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[DRAFT] Adopting A New Culture

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Frieden-und Freudenland
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[DRAFT] Adopting A New Culture

Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:11 am

Hello everyone!

This issue is loosely based on the controversies that emerge in Europe every now and then, when the child of an immigrant family gets adopted by a local family. One of those controversies concerns religion, i.e. the question of what happens if a, say, Christian family adopts the child of a Muslim family and they want to raise the child as a Christian. (edit: the religion issue has been removed in the 2nd draft. Now it's about allegations of cultural assimilation) We've had a little discussion about this in the Writers' Block a few days ago. (starting from: viewtopic.php?p=32131232#p32131232 )

Draft 2
[description]a Gallopavian immigrant couple sparked a discussion in @@NAME@@ when they violently criticized the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ adoption system on live TV. They said that their child had been forcibly taken away from them on dubious allegations of physical abuse and given up for adoption to a @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ couple, as part of a systematic assimilation campaign.

[validity] allows immigration, corporal punishment illegal

1. [option]"I think we both know what is going on here," grumbles @@RANDOMNAME@@, a Gallopavian community leader from @@CAPITAL@@. "The @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ State is subjecting our children to cultural assimilation! Look at the case of little Emela here, who was mercilessly separated from her parents just because her parents had her ears pierced for earrings, as is common in their culture. How is this physical abuse? Give Emela back to her real parents and implement stringent criteria for defining what counts as abuse, so your Child Protection Services cannot abuse the system to assimilate our children!"
[effect]police officers cannot arrest parents who claim that bruises are made for cosmetic purposes in their culture

2. [option]"Cultural assimilation? Are you kidding me?" yells @@RANDOMNAMEFEMALE@@, the adoptive mother, hugging the little baby who is wearing a bodysuit with the colors of the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ flag. "If you mistreat your child, you forfeit your parental rights. As simple as that." Throwing a sidelong glance at the Gallopavian community leader, she continues. "By the way, her name is Amelia now, not Emela."
[effect]@@NAME@@ boasts of having the highest number of multicultural families in @@REGION@@

3. [option]"I think there is an easy solution to this," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Demographics, extending @@HIS@@ pointing stick and tapping it on a flowchart. "If a child from Ethnicity A is abused and given up for adoption to a family from Ethnicity B, this will cause a strife, because members of Ethnicity A will accuse you of trying to assimilate them. But if you make it mandatory that kids can be adopted only by families that share their own cultural background, assimilation will be out of question!"
[effect]poor orphans with an immigration background are condemned to be adopted by poor immigrants

4. [option]"This is nice, but does not go far enough!" yells @@RANDOMNAME@@, the Gallopavian ambassador to @@CAPITAL@@, who is known for @@HIS@@ strong anti-@@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ sentiments. "Our children are forced to be educated in your nation's schools, indoctrinated with your nation's ideology, taught your nation's language! You should allow us to build our own schools here and appoint our own Gallopavian teachers, so that our children will not be estranged from their cultural heritage."
[effect]kids of immigrants have poor occupational prospects due to their inability to speak the official language



[description]an ultra-religious Violetist Marche Noirian immigrant family sparked a discussion in @@NAME@@ when they violently criticized the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ adoption system on live TV. They said that their child had been taken away from them due to parental neglect and given up for adoption to a @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ couple, who have allegedly "converted" the child to @@FAITH@@. The biological parents are furious, since they view the conversion as "apostasy," which is an unforgivable sin for Violetists.

[validity]must allow immigrants, must have a national religion, (maybe corporal punishment for children must be illegal, too?)

