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Old Aug 2 2009, 07:52 PM   #1
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Green The Adoption Option- on Pern

"Those Holdbred girls think it's evil to abort." Lessa to F'lar, in Dragonquest.

Well, if they think so, then what happens to their babies? They get fostered out, to people like Manora. The babies can't become 'wards of the state'- there being no state- but they can become wards of. . . in this case, Benden Weyr. Jaxom was orphaned at birth, and he became both the Lord of Ruatha, and a ward of Ruatha. Lytol was "assigned" to care for him and teach him, and F'lar made that decision because, I presume, Lytol was an ex-dragonrider and therefore knew his stuff, in F'lar's opinion.

Then there is adoption- the way it is on this planet. For anyone who( for whatever reason) is unable to bear a child naturally, and for all the orphaned children out there, adoption works. I have met some absolutely beautiful "blended families" where no one would know (or care, for that matter- that's personal business) that the children are not related to the parents by blood. They are a family, period. The end.

Unfortunately, some people, states, and countries, have some ideas regarding who can adopt- who is a 'proper' parent. Potential adopters often have to jump through solme rather ridiculous hoops to get to adopt. Hopefully, in the future, equal rights will prevail and anyone with enough love for a child will be able to share their lives with one or more.

So, my real question is, how's it work on Pern? With the Pernese' lack of technology, there is a "source" for orphaned children. There are also children who aren't orphans, but who's parents either don't have the time or the initiative to care for them. All these kids need to go somewhere, and they do- the fostering idea works wonderfully on Pern. But what if someone who wants to foster isn't "perfect", and may not be what's "normally" thought of as "parent material", but has what it takes to provide a wonderful life for the child?

OK, I'll get specific here- what if the potential adopter is half of an LBGT couple, green dragonrider, journeyman healer, wonderful all-around caring person (and also, quite good-looking) who has finally decided, together with his partner (both human and dragon) that they are ready to bring a child into their lives? Who are we to say, "No, sorry, you don't fit the mold."?

Why don't we see more of this? There are many kids out there who need loving, caring parents, and also many couples who unable tgo have children the "normal" way. Adoption could be a happy option for both these groups.
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Old Aug 3 2009, 08:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

Because in the overall arc of McCaffrey's writing of Pern - that has not come up. She has not explored that aspect of Pernese life.

However, many RPGs have. Most PBeMs have some type or creche in the Weyr. (I don't know what Holds have, because the PBeMs I've belonged to, I've focused on Weyr life and not Hold life.)

This is one of those aspects of Pernese life that is wide open for exploration, and there is no right answer.

However, I will say that if you have a weyrmated same-sex couple - greenrider/bluerider, greenrider/brownrider, or what-have-you, no matter how loving of a home they can provide, their first love will be their dragons.

How fair is it for a child to be brought up by a parent/parents, knowing that they are not the center of their parent's life? This is a recipe for sibling rivalry at its worst - and you know who would lose!

Face it - if a rider's dragon and child were both mortally wounded - or close to mortally wounded - the rider would tend to their dragon first and then the child. The child would probably die before the rider could get to him/her.

Would you want to be faced with this choice?

There are also the logistics of raising a child in a weyr - it would be awfully dangerous. Most blue/green/brownriders are in dragon-only access weyrs. What happens if the kid needs to get down from there? What happens if the kid merely wants to go down? Young kids have no cognizance of dangerous situations.

I don't think that fostering or adoption would be refused to your average LBGT, but if even one of the team is a dragonrider, the logistics would be enough proof against it.
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Old Aug 3 2009, 11:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

I don't think that there is adoption on Pern per say as there is here. Pern does have a very good fostering system. Any child in need of fostering, rather it is an orphan or has parents that can not care for him/her is fostered and provided for.
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Old Aug 3 2009, 01:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

Brekke.

