that?  In addition, the whole belief of "adopting takes a child away from his/her family/culture" ignores families who wish to adopt children from SIMILAR faith and/or ethnic cultures - especially when it comes to international adoption.  As I've noted before, there are very few kids of Asian descent available domestically. 

PRgal, I hope I'm not out of line here, and it's very possible that I misremember your previous post or confuse them with other posts, but my question, which might not be specific to you, is why people of Asian descent would only want to adopt kids of Asian descent, or why in general families would wish "to adopt children from similar faith and/or ethnic cultures", according to your post? In my (limited, second hand) experience, inter culture adoptions can work really well. I'm not being antagonistic, just trying to understand.

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49 minutes ago, NutMeg said:

PRgal, I hope I'm not out of line here, and it's very possible that I misremember your previous post or confuse them with other posts, but my question, which might not be specific to you, is why people of Asian descent would only want to adopt kids of Asian descent, or why in general families would wish "to adopt children from similar faith and/or ethnic cultures", according to your post? In my (limited, second hand) experience, inter culture adoptions can work really well. I'm not being antagonistic, just trying to understand.

The East Asian community in general (at least in Toronto) is fairly new (as in no more than two or three generations) and can be QUITE snobby/racist towards certain ethnic groups (I've found the middle and upper-middle classes to be even MORE so).  This INCLUDES other East Asian ethnic groups that are NOT their own (remember, blood relations are MUCH MORE important in Confucian-influenced cultures.  Adoption outside of a family rarely happens in places like Japan), sometimes even intra-ethnic (e.g. Hong Kongers in HK DO NOT like mainland Chinese much.  They view them as illegal (sometimes they are) and "trashy").  The Canadian born/raised generation is far LESS ignorant, but this is NOT the case with the older crowd (the form of ignorance is often passive-aggressive, so no, it's not like we're going to get the equivalent of cross burning on our lawn).  I have always said that I can teach my OWN family, but it's very hard to do so with friends' parents, extended family members and the public in general.  Thus, many Asian couples/mixed Asian-non-Asian couples prefer to adopt a child with some Asian heritage.  They avoid a lot of the "issues" and make things much less stressful for them and for the child. 

ETA:  I'm probably airing a lot of dirty laundry within my own ethnic community, but that's how I've viewed it.  People outside often don't "get" it and wonder why an ethnic minority can still be so ignorant if they face discrimination themselves. 

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1 hour ago, PRgal said:

The East Asian community in general (at least in Toronto) is fairly new (as in no more than two or three generations) and can be QUITE snobby/racist towards certain ethnic groups (I've found the middle and upper-middle classes to be even MORE so).  This INCLUDES other East Asian ethnic groups that are NOT their own (remember, blood relations are MUCH MORE important in Confucian-influenced cultures.  Adoption outside of a family rarely happens in places like Japan), sometimes even intra-ethnic (e.g. Hong Kongers in HK DO NOT like mainland Chinese much.  They view them as illegal (sometimes they are) and "trashy").  The Canadian born/raised generation is far LESS ignorant, but this is NOT the case with the older crowd (the form of ignorance is often passive-aggressive, so no, it's not like we're going to get the equivalent of cross burning on our lawn).  I have always said that I can teach my OWN family, but it's very hard to do so with friends' parents, extended family members and the public in general.  Thus, many Asian couples/mixed Asian-non-Asian couples prefer to adopt a child with some Asian heritage.  They avoid a lot of the "issues" and make things much less stressful for them and for the child. 

ETA:  I'm probably airing a lot of dirty laundry within my own ethnic community, but that's how I've viewed it.  People outside often don't "get" it and wonder why an ethnic minority can still be so ignorant if they face discrimination themselves. 

thanks for your honest answer, PRgal. Having lived in Hong Kong for 5 years and then for another 15 years in other countries in Asia, I get what you say about Asian cultures being closer-minded to other cultures (a Japanese interpreter I met in Kyoto, who had two daughters with an American father, told me how hard it was for kids who were not 100% Japanese in Japan, and there is quite a litterature on that subject). I'm more surprised, though, that the same mindframe remains true within the Asian community  in North America, because I'm sure there must be/I know of many marriages that produce mixed race children (I hope that's not an offensive term, non English speaker here, raising white flag just in case). I'm just wondering if, despite all assumptions to the contrary, grandpa and grandma would not be overjoyed to have a grandkid to brighten their lives, even if initially they are shocked that the grandkid is not Asian. Maybe I'm naive, or projecting, but grandparents are often more open minded than we give credit for. My inlaws are from Eastern Europe, and I remember my then husband stressing before their visit that they  would not do/like this or that: they loved it all, were more adventurous with food than we could have dreamed of (and that their children that visited lated were) and really embraced the different lifestyle. So in conclusion, I'd say do what YOU feel is right for you, don't think too much about your ethnic community, they're not there each day in your house and at the end of the day they're likely to embrace what has worked for you.   