1. [option]"These heathens will bring eternal damnation upon the soul of our offspring," cries @@RANDOMNAMEFEMALE@@, the biological mother of the child, compulsively counting her rosary beads and muttering a prayer that you don't understand. "Our child was born into a devout Violetist family, which makes her a Violetist and she must be raised as a Violetist. But I've heard that her adoptive parents converted her to @@FAITH@@! @@LEADER@@, this is unacceptable, you must require adoptive parents to respect the heritage religion of the child they're adopting."
[effect]adopted children are trying to understand why they don't receive gifts on religious festivals

2. [option]"Excuse me, but I think you forfeited your right to make decisions about your child's future when you mistreated her," snaps @@RANDOMNAMEFEMALE@@, the adoptive mother, while she anoints the unsuspecting toddler's head with a rafflesia-scented oil. "She is now our child, and she will be raised as a firm believer in @@FAITH@@. @@LEADER@@, you should allow legal parents to choose what religion their child will adopt."
[effect]children have to wait until they reach the age of majority to renounce their parents' religion

3. [option]"I think there is an easy solution to this," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Demographics, extending @@HIS@@ pointing stick and tapping it on a flowchart. "If the child of a family that follows Religion A is adopted by a family that follows Religion B, this controversy will ensue. But if we only allow people to adopt children who are from their own ethnic and religious community, there will be no clash of religions. It's probably good for cultural diversity, too!"
[effect]poor orphans with an immigration background are condemned to be adopted by poor immigrants

4. [option]"I can't believe what I'm hearing!" yells @@RANDOMNAME@@, a fanatical atheist, wearing a T-shirt with the caption God is Dead. "How can you allow people to brainwash their little kids with their religious claptrap? I say stop the religious indoctrination of kids at once and punish the parents who force their own stupid beliefs on children. Give these kids an education free from unscientific myths, and I am sure they will make the right decision about what faith to adopt once they're adults."
[effect]parents who say "God bless you!" to their sneezing kids face paying a fine


As always, comments, questions and suggestions for change are welcome :)
Last edited by Frieden-und Freudenland on Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Australian Republic
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Postby Australian Republic » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:23 am

This is really that big a problem? If you're so concerned about how your kids raised, why adopt them out? But anyway, the fact is that they do. There should be an option to teach kids both systems and let them make up their own minds. Too obvious?
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Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:30 am

Australian Republic wrote:This is really that big a problem? If you're so concerned about how your kids raised, why adopt them out?


Well in this case the state took them due to parental neglect. Then they were given up for adoption. The biological parents are not always happy with this, and some of them claim that this is a systematic attempt to assimilate them (talking about the issue IRL). But I believe the main reason is that many Turks condone quite a lot of domestic violence as normal - which is understandably a big no-no in Europe. If you abuse your child like that, the Child Protection Services are sure to be notified by someone who witnesses and abhors it.

But anyway, the fact is that they do. There should be an option to teach kids both systems and let them make up their own minds. Too obvious?


I guess the problem is not that it is too obvious, but that it is only minimally different from the other options.

1. make the child Violetist
2. make the child a follower of @@FAITH@@
3. make sure the child of a family believing in religion A is adopted by a family that also believes in religion A (sidestep option)
4. make kids "irreligious" until they become adults (no indoctrination)

Your suggestion is like a cross between 1&2 and the atheist option. Let kids decide when they grow up, but let them decide between two specific religions, not between atheism vs. any religion they pick.

Only a more restricted version of that.

Plus, it can be too conciliatory here, and too obviously the least controversial option.

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Postby Furbish Islands » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:31 am

I like it so far, but I'd change the outcome in option 4 to:
adults who say "God bless you!" to sneezing kids must pay a fine for "forcing their religious beliefs" on them


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Last edited by Furbish Islands on Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:39 am

Yep, agree with Aussie. It's an odd system where parents whose kids have been taken into care have any say on who their kids go to. Can you imagine? It'd leave it open for a child abuser to phone out from his prison cell and say that he's only happy for his kid to be raised by someone who will continue the abuse.

There's a kernel of an interesting idea here, but I'd be inclined to make it more about race and culture than religion, and to have the biological parents be out of the picture.

Instead have it be a boy from a Bigtopian background being assigned to adoptive parents of Maxtopian ethnicity, and (without naming specific colours, but perhaps alluding to different skin colour within the liberal speaker's option) have some sort of Bigtopian cultural preservers arguing that the boy should only have been placed with a Bigtopian family.