She fostered Mirrim AND rode gold. Admittedly, she always took on too much and Mirrim probably didn't need all that much mothering - just guidance, rather - at that age, but there IS precedence,
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Old Aug 3 2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

Kath: In my PBeMs the Holds have their own version of the creche as well as fostering.
And I've actually got two LGBT riders who managed to foster one child each with their partners while still caring for their dragons. They leave the kids with nonriding friends and relatives in the Weyr when they're busy.
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Old Aug 3 2009, 07:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

I wouldn't think there would be any hard fast rules regarding adoption of children on Pern. Most people (yes, I know there are some notable exceptions!) don't seem to engage in what the average present day Earth people would consider parenting. Children in Holds and Weyrs all seem to be sort of "pooled" at an early age with parents, guardians and/or foster parents acting as general overseers of their welfare. Brekke, for instance, didn't cuddle and coo over Mirrim. She taught her things and tried to make sure that she did what she was supposed to do. I honestly can't see why any Dragonriders would go out of their way to acquire children for reasons that have already been stated in this thread. A Holder or a Craftmaster might choose an heir if unable to produce one but I suspect it would be more of an "all-parties aagreement" than any sort of formal event. A Lord Holder might draw up some sort of formal document to help the chosen heir in Conclave but I'm not sure how well it would stand up if other "Blood" contenders put in a claim.

As for the Weyrs, there seem to be a lot of people who are not Dragonriders living in them and I've always assumed that a lot of them served as caregivers for the various young children produced by Riders. Once they are old enough they go to the Harpers for schooling and are assigned to various tasks. I remember that the women in the kitchens seemed to keep overall watch over them and I always imagined them living in dorm-like situations. With all the freedom Weyr children seem to enjoy I have occasionally wondered if a "stray" child could sort of "take up" in a Weyr and somehow become a Dragonrider with no one really even knowing where he or she came from. That might work as a plot bunny for someone.
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Old Aug 3 2009, 09:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

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Originally Posted by Weyrlady View Post
"Those Holdbred girls think it's evil to abort." Lessa to F'lar, in Dragonquest.

Well, if they think so, then what happens to their babies? They get fostered out, to people like Manora. The babies can't become 'wards of the state'- there being no state- but they can become wards of. . . in this case, Benden Weyr. Jaxom was orphaned at birth, and he became both the Lord of Ruatha, and a ward of Ruatha. Lytol was "assigned" to care for him and teach him, and F'lar made that decision because, I presume, Lytol was an ex-dragonrider and therefore knew his stuff, in F'lar's opinion.

Then there is adoption- the way it is on this planet. For anyone who( for whatever reason) is unable to bear a child naturally, and for all the orphaned children out there, adoption works. I have met some absolutely beautiful "blended families" where no one would know (or care, for that matter- that's personal business) that the children are not related to the parents by blood. They are a family, period. The end.

Unfortunately, some people, states, and countries, have some ideas regarding who can adopt- who is a 'proper' parent. Potential adopters often have to jump through solme rather ridiculous hoops to get to adopt. Hopefully, in the future, equal rights will prevail and anyone with enough love for a child will be able to share their lives with one or more.

So, my real question is, how's it work on Pern? With the Pernese' lack of technology, there is a "source" for orphaned children. There are also children who aren't orphans, but who's parents either don't have the time or the initiative to care for them. All these kids need to go somewhere, and they do- the fostering idea works wonderfully on Pern. But what if someone who wants to foster isn't "perfect", and may not be what's "normally" thought of as "parent material", but has what it takes to provide a wonderful life for the child?

OK, I'll get specific here- what if the potential adopter is half of an LBGT couple, green dragonrider, journeyman healer, wonderful all-around caring person (and also, quite good-looking) who has finally decided, together with his partner (both human and dragon) that they are ready to bring a child into their lives? Who are we to say, "No, sorry, you don't fit the mold."?

Why don't we see more of this? There are many kids out there who need loving, caring parents, and also many couples who unable tgo have children the "normal" way. Adoption could be a happy option for both these groups.
Hold-bred, Craft-bred or Weyr-bred, within the Weyr, the children appear to be held in a kind of common fosterage under the Headwoman's supervision. In essence, they're all adopted. Rearing these children is part of the responsibility of the ground staff in the Weyr to free up the fliers to tend their aircr--er--dragons.

There might be some parent pairs between ground staff, or perhaps even between a rider and a member of the ground staff, although in such cases, primary parenting responsibility would probably lie with the ground-bound parent. In these cases, the child might not be part of the common creche, but that seems unlikely. The ground staff have their own duties and free child care is too tempting to pass up. Two riders acting as parents in the sense of the word as we're accustomed to it does not appear to happen.

Essentially, the riders are absolved of parental responsibility as individuals and it is assumed by the Weyr, except to the extent that the individual riders choose to put themselves forward voluntarily. As long as the child's well-being is provided for, the rider's responsibility ends. If all else fails, the rider can simply have the child raised in the Weyr by the ground staff.