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Hi, guys,

First of all, I want to thank everyone for keeping this conversation civil. It's great to see so many perspectives!

Four things to keep in mind that I think will help keep the discussion on track (i.e. civil):

  • Adoption is a personal subject for many people - birth families, adoptive families, and adopted children. Please remember that members of all three of these groups ARE reading your posts, even if they don't speak up.  So please be sensitive to that.
  • Don't call anyone out personally for their views.  Everyone gets to have an opinion, even if you (or I, for that matter!) think that it's wrong.  Sharing your own dissenting opinion is wonderful; asking civil questions is great; being rude is a no-go.
  • If someone is consistently raising your blood pressure, don't forget that PTV has a handy "ignore" feature.  If you don't know how to use it, my friend radishcake has a helpful post here that gives step-by-step instructions.
  • Finally, if you feel that someone else is being rude, please report it, and don't engage.

Cheers!

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28 minutes ago, NutMeg said:

  I'm just wondering if, despite all assumptions to the contrary, grandpa and grandma would not be overjoyed to have a grandkid to brighten their lives, even if initially they are shocked that the grandkid is not Asian. Maybe I'm naive, or projecting, but grandparents are often more open minded than we give credit for. My inlaws are from Eastern Europe, and I remember my then husband stressing before their visit that they  would not do/like this or that: they loved it all, were more adventurous with food than we could have dreamed of (and that their children that visited lated were) and really embraced the different lifestyle. So in conclusion, I'd say do what YOU feel is right for you, don't think too much about your ethnic community, they're not there each day in your house and at the end of the day they're likely to embrace what has worked for you.   

It's not just grandma and grandpa - they're easier to convince - but others within the community and those who still live in the old country.  Friends (of grandma and grandpa, and sometimes, even within your own generation) and the community at large.  Asian/black couples/families are often treated horribly (compared to, say, Asian/white or Asian/Asian (from another ethnic group) couples/families).  And since many in the community are used to seeing families that "fit" - an Asian/white couple with a child that looks neither Asian or white or mixed Asian/white OR an Asian/Asian couple with a non-Asian child - might get rude comments/be ostracized.  Family is very important to the communities in general, so being on one's own can be difficult. 

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6 hours ago, ShadowFacts said:

The old 'don't have sex until you are ready to raise a child' bromide has truth at its core but is not very helpful up against human nature/biology.  It's an ideal to shoot for, it's the best case scenario, but life is messy and mistakes happen. 

I agree that it's up against biology but "don't have unprotected sex until you're ready to raise a child," should be much easier for us to manage than the goal of abstinence.  I'm always struck by the difference between unmarried birth rates in the 40's and 50's (about 8%) and now (about 45%.)    The irony being they didn't have any sort of good birth control then and we have several types that are 99.9% effective now so what happened?  Why are so many more "mistakes," happening now? 

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1 minute ago, JudyObscure said:

I agree that it's up against biology but "don't have unprotected sex until you're ready to raise a child," should be much easier for us to manage than the goal of abstinence.  I'm always struck by the difference between unmarried birth rates in the 40's and 50's (about 8%) and now (about 45%.)    The irony being they didn't have any sort of good birth control then and we have several types that are 99.9% effective now so what happened?  Why are so many more "mistakes," happening now? 

Back then, there was huge social stigma against unwed mothers so they mostly didn't have sex until marriage.  There is still stigma out there, but not nearly as much.  More/most people married quite young back, younger than most do today, so today, with greater sexual freedom, greater sexual activity, and fewer early marriages, you end up with more children outside of marriage.  Plus, back then, women weren't in the workforce to the extent they are now.  Today, it is easier for women to get jobs and potentially raise a child as a single mother than it would have been back then.

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4 hours ago, PRgal said:

others within the community and those who still live in the old country.  

Not related to the adoption discussion but in my experience expats tend to cling to certain elements of their culture than in their native land. Language may gain an accent, clothes may change but by God elders will be respected.

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1 minute ago, romantic idiot said:

Not related to the adoption discussion but in my experience expats tend to cling to certain elements of their culture than in their native land. Language may gain an accent, clothes may change but by God elders will be respected.

Not just expats but immigrants and children of immigrants.  I'd say that this extends at least two generations, sometimes even more.  Though by the third generation, some traditions are a bit...bastardized/appropriated.  Heh.

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I acknowledged earlier that babies aren't actually "stolen" nowadays.  But doing a little more reading, that's not necessarily so, when it comes to biological fathers (even in some cases those married to the biological mothers!).  It appears that in the same way that Delaware is a haven for usurious credit card companies and shady shell corporations, Utah is the place to locate your adoption agency if you want to dangle financial carrots in front of pregnant women's faces and get them to give up their babies without the fathers' consent.

So can we all agree that Utah's law is wrong, and that more broadly these agencies should be outlawed?  Can we agree that the problem is that they are at least partially in the business of finding freshly minted babies to supply to well-heeled childless couples, rather than just being about finding parents for abandoned children?