Something like:

situation - Bigtopian boy called (insert African sounding name) has been placed in Maxtopian family. Some Bigtopians are claiming that he is losing his cultural identity.
1: Bigtopians argue for matching children to their own cultural and ethnic groups only.
2: Maxtopians saying that placements should be colour-blind, and by the way they're renaming the boy (insert posh English name).
3: Some expensive compromise involving regulation and cultural training etc.
4: Some crazy option.
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Postby Australian Republic » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:40 am

Frieden-und Freudenland wrote:
Australian Republic wrote:This is really that big a problem? If you're so concerned about how your kids raised, why adopt them out?


Well in this case the state took them due to parental neglect. Then they were given up for adoption. The biological parents are not always happy with this, and some of them claim that this is a systematic attempt to assimilate them (talking about the issue IRL). But I believe the main reason is that many Turks condone quite a lot of domestic violence as normal - which is understandably a big no-no in Europe. If you abuse your child like that, the Child Protection Services are sure to be notified by someone who witnesses and abhors it.

Hmmm, that's interesting. The conspiracy theory behind this is similar to the Stolen Generation in Australia where Aboriginal children were forcably taken from their parents and forced to assimilate into Anglo Australian culture, and were punished for speaking their own languages and/or practicing their own faiths. I think it even went as far as trying to breed them with white people so that after enough generations, they will be completley white. History had some truely horrible practices in it. I'm not sure if you want to adopt that angle, though...
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Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:46 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:Yep, agree with Aussie. It's an odd system where parents whose kids have been taken into care have any say on who their kids go to. Can you imagine? It'd leave it open for a child abuser to phone out from his prison cell and say that he's only happy for his kid to be raised by someone who will continue the abuse.

There's a kernel of an interesting idea here, but I'd be inclined to make it more about race and culture than religion, and to have the biological parents be out of the picture.

Instead have it be a boy from a Bigtopian background being assigned to adoptive parents of Maxtopian ethnicity, and (without naming specific colours, but perhaps alluding to different skin colour within the liberal speaker's option) have some sort of Bigtopian cultural preservers arguing that the boy should only have been placed with a Bigtopian family.

Something like:

situation - Bigtopian boy called (insert African sounding name) has been placed in Maxtopian family. Some Bigtopians are claiming that he is losing his cultural identity.
1: Bigtopians argue for matching children to their own cultural and ethnic groups only.
2: Maxtopians saying that placements should be colour-blind, and by the way they're renaming the boy (insert posh English name).
3: Some expensive compromise involving regulation and cultural training etc.
4: Some crazy option.


Alright, I'll take note of that, and thanks for the suggestion. :)


Just asking, do you think the premise in the current draft would work better if the adopted child was somewhat older (say, 12)?

The child would be old enough to know about her biological parents' religion and might already be taking part in some religious rituals (going to a church or a mosque, praying the way her parents taught her, etc.)?

And maybe not the biological parents, but also the leaders/scholars of the Holy Order of Violet could speak in favor of the child keeping her biological parents' faith?

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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:50 am

I think a young child works best, as that excludes the need and possibility for an easy get-out of "ask the child". In fact, making them a couple of years old would take out any idea that they already have a personally-determined culture, religion or group identity, leaving it a question of whether there is such a thing as "inherent culture".
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Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:09 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:I think a young child works best, as that excludes the need and possibility for an easy get-out of "ask the child". In fact, making them a couple of years old would take out any idea that they already have a personally-determined culture, religion or group identity, leaving it a question of whether there is such a thing as "inherent culture".


OK, let's make it about cultural assimilation then. (with a young child)

Do you think I should let the biological parents speak in this case? Or would a community leader be better?
Last edited by Frieden-und Freudenland on Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:20 am

I think leaving the biological parents out of the picture is best, as it keeps the moral question simpler.
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Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:35 am

Alright, the new draft is up.

I thought I should provide a legitimate (albeit dubious) reason for the child to become adopted, because if I present a case that is much similar to the case of the Stolen Generation in Australia, it will be too obvious that @@NAME@@ is attempting a cultural/racial assimilation here. The argument has to be more subtle here, we should be able to frown upon the practice of @@DEMONYMPLURAL@@ adopting Gallopavian kids (yep, I tried to use it here), but at the same time we should also have reservations about not taking the kids away, because there should be some kind of indication that the parents might actually be abusing the kid. (I first thought of parents tattooing the kid, but then I thought it might be too much, and changed it to piercing the ears for wearing earrings. What do you think? Or maybe should I put the effect line --- bruises for culture --- into Option 1 here? Maybe it still doesn't sound like there is a physical abuse going on...)