So in the Weyrs, children do effectively become "wards of the state" with the state being the Weyr.

Outside the Weyr, fostering is also practiced in the holds, at least at the level of the Lord Holders and their families. It's a little unclear how prevalent the practice is below the level of the Lord Holders. Unlike the Weyr, where the rider parents up to and including weyrleaders can essentially wash their hands of parental responsibility, the Lord Holders maintain an interest and to an extent, extend it to their fosterlings. The purpose is, after all, to ensure the succession and see that the successor is competent. Hence the purpose in fostering #1 son about to learn animal husbandry in Keroon, and forestry in Lemos and wheat farming in Telgar, etc... It's a sort of mixed vocational/post-secondary training of sorts for a low-tech society.

We know next to nothing of fostering in a Craft. Our closest exposure has been to the Harper Hall, and to one person in particular: Robinton, who is the Masterharper of Pern, and his successor Sebell and Sebell's mate. What may be acceptable/necessary for the people at this level of time-burdened leadership may not necessarily be common practice throughout the Craft or even in other Crafts. Crafts are dominated by the demands of apprenticeship and since this starts at and early age, there may be no purpose to fosterage in a Craft except special cases like caring for Camo...which isn't quite the same thing.

So, in the Weyrs we have--it appears--almost universal fosterage.
In the Crafts, we have apprenticeship in place of fosterage.
In the Holds, we have fosterage amongst the titled Holders and it is unclear below that level.
The Traders appear to operate as family units and occasionally trade members, but I don't recall any formal system/practice/custom being mentioned.

--

Jaxom was, by definition, a special case unique enough in its characteristics that it's unlikely to be a precedent, or at least not very often. Enough said.

--

"Adoption" per se, seems unlikely to occur in a Weyr at all. The kids just become part of the common creche.

In a Craft, it's a more interesting question. Presumably, it would fall to the local Craft master to see if another member/couple of the Craft would take the child in. There would probably also be some benefits/inducements for doing so. Failing that, it might be bumped up to the Craftmaster. This is assuming the Crafts trouble themselves with these matters and do not shove them off on the Holders. That strikes me as a little unlikely as the Crafts look to protect "their own" and their own prerogatives, so like everything else in the Craft I would expect it to eventually fall under the general power and responsibility of the masters of the Craft or the Craftmasters. I would expect something similar in the Traders' caravans.

In a Hold, I would expect that if a child was orphaned, someone would take the child in if they could afford to do so. Again, authority would devolve to the local holder to resolve any disputes and/or offer benefits/inducements for taking the child in. I believe we saw some evidence of this in Natalon's camp (although that's a little blurry as Natalon's role is a strange admixture of crafter and holder). Ultimately, decisions of this type ought to eventually devolve on the appropriate Lord Holder if it is necessary to push them to that level.

In their role as intermediaries (not to mention teachers) the Harpers might be expected to have some at least advisory say in these matters. I believe we saw this to a degree with Zist.

I expect the prudence, compassion, competence and wisdom of these placement decisions would vary wildly with local conditions and the personalities of the cognizant authorities. Where those authorities were callous or incompetent, you might find orphans wind up Holdless.

As to whether a homosexual couple would be allowed to adopt, again we're falling back on the prudence, compassion, competence and wisdom clause. Probably not a big issue in a Weyr. Might be problem in a Hold, especially given the fact that some parties deride dragonriders as unmanly on this issue, so the Holds may not be very evolved about it. The Crafts and the Traders are an open question as it hasn't been specifically addressed. The Traders are fairly cosmopolitan due to their travels, but fairly clannish as well; they could break either way, but such clannish lots are usual fairly conservative in their views. As for the Crafts...who knows? I'd suspect they would adapt to the views of where they're resident with those Crafters in the Weyrs being more liberal on the issue and those in the Holds more conservative. In any circumstance I suspect a lot would have to do with the views of a given Lord Holder, Craft Master, Trader, Weyrleader or Weyrwoman.

Overall, I wouldn't expect a lot of "adoption" per se simply because adulthood, or a facsimile thereof starts so early. Riders Impress in early puberty; Crafters apprentice in early puberty; Holder no doubt go to work about the same time; Lord Holders' children are entering formal fostering at that time; Traders are assuming adult responsibilities in the caravan about that time. "Adoption" would probably only last to about that point. And it probably wouldn't be the same kind of parenting bond as in our society.