On 12/4/2016 at 8:30 AM, Lady Calypso said:

@SlackerInc That NPR story is great, really. I think there should be more child care cases like this. I don't disagree that there needs to be change in this area to make child care more affordable to single mothers and women who want to also get an education. I don't think anyone disagrees with this. We're all with you on this. 

But adoption is not this evil thing, not always. There's always going to be that ugly side to any social issue, but it doesn't mean it's an overall bad thing. I know you pointed out in a previous post this remark:

I think that's the part that has me confused. I'm pro-choice (and a side note; I don't get why anyone ISN'T pro-choice. And also why it's only pro-choice and pro-life, since pro-choice can also be pro-life in some cases so shouldn't it just be called anti-choice?) so I don't think that abortion is the wrong way to go. But if people don't believe in abortion for their religious or moral reasons, and I know a lot of people who struggle with the idea of abortion, why is keeping their baby the only option? What if they made a mistake (which does happen), they get pregnant but they don't want to abort their baby but they also don't want to keep the baby? 

I'm just saying that the subject of adoption is complex.  I just don't like it being dehumanized and seemed like a bad thing because often, it can be the best case for the child. If a woman is forced to keep her child for whatever reason and she doesn't want it, then wouldn't that lead to more issues? Not all people are cut out to have children. And then we have to ask: do we force said women to get an abortion against their will because they don't want to keep it, therefore they have to abort it? Do we force these women and men (if they're involved) to care for a child that they don't even want but created after a mistake? I get that there's the stance that getting pregnant is not a mistake because you know the risks when having sex so don't have sex if you don't want to have a kid. But I do know people who have made mistakes and slipped up. 

I think this just leads to a slippery slope of what do we do if the parents are technically competent to raise the child, but they don't want to. That could lead to the child being neglected anyway. I'll search for some sources myself, but there are cases of child neglect because that's a real thing that happens. 

Of course it is.  And this is a prime reason why I very specifically said I wouldn't want it to be illegal for parents to give up their children for adoption, whatever the age of the child.  But I was talking about the social norms around this, not just legality.  As it stands, many (maybe even most) people applaud a woman's choice to give her child up for adoption if she is young and/or poor.  They say reassuring things about how the child will have a "better life" and maybe even allude to it being a boon to some childless couple pining to raise a child.  But they would not say the same thing if parents who are not in dire economic circumstances give their five year old up for adoption.  Nor would people be as supportive, I think, of an affluent woman or couple giving up a baby for adoption if they already have a three year old at home but say "we just really only want one kid". 

So even though I think people should still have this legal right, I would like to see it treated/viewed similarly if you're a low income 18 year old as it is in those other cases.  Not illegal, not something you should be fired over, not something people should scream at you in the street for.  But not something to encourage or celebrate either.  Does that make sense?

5 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

I agree that it's up against biology but "don't have unprotected sex until you're ready to raise a child," should be much easier for us to manage than the goal of abstinence.  I'm always struck by the difference between unmarried birth rates in the 40's and 50's (about 8%) and now (about 45%.)    The irony being they didn't have any sort of good birth control then and we have several types that are 99.9% effective now so what happened?  Why are so many more "mistakes," happening now? 

A lot of those cases nowadays are not really "mistakes".  In fact, a lot of them are really what used to be called "common law marriages", where the dad is around as well.  It's just that marriage has become something that mostly college-educated professionals, especially white ones, do on a routine basis.  Non-college educated folks often just have kids.  Even if the father and mother are together from conception to age eighteen, they may not get legally married.

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The statistics don't take into account that there are many couples who are together but not married.  I don't think it has anything to do with education levels.

When I stated in an earlier post that having children is not a right, I'm not saying that there should laws to prohibit it.  What I was saying (or trying to say) is that we each have a personal responsibility for the decisions we make as well as the consequences.  It's not a 'right' to expect government to take care of a child you cannot provide for.  Which in turn goes back to what a person thinks their 'rights' are in having a child.  OK.  Probably not the best explanation of this but hopefully some will get what I mean. 

This is a very sore subject for me because there are so many children, too many children, who are not getting what they deserve because of the choices of their parents.  Ten percent of sexually active persons don't use any sort of birth control.  Many more who are using birth control don't use it properly - including not using it every time they have sex or not taking oral contraceptives properly every day.  And not having access to contraceptives or declaring ignorance just doesn't fly today and I'm talking about the US.

Sure, accidents happen.  Unfortunately, most accidents happen because of lack of personal responsibility.  Parents have choices including abortion, adoption, morning after pills...  Hard choices?  For sure.  But that's the responsibility 'you' take on when you decide to have sex.  Just food for thought - when you're working at a job and 'get' pregnant do you get a you a raise?  So, why should it be different for a person on welfare?  Complicated topic.

