Friday, April 22, 2011

Parents Have Little Effect?

I wrote about this on Over A Candle, but there was more I wanted to point out that was specifically adoption related.

The story below aired on NPR's "Morning Edition" today. It is an interview of an author who makes the argument that parents don't have much impact on their kids in the long run, so parents should just relax. Once they relax, they can have more kids. I'm being brief, but that was the gist of the argument as he presented it during the interview.

The opening paragraph of the story (below) summarizes the argument. By itself, the argument would have caught my attention, but later on he explains his reasoning. He looked at adoption studies to determine that nurture had very little to do with the sorts of interests and capacities children develop, that so much of who we are is determined by genetics.

I can't help but wonder how different people would react to that? Would most adoptees say "duh"? Would adoptive parents balk or agree? Would adoption advocates be outraged? Or would everyone look at it as a entertaining, but otherwise meaningless, claim and just shrug?

I don't know. This early in the morning, I don't even know what to do with this silliness. But it struck me even in my rather tired state. And I thought I would share. You can listen to the interview at the link below.

'Selfish Reasons' For Parents To Enjoy Having Kids:

An economics professor has a plan for raising children: have lots of them, and don't stress about nurturing their potential. Bryan Caplan, author of the book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, says that a child is helped the most if they are in a positive atmosphere.

. . .

There is a cheekily subversive tone in Caplan's book, but he makes a serious argument about nature versus nurture. He cites studies of identical twins who were adopted by different families — but then went on to live very similar lives — as proof that the influence a parent can have on their child is overstated.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


In college, whenever there was a break in the conversation (which science told us happens every seven minutes), someone would yell out "Lull!" to acknowledge it. What can I say, college was weird.

My own reunion is chugging along at a steady pace. Not much happening. My mom's side is good, still glowing from Christmas, I imagine. My dad's side recedes further and further away. I haven't heard from him since I met him last summer. And his sons and I seem to have drifted a bit.

None of that is troubling to me, and I've been focusing on other things in my life. Stuff that is mostly not adoption related, and so I have felt little impulse to post here.

On a lark a couple of months ago, I clicked on Shelly's link in the sidebar to see what she has been up to. I found out she has started another blog, about her own reunion. She decided to do that because she felt as though she hadn't been active enough here to start posting, and while I would have loved to see her here, I'm glad she's got something of her very own. Because, as I snuck in there, she has embarked on her own reunion!

Indeed, she is set to meet her biological mom tomorrow! I wish her well, and I hope it is a wonderful experience for her. If you can be supportive and encouraging, please go check out her new blog: Hi, Mom. So, what's your name?

And hopefully I will get back to posting somewhat more regularly here.