“Adoption and self-determinism”


When is the last time something struck you as being funny? Finding humor in daily circumstances adds joy to our lives. “A man on a raft paddles away” by Edward Steed is a highly amusing cartoon because it epitomizes self-determinism, independent behavior, and freedom of choice. Which character are you?

Self-determinism is a basic God-given right and a natural freedom inherent in all people, regardless of the circumstances under which we live. Greek philosophers identified self-determinism as the capacity to manage one’s own affairs, make one’s own judgments, provide for oneself, and the independent determination of one’s own fate and course of action; the power and the ability to make a decision for oneself without intimidation, constraint, compulsion, influence from the outside, and immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority; an ancient doctrine based on the concept of a free will and the principle that everyone has the right to be the authors of their own lives and make their own choices.

Some things in life happen out of necessity. Other events happen by chance, but chance is uncertain. Our own actions are voluntary and within us; they happen naturally based on our innate tendencies. Our actions are autonomous and this special ability to choose makes us morally responsible. It is to these actions we attach praise and blame. Individuals uncertain about which alternative to choose are vulnerable to outside influences, coercion, intimidation, and promises of a better life that may drive them to make compulsive moral choices they may later regret.

Children don’t have the right of self-determinism. Their freedom is restricted. They aren’t allowed to do as they please. Sovereignty is reserved and independence is withheld from them. They are subservient to those who have dominion over them but some parents hoping to do what’s best may be guilty of prosaic influences leading to parental alienation and xenophobia parentis. Excessive control may lead to over reliance, trigger feelings of defeatism and isolation, and lead some adoptees to view the historical practice of secrecy and concealment of their true identity as medieval and the falsification of birth records to prevent them from knowing their origin, cultural heritage, biological family members, and detailed medical history as Orwellian. At what age should adopted children be emancipated and given the freedom to control their own lives? When they reach the age of reason, as fully functioning adults will the mysteries of the past be alluring to them? Will they have a desire to retrace their steps through the labyrinth of life in the sands of time as an expression of self-determinism?

The world is littered with individuals haunted by the past, shackled by the burdens of secrecy and separated from their lost because it was necessary, by chance, or because someone chose a different path for them. Perhaps, there would be more happiness in the world if more people exercised their natural right of self-determinism and fewer people exploited the weak by exerting their dominance over them. To everyone facing a difficult future; seeking reconciliation and forgiveness; carrying the heavy burdens of a troubled past; confronted by a pivotal event; and beginning a journey of hope with uncertainty, I respect your natural right of self-determinism and wish you God-speed.

Judith Land


adoção | adopción | Verabschiedung | aanneming | adozione | 采纳 | 양자 | làm con nuôi

Other blogs by Judith Land | Adoption Detective


About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
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6 Responses to “Adoption and self-determinism”

  1. eagoodlife says:

    When is the age of reason and how do we know when it has arrived? Babies determine their time of birth and many things afterwards. Children have the right of self-determination but may not always be allowed to exercise it. Many of us find subtle ways to subvert what is imposed on us all through childhood and beyond. It would be so easy to blame others for stealing our future and determining our actions.

    • Judith Land says:

      Eagoodlife, Your comments give me much to think about. You are so right. Unborn babies can be observed reacting to voices, car horns and cell phones. Researchers claim unborn babies can even learn nursery rhymes from the mother while still in the womb. Wives’ tales claim that babies who refuse to be born on schedule will exhibit a stubborn independent streak later in life. Is it true? I don’t know. The age of reason is defined by different religions and cultures in different ways as far as legal rights and obligations are concerned. The age of discretion when children attain the use of reason and begin to have moral responsibility is the general definition of the age of reason. When a child can distinguish the sacrament from ordinary food and receive it reverently they are viewed as having attained the age of reason. Children who attain the age of seven are presumed to have the use of reason and the objective capacity for subjective guilt.

  2. eagoodlife says:

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    I wonder what your view is on self-determination? Perhaps you believe as I do that babies determine when they will be born and many other things besides. No-one can truly steal our self-determination as we have seen from those who find themselves in the most dire of circumstances – concentration camps for instance. Love to hear your views!

  3. LoveForGrace says:

    Reblogged this on LOVEFORGRACE.ORG and commented:
    By: Judith Land

  4. Pingback: “Adoption—Fairytales and Tarradiddles” | Adoption Detective | A True Story by Judith Land

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