Don't get me wrong.  Most people do take the responsibility of having a child very seriously and most, including myself, believe it's the most blessed experience of their life.  They also understand that providing for that child or those children limits the number of children they can bring into the world.  It so pains me that there are people who just don't care.  

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7 hours ago, breezy424 said:

This is a very sore subject for me because there are so many children, too many children, who are not getting what they deserve because of the choices of their parents.  Ten percent of sexually active persons don't use any sort of birth control.  Many more who are using birth control don't use it properly - including not using it every time they have sex or not taking oral contraceptives properly every day.  And not having access to contraceptives or declaring ignorance just doesn't fly today and I'm talking about the US.

(Bolding mine).  I agree, and that's why things like defunding Planned Parenthood are very sore subjects for me.  Makes no sense at all.  We can't rail against parents of children they can't raise properly when we aren't doing as much as possible to make contraception and education around it easily accessible.  The teen birth rate is at a record low, for many reasons including education and access to contraception, so we can take heart from that at least.  Why is the teen birth rate falling?

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You know, we have to remember that Randall's birth parents weren't teen addicts but adults.  I think this also highlights that not all children placed for adoption have parents who are still underage. 

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2 hours ago, PRgal said:

You know, we have to remember that Randall's birth parents weren't teen addicts but adults.  I think this also highlights that not all children placed for adoption have parents who are still underage. 

So true, but if education and accessibility work for teens, I think there's wider application to people in their twenties and beyond.  Fun fact:  Obamacare mandates contraceptive coverage and we all know where that's going.

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15 hours ago, SlackerInc said:

I acknowledged earlier that babies aren't actually "stolen" nowadays.  But doing a little more reading, that's not necessarily so, when it comes to biological fathers (even in some cases those married to the biological mothers!).  It appears that in the same way that Delaware is a haven for usurious credit card companies and shady shell corporations, Utah is the place to locate your adoption agency if you want to dangle financial carrots in front of pregnant women's faces and get them to give up their babies without the fathers' consent.

Yep.  I don't know if it was actually without the fathers' consents, but I know of two friends whose agency sent them to Utah to adopt.  Both couples who adopted-  they lived in one state, the adoption agency was in another, the birth mother in a 3rd state, and they all traveled to the state of Utah (so a fourth state) for the birth/adoption.  I asked my one friend why on earth a 37 week pregnant woman would fly from New England to Utah to give birth and is that really a good idea?  She said Utah is better for adoption because the birth mom doesn't have much time to change her mind.  I was appalled, though I am very pro-adoption. 

All of this happens while lining the pockets of the adoption agency and the state where the adoption is taking place. 

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18 hours ago, deaja said:

All of this happens while lining the pockets of the adoption agency and the state where the adoption is taking place. 

That sounds perilously close to baby selling. 

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I'm a bit torn about William being gay/bi.  On one hand, it's great to see a gay/bi character who is older (how often do we see gay characters over, say, 45?), but on the other, I kind of agree with some people that it's a bit political/there for "diversity."  I don't know.  I would have preferred if we already knew he was gay/bi from a much earlier episode. 

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1 minute ago, PRgal said:

I'm a bit torn about William being gay/bi.  On one hand, it's great to see a gay/bi character who is older (how often do we see gay characters over, say, 45?), but on the other, I kind of agree with some people that it's a bit political/there for "diversity."  I don't know.  I would have preferred if we already knew he was gay/bi from a much earlier episode. 

I don't know; they didn't seem to make a big deal out of him being gay at all, which is what they would have done if they did it to be political. I love that they just slipped in the reveal to the audience and used the revelation to Randall as a causal humourous moment. Nobody made a big deal about it; it just was.

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Just now, Lady Calypso said:

I don't know; they didn't seem to make a big deal out of him being gay at all, which is what they would have done if they did it to be political. I love that they just slipped in the reveal to the audience and used the revelation to Randall as a causal humourous moment. Nobody made a big deal about it; it just was.

Am I the odd one out for not thinking his orientation is that important?  I mean, the show could have presented it in a way where it was more, I don't know, pronounced.  But they didn't.  William is just a guy who loves someone and, at the end of his life, he has the chance to be reunited with that person.  What difference does it make if it is a man or a woman?

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3 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

Am I the odd one out for not thinking his orientation is that important?

Nope. I agree that it is unimportant and I don't think they could have mentioned earlier that William is gay or bi in an organic way. How would it have come up? He hadn't talked about all his past relationships, he's single and not dating or trying to date, so shoe-horning "by the way, I loved a man" would have been really weird. Running into him at a meeting was at least compliant with some sort of plotline.

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38 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

Am I the odd one out for not thinking his orientation is that important?  I mean, the show could have presented it in a way where it was more, I don't know, pronounced.  But they didn't.  William is just a guy who loves someone and, at the end of his life, he has the chance to be reunited with that person.  What difference does it make if it is a man or a woman?

