The Trump Administration Has Me Worried About My Daughters’ Futures

We were so happy about everything our daughters would inherit as newly minted Americans. But now I worry that we made a tragic mistake.

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Our daughters came home from China more than a decade ago. The first time their tiny feet touched American soil, we made a big deal of it. We were so happy about everything they’d inherit as newly minted Americans—our already head-over-heels love for them, every opportunity we could afford, and freedom from China’s oppressive government (opens in new tab) and its controversial (and now somewhat lifted (opens in new tab)one-child policy. (opens in new tab) The same policy that was, most likely, the very reason (opens in new tab) they were available to join our family half a world away.

But now I worry that we made a tragic mistake.

I pulled those two beautiful babies away from a rising power  (opens in new tab)and into a damaged democracy. (opens in new tab) I brought two girls of color into a society where it’s clear that their word and their bodies are worth less than a man’s—and where open, overt racism (opens in new tab) has become even more likely (opens in new tab) now than it was a decade ago. And unfortunately, my worries aren’t exactly tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoia.

We are thinking of stockpiling Plan B pills, just in case my daughters’ right to choose disappears.

Two years ago, I brought my daughters to the voting booth with me, expecting that they’d witness the election of the very first woman president. Instead, we got a guy with multiple sexual allegations (opens in new tab) made against him, who backs candidates for the highest posts in the land who also have assault and molestation claims  (opens in new tab)against them. #MeToo may have brought the conversation about sexual assault out into the open and helped clear the entertainment industry of some of the worst offenders, but the current administration seems far more willing to promote than prosecute  (opens in new tab)the accused.

Trump promised during his campaign that he would roll back Roe v. Wade, (opens in new tab) and new Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh’s conservative judicial record (opens in new tab) makes it seem like he’d be just the man to help do it—no matter his protestations that he considers it “settled law.” The idea that my daughters may lose the right to control what happens to their bodies—especially if they end up with a pregnancy that’s the result of a sexual assault, or one that could do serious damage to their health—keeps me up at night.

I am thinking of stockpiling of Plan B pills, just in case my daughters’ right to choose what happens to their bodies disappears. And the irony isn’t lost on me that just as China started to loosen up its one-child policy (opens in new tab) and allow women there more control over their decision to become a mother, my daughters may lose that right to choose here.

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We are only two years into Trump’s administration, and even in our bright blue corner of the country, Asian people are accosted on the street by white people telling them to “go back to your own country.” (opens in new tab) Trump's remarks against their birth country, China, grow ever angrier (opens in new tab) as the trade war continues. And as part of the Trump administration's war on brown and black people (opens in new tab), every few weeks, there’s another news story about an international adoptee being deported (opens in new tab) back to a country they don’t remember, without a family or a safety net.

And so I fight and protest. I plan and protect. Like many of my fellow adoptive parents, I ordered a passport card  (opens in new tab)for my teen, so she could prove her citizenship wherever she went. I double and triple checked our paperwork, and started hunting for a lawyer to do pricey readoptions (opens in new tab) so we could add a security-blanket layer of paper proof for our girls. And then I worry that a sheaf of papers can be invalidated with a stroke of a pen—and the government’s brutal separation of child immigrants (opens in new tab) from their parents isn’t exactly inspiring confidence.

I skip my daughter’s soccer games to march and spend my nights volunteering to get out the vote. I divert money from their college funds toward campaigns that might help save our democracy. And on the very worst days, I start to look at what it would take to leave the country that I love, permanently. And my heart breaks just a little more.

I’d sacrifice everything for the sake of my daughters. I just never thought it would come to this.


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