Do Celebrities Have An Advantage in the International Adoption Process?

A recent article in the Huffington Post titled “Celebrity Adoptions: Do Stars Get An Advantage?” discusses how some new celebrity parents are bringing a good face to the adoption process, something several people in the adoption community think is important. However, the article questions whether celebrities are getting preferential status when adopting internationally, primarily due to their excess of wealth. The international adoption process can be a long, expensive, and tedious one for families, yet certain celebrities, like Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, and Madonna seem to be able to adopt international children rather easily. This article suggests that because “international adoptions are often a much longer and more complicated process…celebrities can pay to get priority”.[1]

“According to David Smolin, a professor at the Cumberland Law School at Samford University and an international adoption expert, non-residents are not allowed to adopt in Malawi, but because of the humanitarian aid Madonna poured into the nation, she was able to skirt some rules when adopting her two children, Mercy James and David Banda.”[2] Is this fair? Should wealthy individuals be able to go around established international laws just because they have money to throw at the issue?… <Read More>


Amish at the Altar

 

A recent National Geographic episode entitled “Amish at the Altar” brought insight into the very private and modest marriage practices of the Amish community. The strict rules of their community have fostered many long, happy marriages. Maybe mainstream Americans could integrate some of these modest and humble practices of the Amish lifestyle into their lives and marriage practices. Although many of these practices may seem extreme and old fashioned, one can’t ignore the extremely low divorce rate. Perhaps the Amish are onto something…… <Read More>


FDA Regulation of Sperm Donation

 

An article in the February 13, 2012 Issue of New York Magazine titled “The Virgin Father” by Benjamin Wallace brings to light several legal and ethical issues surrounding proper regulation of “Do It Yourself” sperm donations. Trent Arsenault has been labeled The Virgin Father.[1] Although Trent never had sex with a woman, he has fathered 15 children to date. Trent is “part of a growing movement of peer-to-peer sperm donation that bypassed regulated banks”, by conducting his own sperm donation business through a website. [2] Trent is very pragmatic in his daily regime to keep his body healthy in order to produce the healthiest and most fertile sperm possible.

The FDA learned about Trent and his private sperm donation business, and launched an investigation against him, filing a “cease manufacture” order. “Although sperm is neither a food nor a drug, the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research has the power to  regulate those who traffic items that can possibly spread communicable diseases and genetic disorders.”[3] Historically, the FDA has only regulated traditional sperm banks, not private donors. However, because Trent was so public about his actions, the FDA contacted him and Trent signed a document confirming he was “an establishment”.[4] The FDA used this as a means to issue a cease-manufacture order that Trent wasn’t screening for diseases enough. Trent responded by claiming his celibacy, unusually healthily diet, and disease free lifestyle was enough to safeguard his DNA. A public interest group, Cause of Action, took Trent’s case, appealing the FDA’s order, claiming that they were overreaching into Trent’s “intimate” relationships with people, (for which he is receiving no compensation).… <Read More>


How Old is Too Old?

A recent article in New York Magazine titled, “Parents of a Certain Age” raises the question: how old is too old to get pregnant? Historically, once a woman reached the age of menopause, her chances of getting pregnant were over, and the issue of being too old to be a parent was non-existent. When In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) became a highly plausibly and effective way for women past their 40s to get pregnant, a new discussion arose contemplating How Old is Too Old to get pregnant? While defying the laws of nature, this article raises the numerous issues associated with the newest way to fight a woman’s biological clock; no facelift or hair dye will make a woman looks as young as “a baby on your hip” (46).… <Read More>


Sanctity of Marriage?

In today’s world the phrase “sanctity of marriage” is often thrown around in response to gay marriage legislation, but what does this concept really mean? A variety of explanations may arise, however the idea is pretty straightforward—marriage is a sacred institution.  With changing times and cultural norms, one may wonder, is this notion of the sanctity of marriage still relevant today?

It is shocking how legislators and voters can continue to stand behind the sanctity of marriage as a defense for not passing marriage equality acts. If people are worried about homosexual couples cheapening the marriage institution, one should look to the most recent celebrity scandal of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, ending their highly publicized marriage after just 72 days. This and many Hollywood stories like it, truly begs the question, how sacred is today’s marriage?

If any heterosexual couple can get married or divorced for an array of right or wrong and moral or immoral reasons, why can’t gay couples marry for the right reasons? The institution of marriage used to be about commitment and love to another person until “death do they part”, but as made clear by today’s standards, only half of heterosexual couples actually reach it that far. So wouldn’t homosexual couples that get married until “death do they part” uphold the sanctity of marriage better than all the divorcees of the heterosexual world? A re-evaluation of the idea of what constitutes this “sanctity of marriage” concept is crucial to reflect today’s times.

 

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