If you watch the after show, Ron Cephas Jones' take on it is very similar to yours.  It is way beyond sexuality, and about deep love.   The two actors were the highlight of the episode for me.  Unbelievably good. 

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1 hour ago, Lady Calypso said:

I don't know; they didn't seem to make a big deal out of him being gay at all, which is what they would have done if they did it to be political. I love that they just slipped in the reveal to the audience and used the revelation to Randall as a causal humourous moment. Nobody made a big deal about it; it just was.

Yup.  That is what I loved about it too.  I like that the show presented in such a way that it doesn't merit any other meaning than the show simply revealing he has a present day love life. The gender of his lover is irrelevant.  The very manner in which they did it makes it clear they aren't trying to be political about it.  It also helps that Denis O'Hare commanded the scene so wonderfully.  I re-listened to his speech twice.  The anger, the shade (!) , the heartache, the sarcasm, the little hints of humor "Are you dying tonight?  Okay, tomorrow then?"    Oh he was just wonderful!

34 minutes ago, ShadowFacts said:

If you watch the after show, Ron Cephas Jones' take on it is very similar to yours.  It is way beyond sexuality, and about deep love.   The two actors were the highlight of the episode for me.  Unbelievably good. 

I finally did watch that and my interpretation of that was just like his.  I've heard more than one bisexual person say they fall in love with the person, not the gender.  I've even known one person who said she had no idea she was attracted to women until she'd met this woman who just did it for her!  And now they've been together for like 12 years.  So my own head wank was that Randall just connected with Jessie and that was it.  So yeah it was kinda gratifying to see his take on their relationship.

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If they had revealed he had a female lover, would people be complaining that it was shoehorned in, should have been shown earlier, isn't credible, seems out of place? I don't get what the objections are about, unless it's just about people not wanting to see any same sex love, which isn't a point of view I personally am sympathetic to.

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On 12/7/2016 at 4:10 PM, Lady Calypso said:

I don't get this sense. In fact, I think they handled it more casually than most shows do. The overall reveal to the audience was so casual and so nonchalant that I appreciate they didn't make a big deal out of it all. And the "Gramps is gay, or at least bi" seemed to be more out of humor, and a way to show Randall that he still doesn't know his biological father as well as he could. There's still a lot that they need to learn before William dies.

I think it's because having LGBTQ characters is treated as such a big deal that shows/films are still thinking that it's a bigger deal than it should be (in theory). What I mean is not that having LGBTQ characters aren't a small deal, but the way they're presented on TV shows and movies is. One day, hopefully soon, there won't be a need for a coming out storyline, or used as a "political" message. I hope I explained myself properly; I'm not quite sure if I did! I just think this show handled the reveal a lot better than most. It's just a casual "hey, this person is into guys AND girls. Ok? Got it? Ok, let's move on and get back to the story". 

 

On 12/7/2016 at 4:17 PM, ClareWalks said:

Even in this day and age, it seems like some people think any mention (no matter how brief or casual) of sexuality is somehow "pushing an agenda," which is frustrating for me as an ally and must be ten times more frustrating for the community. My MIL is always raving about how Ellen Degeneres is "shoving gayness in [her] face" by mentioning HER WIFE on the show. Like, "Portia and I went apple-picking last weekend," or something. I think making William have a former boyfriend show up was just another way for the writers to throw in multiple twists with one fell swoop. The writers cannot resist those twists ;)

 

3 hours ago, PRgal said:

I'm a bit torn about William being gay/bi.  On one hand, it's great to see a gay/bi character who is older (how often do we see gay characters over, say, 45?), but on the other, I kind of agree with some people that it's a bit political/there for "diversity."  I don't know.  I would have preferred if we already knew he was gay/bi from a much earlier episode. 

As a "bi bro", I do have to agree with those out in society who complain about the "agenda" being shoved down their throats.  I think a lot of people in "the community" make their entire existance about being gay, etc., and demand that others accept them while simultaneously decrying the rights of others to disagree.  

Personally speaking, that I sometimes bang and date dudes is definitely the least-interesting and least-defining thing about me.

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2 hours ago, possibilities said:

If they had revealed he had a female lover, would people be complaining that it was shoehorned in, should have been shown earlier, isn't credible, seems out of place? I don't get what the objections are about, unless it's just about people not wanting to see any same sex love, which isn't a point of view I personally am sympathetic to.

This^^^^^ exactly---!!!!!

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On 12/4/2016 at 10:09 PM, breezy424 said:

But at the same time they're 'expected' to help others by way of additional taxes to support those who don't take responsibility.  Don't get me wrong.  It's not the child's fault but at the same time, we have to change the attitude of the people who are having children that they're ill prepared to parent.

I'll be so happy when this antiquated idea dies for good. State legislatures are making it impossible for women to acquire birth control.  Planned Parenthood has been under fire for the last few years and most of what they do is provide birth control. If the "responsible" thing to do is not have more children than you can afford; why do state legislatures and the conservatives who vote for them make it impossible for women to get birth control?

