Home studies and myths

May 28, 2012

I made mention of home studies in a comment I wrote last night to Bill Keller’s piece on how Supreme Court Justice Kennedy might handle a same-sex marriage case.

I don’t object at all to home studies in the adoption context.  Where I think the animus behind the first half of my comment came from was actually the talk I went to in April by Martin Guggenheim, a law professor at NYU.  (I mentioned it here and here.)  He made the point that we Americans claim we as a society love and care about children generally, but that we don’t (if you look at our behavior, for instance), that it’s just a myth we put out there — we may care about our own and some other people’s children but we don’t generally care about everybody’s children, especially the children of people we deem different from ourselves — “those people’s children,” is the way I think he put it.  Hearing that made a lot of facts I have had trouble piecing together fall into place.  I think Prof. Guggenheim came to his conclusion as the result of his professional work in the field, so I was less worried I was just hearing a distortion resulting from personal issues.

I guess what I was wishing in the context of Bill Keller’s column was that he, too, would not allow people to take cover behind empty platitudes about concern over children’s welfare.

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2 Responses to “Home studies and myths”

  1. Richard Says:

    Today’s paper had an article about the current state of feminism incl. gender equality
    I was surprised in reading the comments at how ofter the difficulties with child care came up. As a society we show no respect for accomodations which should be made either in the private sector or public. The same issues which were debated 20 years ago still exist. It’s the” figure it out and good luck!” mentality to supporting one another when it comes social and child welfare needs

    • Diana Moses Says:

      I think we also screen what gets reported out (about social and child welfare needs) in the media through a filter of conformity or something analogous — we usually hear about those who have managed successfully or who have a story arc we are comfortable with — kind of like history through the eyes of the victor.


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