I named the child "Emela," mainly because I did not want to use a Turkish name. It appears that this name is used in the Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.) though it is rare. It appears to be related to the Turkish name "Emel" though, which in turn is related to the Arabic name "Amal." (as you might know from Amal Clooney, the Lebanese-British wife of George Clooney).

Amelia is an English name of Latin origin and sounds like "Emela," but there is no etymological connection between the two.
Last edited by Frieden-und Freudenland on Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:59 am

bump for draft 2 - (this had fallen back to page 2)

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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:55 am

[description]a Gallopavian immigrant couple sparked a discussion in @@NAME@@ when they violently criticized the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ adoption system on live TV. They said that their child had been forcibly taken away from them on dubious allegations of physical abuse and given up for adoption to a @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ couple, as part of a systematic assimilation campaign.


It seems to be unnecessary to frame the issue within a discussion being sparked, and then deciding what to do in response to a discussion. Just describe the situation, and let the discussion be shown in the options, not described as having happened.

I note that you've moved this from being an issue about whether its right to place someone with a family outside their own ethnic grouping, and instead into the realm of children being taken away by the state for the purposes of enforced cultural assimilation.

My concern here is that doesn't work so well as an emerging issue. A more compelling and believable narrative would be if such acts occurred in the past, and the now grown up forced adoptees were seeking redress for the wrongs done to them.
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Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:44 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:
[description]a Gallopavian immigrant couple sparked a discussion in @@NAME@@ when they violently criticized the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ adoption system on live TV. They said that their child had been forcibly taken away from them on dubious allegations of physical abuse and given up for adoption to a @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ couple, as part of a systematic assimilation campaign.


It seems to be unnecessary to frame the issue within a discussion being sparked, and then deciding what to do in response to a discussion. Just describe the situation, and let the discussion be shown in the options, not described as having happened.


Alright, I can take care of that. :)

I note that you've moved this from being an issue about whether its right to place someone with a family outside their own ethnic grouping, and instead into the realm of children being taken away by the state for the purposes of enforced cultural assimilation.

My concern here is that doesn't work so well as an emerging issue. A more compelling and believable narrative would be if such acts occurred in the past, and the now grown up forced adoptees were seeking redress for the wrongs done to them.


Hmm, OK. I believe we might have a misunderstanding here. I am actually not trying to create a situation where the state is deliberately running a campaign to assimilate minority children through adoption. That is why I tried to fend off the suggestion that this situation could be similar to the forcible removal of Australian Aboriginal children from their homes and their subsequent transfer to white adoptive parents.

I still want my focus to be "trans-racial/cross-cultural" adoption, where a child from Ethnicity A is placed under the care of an adoptive family from Ethnicity B, regardless of whether the motivations for doing so are legitimate or not.

Bears Armed mentioned in the Writers' Block that cross-cultural adoptions were not allowed (or perhaps avoided as much as one is able to?) in the UK, possibly for the sake of multiculturalism. (Though I found a Guardian article that suggested "creating a sense of belonging in children" as another powerful incentive to give kids over to people from the same ethnic group) If one claims that trans-racial adoptions are bad for multiculturalism, I think one leaves the door open for criticisms that "a government that allows trans-racial adoptions condones or even actively supports cultural assimilation."

The crucial difference to the Stolen Generations in Australia here is that we have no solid reason to accuse the government of, say the UK, of trying to assimilate racial/ethnic minorities via adoption. If an English couple adopts a Pakistani child, we really don't have a reason to suspect that the UK is trying to assimilate Pakistanis in this way, do we?

The same goes for the adoptions of Turkish kids in the Netherlands and Germany. But this does not stop our politicians and some resentful biological parents in those countries from suggesting that they are really being subjected to assimilation. (I don't believe in assimilation claims, but I acknowledge that some preconceptions against Turks might play a role here. Maybe it makes the Child Protection Services more likely to give credence to claims that a Turkish family abuses their children, compared to claims that a Dutch or German family abuses their children, I don't know.)