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2 minutes ago, Drumpf1737 said:

I'll be so happy when this antiquated idea dies for good. State legislatures are making it impossible for women to acquire birth control.  Planned Parenthood has been under fire for the last few years and most of what they do is provide birth control. If the "responsible" thing to do is not have more children than you can afford; why do state legislatures and the conservatives who vote for them make it impossible for women to get birth control?

Trying very hard not to get on my soapbox, but I completely agree with you.  Why is it that so many of the politicians who oppose abortion also oppose easy access to inexpensive, or even free, birth control?

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12 minutes ago, Drumpf1737 said:

I'll be so happy when this antiquated idea dies for good. State legislatures are making it impossible for women to acquire birth control.  Planned Parenthood has been under fire for the last few years and most of what they do is provide birth control. If the "responsible" thing to do is not have more children than you can afford; why do state legislatures and the conservatives who vote for them make it impossible for women to get birth control?

This is simply not true.  Anyone can walk into any grocery store, pharmacy, or big box and get condoms, birth control, etc,. It is not the role of government to provide these things.  

If someone wants to have sex, then they need to pay for these things themselves.  As a tax payer I should not be paying for someone else's birth control pills, condoms, etc,. 

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9 minutes ago, Tiger said:

This is simply not true.  Anyone can walk into any grocery store, pharmacy, or big box and get condoms, birth control, etc,. It is not the role of government to provide these things.  

If someone wants to have sex, then they need to pay for these things themselves.  As a tax payer I should not be paying for someone else's birth control pills, condoms, etc,. 

No one said anything about the government paying for birth control. I said, state legislatures keep persecuting clinics and Planned Parenthood making it nearly impossible to operate, so they're closing. Unnecessary, expensive tests and horrific movies to scare women into having children they can't afford--then declaring women lazy and moochers for needing assistance; disgusting, amoral and unchristian is what it is. Texas just passed a law forcing women to bury their miscarried/aborted fetuses!

Quote

If a woman does not have access to birth control for herself (and I do agree that she should), there is no reason why she cannot tell a man that it's required of 'him'.  Deal breaker.

Suggesting adults shouldn't or aren't going to have sex is unrealistic. Condoms break and while no birth control is 100% women's birth control is a lot more effective than condoms.

Edited by Drumpf1737
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13 minutes ago, Drumpf1737 said:

I'll be so happy when this antiquated idea dies for good. State legislatures are making it impossible for women to acquire birth control.  Planned Parenthood has been under fire for the last few years and most of what they do is provide birth control. If the "responsible" thing to do is not have more children than you can afford; why do state legislatures and the conservatives who vote for them make it impossible for women to get birth control?

I agree with you that many state legislatures and conservatives do make it very difficult for women to acquire birth control but it does depend on the state where you live.  Planned Parenthood is a godsend for many woman.  For decades...  I applaud them.  As for those who oppose PP, I think it's mostly about abortion services.  My body, my choice.

On the other hand, there is easy access to condoms.  You can buy them easily.  You can walk into health centers and get them.  You can get them in many high school health offices.  You can get them in most college campus's health offices.  When my daughter was in college, I happened to be with her when she had to go to the health office because she was 'exposed' to something in a class.  Inside the door of the center was a basket filled with condoms for anyone to take.  BTW, she was tested and was OK....

If a woman does not have access to birth control for herself (and I do agree that she should), there is no reason why she cannot tell a man that it's required of 'him'.  Deal breaker.

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1 minute ago, Tiger said:

This is simply not true.  Anyone can walk into any grocery store, pharmacy, or big box and get condoms, birth control, etc,. It is not the role of government to provide these things.  

That's not exactly true.  Anyone can walk into a grocery store and buy condoms...and I think that's it (I've always had insurance that covered prescription birth control, so I'm not overly familiar with OTC forms beyond condoms).

Condoms are not full-proof.  They are pretty reliable when used correctly, but you'd be amazed how common it is for them not to be used properly (I was an AIDS peer educator in college and the "illusion" of condom reliability is something we talked about with surprising frequency).  They can also be very expensive if, well, you go through a lot of them.  I'm not talking about promiscuous teenagers--I'm talking about committed couples who, for whatever reason, don't have health insurance and condoms are their only available option.

No one is saying tax payers should be paying for other's birth control.  Birth control should be covered by health insurance and organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, which provide low-cost birth control, should not be threatened and legislated out of existence.

And if taxpayers are worried about money...$1000 for an IUD is a heck of a lot cheaper than $250,000 to raise a child to adulthood.  Not, of course, as if the taxpayers would be paying for it.

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22 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

Trying very hard not to get on my soapbox, but I completely agree with you.  Why is it that so many of the politicians who oppose abortion also oppose easy access to inexpensive, or even free, birth control?

