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The Forgotten Children

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ok, so it's more the forgotten child in this case, but I think it's still a greater point worth thinking about.

MamaBean and I've been emailing a bit today talking about this whole Anna Nicole Smith fiasco. There's been talk now about the number of drugs that were in her system not only when she died of an overdose, but also while she was pregnant with her daughter Dannie. What strikes me is that so much media attention is being paid to how Anna died, who gets her body and who gets her money. Sure, there's going to be a custody battle over little Dannie, but am I the only one that thinks whoever gets Dannie needs to know that ALL of that money is going into a trust fund that can't be touched by anyone but Dannie until she turns 21?

Wonder how many people would still be fighting for her then?

I see the same thing with the Britney Spear / Kevin Federline custody battle. I mean really...did you ever think you'd find yourself saying "yep, those kids are probably WAY better off with Kfed?"

I could cry for those kids. Not just for the kids of celebrities, but for all kids caught in nasty custody battles. For the child in the case I wrote about last month where the mom is nursing, but the dad insists on keeping baby for full weekends. The mom can't pump enough and her supply is failing due to the separation.

Even apart from custody battles, I see this...this focus on the parents and absolute ignorance about how things might impact the kids. My mom was telling me today about a news story she saw. A couple had intrauterine insemination and the wrong sperm was used. The baby is black. The parents are not. In a statement about the law suit that they've filed (and hey, I TOTALLY back a lawsuit in that case) the parents are quoted as saying "we love our child, but every time we look at her, we're reminded that she's not our daughter."

Can you imagine growing up and looking back on those news stories as a teen or even as an adult and reading a quote like that from your parents? (And let me make the obvious point that it was IUI, not IVF so the child actually IS the biological offspring of the mother.)

I've written about the fact that Lactivism needs to be about fighting for the rights of children rather than the rights of mothers. I strongly believe that and I honestly don't think we'll see real progress until we manage to make that point. That's fine and dandy for us lactivists and our own causes...but I just don't know how far we're going to go in life when society (and parents) places so little value on our kids.

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  1. Anonymous Michelle | 7:55 AM |  

    Jennifer, I couldn't agree more. A similar story that had me outraged was the recent one about the failed abortion where the mother was suing the abortion doctor because he didn't do the job right and she ended up having the baby. She wanted the doctor to pay for the child's life until age 21 or something like that (plus emotional damages, of course). I can't even imagine what kind of childhood that little one will have. Nothing quite like knowing that your mom tried to abort you.

  2. Blogger Judy | 8:21 AM |  

    As far as the Dannielynn custody thing goes, I'm sure whoever gets her could get some sweet loans until they get to the money, and the will is a mess so that's all up in the air. Anna Nicole willed everything to her son who died already and did not rewrite the will for her daughter.

    As far as your bigger point, babies and kids are lifestyle tools. It's hard to talk about these things because someone always takes it personally, but having children or not having children is seen as a right now. Who cares if someone else will raise them? It's your right to have kids. If the timing isn't right you can abort. Not that birth control in itself is wrong, but it has contributed to the idea that babies are something to be prevented instead of celebrated. Individual lives aren't valued for themselves anymore.

    I usually don't try to promote my personal blog becuase there's no reason to do so, but I think this entry (http://judybright.livejournal.com/117355.html) about the woman who had a baby with her dead husbands sperm is related to your topic today.

  3. Blogger Mommy's Getaway | 9:23 AM |  

    Jennifer,
    You bring up some very good points. No matter what these parents are doing to each other, the person(s) who suffer the most are the kids.

    I try everyday to remember that everything I do affects my kids in some way.

    It has now become the 'in' thing to do if you are a celebrity...adopting or giving birth, if you have a kid then you are in the 'in crowd'. That isn't the way it is for all of the celebrities but the ones who get the most amount of media attention, sadly it is true. It is like the phase of the chihuahuas in the purse.

    I feel so incredibly sad for the Spears/Federline kids - to have to know what their parents did to themselves and each other when the kids become older - it is just going to devastate them.
    Tamara

  4. Blogger Lesley | 12:34 PM |  

    I was in the field as an early childhood educator for over 6 years before giving birth, and I saw way too many kids being caught in the cross fire of divorce. The kids were being pulled back and forth, no one was really listening to what the kids wanted out of the whole thing, parents were bad mouthing their former partners to us (the staff) in front of the children...it was a mess. So many times we saw parents putting their own hurts and interests above their own and it makes me sick.

  5. Blogger MamaBean | 1:41 PM |  

    I think one of the things that bugged me most about Smith was the thought of her breastfeeding her child with all that crap in her system. Or maybe she didn't bf and her child was missing out on all the benefits of mama's milk. Though in this case maybe formula was a lot safer!

    You know, before I had kids I never really thought much about the subject except for maybe a passing "wow, poor kids". Now that I have my own sweet little innocent that seems so fragile I find myself appalled, outraged, and extremely upset for the fate of these children who never asked to be brought into the world or situation. Maybe Brad and Angelina should start adopting Hollywood babies . . .

    (kidding people)

  6. Blogger Judy | 8:06 PM |  

    Uhhh, Mama Bean, I doubt her breasts were, ummmmm, functional.

  7. Blogger MamaBean | 11:41 AM |  

    lol! So true. Oh that poor poor child. :-(

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