So your narrative suggestion ("grown up forced adoptees were seeking redress for the wrongs done to them") would make sense in a context where we have a story similar to what happened in Australia, but I believe it is not compatible with the premise I have in mind.

I don't want this to be about enforced cultural assimilation, rather I want to make this more controversial - I want the readers to be unable to decide which side is right. If I insert statements that clearly show that the state intends to perpetrate an assimilation of this kind, there will be no reason to support the state (except for a racist option that defends the extermination of the Gallopavians).

In my discussion about this conflict I have pointed out that I believed some of this conflict arose from cultural differences, i.e. some Turkish parents may think it is OK to beat their children as a form of punishment, but this is not viewed as a legitimate way of disciplining your child in Europe - so what an immigrant sees as his/her inherent right as a parent, may be perceived as downright child abuse by a European government, and they can take the immigrant child away.

Here we can give credit to both sides. On the one hand you find the immigrant parents who have possibly had a harsh upbringing themselves, and for whom corporal punishment is just normal. When their child is taken from them for this reason, they perceive the reason as trivial, and conclude that this must just be a pretext to take their child away. Then the conspiracy theory follows: "They take our children to assimilate them, to convert them to Christianity, to make them speak Dutch!" etc. etc.

From the perspective of the government, the family has just been abusing their child, and now, by resorting to arguments of cultural assimilation in an atmosphere where such topics are very sensitive and immediately receive public attention, they are trying to sway public opinion in their favor. They want to downplay the role corporal punishment played in the adoption process, and instead direct attention to the fact that their child has been given to a family from the dominant ethnic group.

I think there is a more balanced story here. (Pure enforced assimilation with uncontroversial malice can be the topic of a different issue, of course). I also tried to make both sides more or less equally unreliable, e.g. we have some indication that the biological parents might be abusing the child. (I know piercing the ears of the child to make her wear earrings sounds very trivial/silly here. I don't want to write an issue about FGM either, because this is the opposite situation - it is clearly a form of abuse. Plus, we have already had a similar issue on male circumcision, so I don't want to linger on this same thematic domain.)

I think I will say that the parents have "tattooed their child" for cultural purposes. Tattooing a small child has previously been prosecuted as child abuse. http://globalnews.ca/news/2639315/coupl ... -by-force/

Also, there are some cultures where it is culturally significant to have tattoos. To be fair, in those cultures this is often a rite of passage into adulthood, so they do not tattoo very young children but instead adolescents. Yet it is not unimaginable for me to have a culture that requires parents to tattoo some cultural/religious symbols on their children's bodies, perhaps even when they are little infants.

So while the Gallopavian parents dismiss "tattooing their kid" as a legitimate reason to place their kids under the protection of the state (and subsequently to give them to an adoptive family), the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ government might well view it as abuse.

On the other hand, I tried to put some clues here and there that indicate that the government is not completely innocent either, e.g. the adoptive family has renamed the child, for instance.

Don't you think this premise works?

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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:10 am

It's all about the overall weight of the presentation within the issue. As I said, I think it'll work best if you keep it as one question, presented briefly, with no complications from deliberate cultural assimilation, or parents having their children taken away dubiously. Both those things open up completely separate issues.

I'd simply make it a toddler who has been in a care home being placed with an adoptive family of different ethnicity and culture, and then weighing up the pros and cons of this.
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Postby Frieden-und Freudenland » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:25 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:It's all about the overall weight of the presentation within the issue. As I said, I think it'll work best if you keep it as one question.


Well, OK, I think this is a fair criticism, because the issue does have 2 intertwined questions that might be making the issue look like it doesn't have a clear focus:

1) Should we allow immigrant parents to engage in cultural practices that we would normally view as child abuse? (e.g. tattooing a young child)

2) Should we allow members of the dominant ethnicity to adopt minority kids, or would that be assimilation?

Having two core questions might be dispreferred.

Fair enough. I'll get back with a draft that focuses on the second question in a few days. :)

Thanks!


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