Because they don't really oppose abortions -- many of their female relations have them [IOKIYAR].  The Sandra Flake testimony exposed them -- she was called a "slut" for using birth control to manage her endometriosis.  It's not about the babies (if it were, every fertility clinic would be shut down) but about controlling women.

2 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

Birth control should be covered by health insurance

The totally unconstitutional "Hobby Lobby" decision made even that harder.  (Scalia knew it was unconstitutional -- in his opinion statement, he said that Christians have the "religious freedom" to tell their employees what they can buy, but Jehovah Witnesses son't.)

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8 minutes ago, Tiger said:

This is simply not true.  Anyone can walk into any grocery store, pharmacy, or big box and get condoms, birth control, etc,. It is not the role of government to provide these things.  

If someone wants to have sex, then they need to pay for these things themselves.  As a tax payer I should not be paying for someone else's birth control pills, condoms, etc,. 

I do agree, like I've already stated, that birth control is readily available by using a condom. 

If I remember correctly, insurance companies are required by law (I could be wrong but the fact is most do because it saves them money in the long run) to fully cover birth control whether it be pills or an IUD. 

Should government cover it?  That's not their role.  But as Drump stated, there are legislators who vote and object to government funding of PP because they're 'anti abortion' and anti funding birth control.  That's not their call.  It's about the law, not their personal beliefs.

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Just now, breezy424 said:

 

If I remember correctly, insurance companies are required by law (I could be wrong but the fact is most do because it saves them money in the long run) to fully cover birth control whether it be pills or an IUD. 

 

Under the ACA, health insurance was supposed to cover birth control.  Then the Hobby Lobby decision that @jhlipton mentioned happened, saying that employers did not have to provide health insurance that covered birth control "for religious reasons."

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8 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

That's not exactly true.  Anyone can walk into a grocery store and buy condoms...and I think that's it (I've always had insurance that covered prescription birth control, so I'm not overly familiar with OTC forms beyond condoms).

Condoms are not full-proof.  They are pretty reliable when used correctly, but you'd be amazed how common it is for them not to be used properly (I was an AIDS peer educator in college and the "illusion" of condom reliability is something we talked about with surprising frequency).  They can also be very expensive if, well, you go through a lot of them.  I'm not talking about promiscuous teenagers--I'm talking about committed couples who, for whatever reason, don't have health insurance and condoms are their only available option.

No one is saying tax payers should be paying for other's birth control.  Birth control should be covered by health insurance and organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, which provide low-cost birth control, should not be threatened and legislated out of existence.

And if taxpayers are worried about money...$1000 for an IUD is a heck of a lot cheaper than $250,000 to raise a child to adulthood.  Not, of course, as if the taxpayers would be paying for it.

Condoms are reliable when used correctly.  The pill is reliable when used correctly.  Too many times (I'm coming from the POV that you have to be responsible) women do not use the pill responsibly. 

If you do have healthcare, I just looked it up, Obamacare requires insurance companies to cover birth control without copays. 

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4 minutes ago, breezy424 said:

Condoms are reliable when used correctly.  The pill is reliable when used correctly.  Too many times (I'm coming from the POV that you have to be responsible) women do not use the pill responsibly. 

If you do have healthcare, I just looked it up, Obamacare requires insurance companies to cover birth control without copays. 

Yes, Condoms are reliable *when used correctly.*  As I said above, that is not always the case (read page 2 of this: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/9313/9611/6384/truth_about_condoms.pdf One study reported 40% of the participants incorrectly using condoms over a 3 month period).  

The pill is also fairly reliable when used correctly--and as long as you don't take other medications (such as antibiotics).  Sometimes a doctor or pharmacist will catch an issue, but usually they won't.  Also, there are a number of women who cannot, for various reasons, take oral contraceptive medication.

And, as I said before, the ACA does have a requirement for birth control, but the Supreme Court gave employers a workaround with it.

Edited by OtterMommy
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10 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

Under the ACA, health insurance was supposed to cover birth control.  Then the Hobby Lobby decision that @jhlipton mentioned happened, saying that employers did not have to provide health insurance that covered birth control "for religious reasons."

http://obamacarefacts.com/2015/07/13/free-contraception-for-employees-at-exempt-employers/

Certainly not easy but there are ways around it.  And, I admittedly don't know the statistics, how many companies are actually using this excuse?   In any case, there is easy access to condoms and it's your responsibility to use one responsibly.  There is easy access to the morning after pill at a drug store.  This comes back to personal responsibility.  Having sex is a responsibility.  If you don't want to become pregnant, whether you're a man or woman, you are responsible.  'You' have to deal with it.  Grow up.  It's not my responsibility.  It's yours.

It's interesting that many states passed laws regarding stopping increased welfare payments when a person on welfare has additional children.  One would think legislature of this type would have an impact.  Generally, it hasn't.  Says a lot about the attitude that can be involved here. 