In fact, Pernese society may not share our view of parenthood at all. The First Pass, and the Fever Year probably played holy havoc with family structures due to casualties and it is possible the society never "recovered" from it. There have been arguments that the societal problems of black Americans are rooted in the disruption of normal familial relationships induced by slave-owners' breaking up family units. That hasn't taken place in a century and a half, but some theorize its impact is still being felt. (Others find it a dubious contention.) If such a theory has validity, Pern could represent a case where disruption of "normal" familial patterns produced a completely different society view on parenthood. (Of course, that brings up entirely different area of contention about how much of our view of parenthood and family is socially formed and how much is instinctive.)

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Old Aug 4 2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

I've always felt that in general the Pernese are of the opinion that "it takes a village to raise a child"...of course, substituting Hold, Hall, and Weyr in for "village". Due to the various plagues, and the largely communal living situations, I've always had the impression that children would be cared for by the community, particularly "lower class" children.

Parental rights remain, of course...there are those who can and do assume full responsibility for their children (such as Robinton's mother), and if a parent moved from one hold to another the children would go with them, but families aren't cut off and segregated into single-family homes like they are here on Earth (in western societies). There's a communal kitchen and dining area, quarters don't have their own kitchens. Sometimes they have their own baths, but it's a luxury reserved for Lords, Masterharpers, Weyrleaders, and world-famous MasterSingers...for everyone else, baths are communal as well.

If I had to guess...children of lower ranking people grow up in a more communal creche-like environment. (Aside from Weyrs who foster everyone, kids of blueriders or bronzeriders or kitchen staff alike.) As a parent has more rank, they are more prone to segregating their children to a certain extent, to make sure the child is being educated fully, and to make sure their kids aren't picking up nasty habits (to their minds at least) from kids with lower-ranking parents. (Rank means a great deal on Pern). Holder and Lord Holder families probably resemble Western-Earth families the most, but even they adapt the "it takes a village to raise a kid" mentality by fostering. It's also a tool to build social relationships among Holds.

It's hard to say how a Hold would react to two partnered gay men adopting an orphaned child from the creche; it may depend on the particular era it happens in. In plauge-ridden eras, people may overlook it because the creches are overflowing with plague-orphans anyway. It would take some of the burden off of the hold and the caretakers. In more prosperous and less catastrophe-prone eras, it may be looked at more cross-eyed...but then again, if the kid is an orphan, it may still come down to, "You're able and willing to raise this kid as your own? Okay, let's go get a Harper and some witnesses and make it formal and all..." just because it'd take a kid out of the communal creche for at least some of his or her needs. I highly doubt they'd have to jump through many hoops...most of the pressure would be evil-eyes sent their way, but once they got their hands on a kid with a parent amiable to giving it up, or an orphan, I doubt anyone would stand in their way and make a huge fuss or try to take the child away. After that, the kid would be regarded as their problem.

Gay women I think would have different issues...given that women are chattel throughout large swathes of Pern's history, the fact that they are "unmarried" to anyone would raise eyebrows and cause issues...also, how would they support themselves? Not many Crafts take women in some eras. That said, two "spinsters" might be able to get away with their relationship and still raise kids if they take on a lot of duties of childtending for the hold (become professional child-tenders, in essence)...people might just assume they're very maternal because they're not married and don't have kids of their own, and wouldn't necessarily look behind closed doors to see that they're lovers, not "merely" spiritual sisters united in a common task of childraising. But again, I don't think Pernese society would get bent out of shape because they're gay and raising a kid...I think perhaps individuals here and there might, but because families are already mutable with the traditions of fostering and apprenticeship it wouldn't cause a huge barrier like it does in the western world.
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Old Aug 5 2009, 07:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

I've always imagined fostering to be more an arrangement between the birth parents and the foster parents without anything as formal as a legal adoption. Then it would tend to be within a fairly small circle of friends and within the same class or craft. Herders and farmers and the like would be less likely to want to foster their children outbecause their wealth and status depends on having plenty of hands to do the work.,
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Old Aug 5 2009, 09:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

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I've always imagined fostering to be more an arrangement between the birth parents and the foster parents without anything as formal as a legal adoption. Then it would tend to be within a fairly small circle of friends and within the same class or craft. Herders and farmers and the like would be less likely to want to foster their children outbecause their wealth and status depends on having plenty of hands to do the work.,
Well, the fostering that is mentioned in the main 3 books was between Lord Holders (and some other large holders) to give their kids a chance to meet other kids their own age (possibly even romance between children of different holders that could eventually wed to give the holds a strategic and political alliance) and to learn how other holds manage their affairs.

