National Adoption Day in Fort Bend County is an annual event where children get to join their “forever families,” and it’s done about a week before Thanksgiving.
This year, Child Advocates of Fort Bend and other giving partners joined in the celebration at the Fort Bend County Justice Center to finalize close to 20 adoptions in three district courtrooms. The adoptions of those ranging from infancy to 8 years old were from Children’s Protective Services and private ones. Child Advocates of Fort Bend takes the lead at these events given its mission to provide a voice for Fort Bend County’s children in its role as a nonprofit that began in 1990.
This annual occasion is so impactful, especially because the adoptions take place at the start of the holiday season. Thoughts of Thanksgiving dinner at the table and Christmas morning scenes with a new addition to a loving family evoke all kinds of warm, fuzzy feelings.
But here’s something to think about that could impact the future of families – AI (Artificial Intelligence). The technology is meteorically on the rise on so many fronts. Could we be gearing up for robotic units to substitute for real parents – adoptive or otherwise? Once programmed robots are created, could they be better at raising children?
Some are beginning to ask the big questions, including whether AI or robotic caregivers could be better than human parents. It’s possible in some ways that tech can outperform many parents. Right, Alexa? After all, AI parents probably have infinite patience, a ton more energy (provided the units have been charged regularly) and, of course, access to all kinds of information from a direct, built-in interface with the internet.
But what about parents’ legal rights to raise their own children instead of machines?
We have understood that parenthood requires love, not necessarily DNA, and those who have become moms and dads as a result of adoption know that to be the case. So maybe programmed robots or AI caregivers could operate as partners alongside the parents rather than substitutes.
Perhaps this is a good time for humans to claim their right to parent before they lose the chance. Just the other day, those finalizing adoptions at the Fort Bend County Justice Center did just that.
But keep in mind that the Jetsons, the family from the comic, science-fiction cartoon that lives in a skypad apartment, may not be all that far-fetched. We even see this implied in TV commercials. Their type of lifestyle, including robot child rearing, is probably gearing up.
We know that there already exists all kinds of child aid devices that are part of AI. Here’s hoping that as time goes by humans will be preferred over robots, especially for the nurturing part.
A glowing heart may be cute, but it’s not organic.