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16 minutes ago, breezy424 said:

This comes back to personal responsibility.  Having sex is a responsibility.  If you don't want to become pregnant, whether you're a man or woman, you are responsible.  'You' have to deal with it.  Grow up.  It's not my responsibility.  It's yours.

 

And what if it isn't "having sex."  What if its rape? I'm not saying women should have birth control in case they are raped.  But an all-or-nothing attitude, unfortunately, leaves a lot of people with no options.  

Sadly, we live in a society where there are too many people who don't even understand what rape is.  Whether it is the Brock Turner's of the world or the guy who thinks a girl wearing a short skirt is asking for it--and we can talk about how men need to be responsible as well (and they do!), but in the end it is the woman who has to face the consequences.

The thing is that taxpayers do not pay for birth control, but birth control is not free (even the bowl of condoms sitting at the health center were paid by someone--possibly the university, but more likely the doctors at the clinic.  And, honestly, those are probably not the best condoms to use.  If they've been sitting out and exposed to daylight, even in their wrappers, they could still be compromised.  There is a reason why it is best to keep condoms in the box, in a drawer).  

Ack, honestly, I'm not sure how we all ended up down this bunny trail.  Adoption?  The Kate/Toby quickie?  I can't remember.  I guess all I'm saying is that the question of birth control and reproductive rights is far too complicated for it to be dealt with by saying "grow up and take responsibility."

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5 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

And what if it isn't "having sex."  What if its rape? I'm not saying women should have birth control in case they are raped.  But an all-or-nothing attitude, unfortunately, leaves a lot of people with no options.  

Sadly, we live in a society where there are too many people who don't even understand what rape is.  Whether it is the Brock Turner's of the world or the guy who thinks a girl wearing a short skirt is asking for it--and we can talk about how men need to be responsible as well (and they do!), but in the end it is the woman who has to face the consequences.

The thing is that taxpayers do not pay for birth control, but birth control is not free (even the bowl of condoms sitting at the health center were paid by someone--possibly the university, but more likely the doctors at the clinic.  And, honestly, those are probably not the best condoms to use.  If they've been sitting out and exposed to daylight, even in their wrappers, they could still be compromised.  There is a reason why it is best to keep condoms in the box, in a drawer).  

Ack, honestly, I'm not sure how we all ended up down this bunny trail.  Adoption?  The Kate/Toby quickie?  I can't remember.  I guess all I'm saying is that the question of birth control and reproductive rights is far too complicated for it to be dealt with by saying "grow up and take responsibility."

Rape is a totally different subject and has nothing to do with it.  As you said.

I don't think it's an all or nothing attitude.  Condoms are an option.  If you don't like the condoms left at the college clinic, then you can buy better and I disagree that the condoms in the high school or college are paid by the doctors.  Maybe in a few cases but high schools and colleges are more educated than that.  Sex isn't free or a right.  But I do think they're are options.

Why is birth control and reproductive rights far too complicated than to grow up and take responsibility?  Ignorance?  Ninety seven percent of Americans have a TV.  Then there's school.  There's a lot of excuses going on. 

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Just now, breezy424 said:

 

Why is birth control and reproductive rights far too complicated than to grow up and take responsibility?  Ignorance?  Ninety seven percent of Americans have a TV.  Then there's school.  There's a lot of excuses going on.  

That's not what I said.  What I said was to wrap up all the issues around birth control and reproductive rights into a pithy "it's your responsibility" is unrealistic.  Yes, people are responsible for their own actions and I'm not denying that.  But you also can't say that this is all a personal responsibility issue and then hand-wave away issues of sexual assault and say, "oh, well, THAT is different."  It would be nice if it were different, but in reality it is all tied together.

And expecting people to learn about birth control from TV or sex ed in school (unless the sex ed offered now is VASTLY different than what it was when I was in school) is unrealistic--I *think* it is still the policy in my state to teach only abstinence (just checked...apparently in my state sex ed in public school only "promotes" abstinence, but can "mention" other forms).  Unless informed parents or other adults sit down and talk to young people about all the facets of this issue, the information is not going to get out there.  

I'm just curious for anyone who took sex ed in school....did any of you receive instruction about how to properly use a condom?  I don't mean someone telling you...I mean someone giving you a condom and, um, something to practice on?  Honestly, I've never heard of anyone having that in sex ed.  When I was training in AIDS education, we went through that--but that training was done by medical professionals and was not affiliated with a school.  Oh, and it had nothing to do with birth control....  Anyway, *properly* using a condom is not as straightforward as one would think.

Finally, I think going with this "it's your responsibility.  Grow up" line is, I'm sorry, judgmental.   It assumes that every sexual encounter between two people is 100% consensual and both people are completely aware of all the options and consequences.  Again, it would be nice if that were the case but, sadly, it is not.

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I did. We practiced on bananas after the teacher showed us. I also know this was taught in the life skills class for the students in special needs. I was in 8th grade and I graduated in 2001. It's honestly the only thing I remember from sex ed.

My parents did have to sign a release form for me to take it. 

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