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Old Aug 6 2009, 03:17 PM   #11
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Well, the fostering that is mentioned in the main 3 books was between Lord Holders (and some other large holders) to give their kids a chance to meet other kids their own age (possibly even romance between children of different holders that could eventually wed to give the holds a strategic and political alliance) and to learn how other holds manage their affairs.

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In HH2 its the same for crafter too. Or a seacrafter being foster to a Landbase Hold.
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Old Aug 9 2009, 08:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

I think that adoption doesn't really occur at all among the Lord Holders. There is definitely a pressure to create an heir, and I don't see an adopted child being eligible so long as other blood relatives are alive and kicking. Basically, I think it is akin to the feudal system on Earth. I see fostering among the Lord Holders as more of a way for the children to learn something and as a show of goodwill to other Lord Holders. It's sort of a mutual "I trust you with my heir" and it is done for political allegiances.
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Old Aug 9 2009, 09:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

There is some fostering among the Lord Holders. Sending mostly sons around to different holds, for a set langth of time. I think there is also a more permant fostering when a child is left with no one to care for him/her.



I think a short time with others and away from their families would do most children today a world of good. People that care about them, but would not put up with some of the BS that Mommy and Daddy put up with.
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Old Aug 9 2009, 09:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

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I think that adoption doesn't really occur at all among the Lord Holders. There is definitely a pressure to create an heir, and I don't see an adopted child being eligible so long as other blood relatives are alive and kicking. Basically, I think it is akin to the feudal system on Earth. I see fostering among the Lord Holders as more of a way for the children to learn something and as a show of goodwill to other Lord Holders. It's sort of a mutual "I trust you with my heir" and it is done for political allegiances.
If a Lord and Lady Holder died, the senior--or possibly a junior if something made the senior unsuitable--male child would simply be elevated to Lord Holder, but with a Regent. In certain cases of there being no male heir, or at least no suitable male heir, a female child would be so elevated (I know, it's not fair, but female rights got knocked into the hazard on Pern by the necessity of survival and reversion to older patterns of living). So there would be no "adoption" although depending upon the degree of benevolence and emotional support, the Regent might function as an adoptive parent for a short while.

An adoption scenario for Lord Holder's ward would only have potential in the event the Lord and Lady Holder were otherwise without issue and/or their offspring pre-deceased them and left none of their own. Depending upon how the Lord and Lady Holder regarded, raised and trained the adoptive child, I suppose the potential would exist for said child to potentially take hold, in which case a Regent would selected and see the above scenario.

But if this child was never regarded upon an equal footing with children of the Blood, was not raised to lead, and was not trained to take hold, and was not extraordinarily well regarded by the populace of the Hold, there would be almost no chance of that child taking hold--short of a coup by force of arms. Against the possibility of even the most sterling adoptive child's chances would be ranged any number of Lordlings--perhaps even those fostered with our hypothetical ward--with competitive claims by Blood. And any of them might attempt a coup by force of arms.

Such a Lordling's claim might be as tenuous has their mother having been a scion of the disputed Hold, or that Lordling being married to a younger female of the Blood of the disputed Hold. All such a person would need would be the trappings of respectability, just enough force to be able to eliminate one person, and just enough dislike/ambition for that person amongst the influential people looking to that Hold.

Which means in 99.9% of all cases, you're right. There is no adoption at this level and fostering as I said before is "post-secondary/vocational training" for the Lordlings. And, as you have rightly pointed out, a mild version of the medieval practice of giving over hostages.
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Old Aug 9 2009, 11:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

I didn't really think of the reagent as an adoptive parent, but I suppose you do have a point. The bond between Lytol and Jaxom could be considered near father-son.

You also have a point about succession. I could see an unjust or incompetent Lord Holder being overthrown in a crisis, so I agree that there are special cases in which the bloodline isn't upheld for succession.
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Old Aug 10 2009, 02:12 AM   #16
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Then why doesn't somebody overthrow Lord Toric?

He's not incompetent, just self-centered. OK- nevermind!

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I think a short time with others and away from their families would do most children today a world of good. People that care about them, but would not put up with some of the BS that Mommy and Daddy put up with.
This conversation has gotten really fascinating. I totally agree with the "it takes a village" mentality. This is similiar to the difference between children who arre homeschooled and kids who attend a school outside their homes. There is Absolutely nothing wrong with either option- they've both proven to be effective, and are each done for a variety of reasons- but, in my admittedly perhaps somewhat limited experience in working with kids, I've found the homeschoolers to be a little shyer that the others. However, in the many activities where homeschoolers and schoolkids come together, many times the homeschoolers "academically kick butt", so. . . .well. . . take that!

This thread has also helped me figure out things a bit more. Probably a potential father who is also a dragonrider shouldn't foster/ adopt a newborn or little one who is crawling (or scooting along on their tummy), but one who is at least toddling or older. Babies need A LOT of care, as I'm sure I don't have to point out, and it isn't thazt I don't think a dragonrider could provide it, it's just that he is busy!

In either the Hold, Hall or the Weyr, I think the more formalized adoption takes place only if a child is truly an orphan and has no family left.

P.S. How do occupants of weyrs that are several stories up keep track of their kids? I'm afraid I don't have a definitive answer for that, but check out the Anasazi and their cliff dwellings, often several thousand feet up or down a cliff. They managed (somehow), sans dragons and rock-climbing equipment, so that gives me hope.
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Old Aug 10 2009, 05:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

Toric doesn't seem that bad, he's just a little possessive. Of course, I haven't read all of the books yet (I'm reading in order and I'm about a third of the way through RoP) so I could be missing something. I was thinking more in terms of Fax when I said that. It was pretty clear that F'lar would have found some way to take him down. That's a little off-topic though, so I'll stop there.

I certainly agree with the "it takes a village" point here. That's why I don't think Pern has adoption as we think of it. I think it is more a matter of leaving the responsibility of watching the child on others when someone doesn't have the time or will to do it. It could in a way be considered adoption, because the person watching the child is the closest to a parental figure that the child will get, but I don't think Pern society really focuses much on parental figures. I could certainly imagine trader children in particular being left to thier own devices, exept maybe with the occasional surreptitious eye out for danger from an older trader.
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Old Aug 10 2009, 08:00 PM   #18
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I didn't really think of the reagent as an adoptive parent, but I suppose you do have a point. The bond between Lytol and Jaxom could be considered near father-son.

You also have a point about succession. I could see an unjust or incompetent Lord Holder being overthrown in a crisis, so I agree that there are special cases in which the bloodline isn't upheld for succession.
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Old Aug 10 2009, 08:20 PM   #19
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Toric doesn't seem that bad, he's just a little possessive.
Toric's plenty bad and souring with age, but he's also a bit sharper than Fax and has learned from the examples of Fax and Meron.

Lesson #1: Don't be like Fax. Be subtle, not overt. Don't invade a bunch of pocket-sized holds in the north, lay claim to unoccupied land in the south. Force of arms attracts too much attention and sets people on watch against you.

Lesson #2: Don't be like Meron. Lazy indolent wretches get no respect and are looked down upon and disregarded. Hard-working, competent people are respected and successful, and success forgives many sins.

Lesson #3: Don't be like Fax. Scared, abused people don't work hard and will try to run away. People don't mind a tyrant so much it he's a benevolent tyrant and they can see what's in it for them.

Lesson #4: Don't be like Meron. Self-indulgent tyrants inspire envy and contempt, leading to all kinds of untrustworthy loose lips that can make your business known to the wrong people. A measure of generosity and self-sacrifice go a long way toward securing loyalty.

Lesson #5: Don't be like Fax. Court the favor, not the fear, of the other Lord Holders. Solve their problems and they'll be beholden to you, especially for taking a lot of troublesome young lordlings off their hands.

Lesson #6: Be like Fax. Possession is nine-tenths of the law. If you people are already in place and loyal, they're hard to dislodge.

Lesson #7: Be like Meron. Subversion, third party actors and whispers can be more effective than than direct confrontation.

Lesson #8: Be like F'lar. Take advantage of every advantage. Even the ones you don't particularly like or support can perhaps be turned against your enemies.

Lesson #9: Don't be like Meron. Never trust a Weyrwoman and never, ever get in bed with one.

Lesson #10: Be like Fax. Never trust a Harper. Their loyalty always lies elsewhere.
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Old Aug 11 2009, 09:48 AM   #20
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Lesson #9: Don't be like Meron. Never trust a Weyrwoman and never, ever get in bed with one.

Lesson #10: Be like Fax. Never trust a Harper. Their loyalty always lies elsewhere.
#9. Although you wonder with Kylara's proclivities, if he ever had a fling with her. Although, I think with Toric's possessive attitudes, having one fling with a weyrwoman would probably be enough, and he would be the jealous type and vow never again. And with Mardra as the other example, he would have plenty of reasons to stay as far away from weyrwomen as possible.

#10. Although, I think to some extent, he did trust Saneter and Piemur (RoP, I'm reading it, but not finsished, yet). But, I could see how someone could read it with a cynical eye, and say that he was using them, and not trusting them (when he swore before them that he had no knowledge of what the oldtimers were doing, twice).

It seemed that Toric started out as a little greedy (which isn't necessarily bad, as it makes you a harder worker), but it seems as time went on, he became more bitter and became evil. In the end, it seems like he finally through his lot in with the abominators. And it wouldn't surprise me if he had a hunting accident with the dogs that (Nip/Pinch?) brought him.

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Old Aug 11 2009, 02:46 PM   #21
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Then why doesn't somebody overthrow Lord Toric?

He's not incompetent, just self-centered. OK- nevermind!



This conversation has gotten really fascinating. I totally agree with the "it takes a village" mentality. This is similiar to the difference between children who arre homeschooled and kids who attend a school outside their homes. There is Absolutely nothing wrong with either option- they've both proven to be effective, and are each done for a variety of reasons- but, in my admittedly perhaps somewhat limited experience in working with kids, I've found the homeschoolers to be a little shyer that the others. However, in the many activities where homeschoolers and schoolkids come together, many times the homeschoolers "academically kick butt", so. . . .well. . . take that!

Some homeschoolers are shy, but most of the ones I know are not. Most are well able to converse with others of any age, because that is who they are around. Kibbie is around kids as young a 4 and her grandmother age 72 and knows how to behave around all of them. A lot of school kids have problems around people not their own age. I think the home schoolers who are shy
are the ones who would be shy in regular school as well.
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Old Aug 12 2009, 01:03 AM   #22
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Good point, Mawra. In the community where I live, there are- at leaSt more recently- lots of activities that are designed to get homeschooled kids out and about and learning, such as presentations by university students, etc.Then they are more involved with all the diversity in their town, and around all sorts of folks.

I did all my own schooling in the public schools (and am still at it!), but I think that it was the "extracurricular" activities (volunteering, music, etc.) that got me to where I am as far as being comfortable interacting with different types of people. You're absolutely right- some sxchoolkids aren't comfortable with others that aren't their age, and some homeschoolers are, too. That can be a part of childhood. I sometimes think that we segregate kids too much by ensuring they are in an age-appropriate classroom, activities, etc., but that's another topic altogether!Kibbie sounds like she's not segregated so, and that's awesome for her!

Here in Flagstaff, there is at least one tri-lingual elementary school (they teach in English, Spanish, and Navajo), and it is wonderfully diverse and a really awesome place.

And if this is off- topic, well. . . good. It's interesting.
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Old Aug 12 2009, 12:38 PM   #23
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There is a lot got home schoolers around here as well. Kibby is in a 4-H group that has member ranging from about 5 to 16. That is the only group she is in, but there are A LOT of groups out there.
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Old Aug 14 2009, 06:32 PM   #24
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I think that adoption doesn't really occur at all among the Lord Holders. There is definitely a pressure to create an heir, and I don't see an adopted child being eligible so long as other blood relatives are alive and kicking. Basically, I think it is akin to the feudal system on Earth. I see fostering among the Lord Holders as more of a way for the children to learn something and as a show of goodwill to other Lord Holders. It's sort of a mutual "I trust you with my heir" and it is done for political allegiances.
Perhaps they learn more like day to day management of a hold, perhaps as a stewardship and other real life skills.

Both Lord and Lady of rank learn that way. Or if craft base they can learn it at a different place to get their knots. Or like the paid students in HH2.
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Old Aug 16 2009, 10:51 PM   #25
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#9. Although you wonder with Kylara's proclivities, if he ever had a fling with her. Although, I think with Toric's possessive attitudes, having one fling with a weyrwoman would probably be enough, and he would be the jealous type and vow never again. And with Mardra as the other example, he would have plenty of reasons to stay as far away from weyrwomen as possible.

#10. Although, I think to some extent, he did trust Saneter and Piemur (RoP, I'm reading it, but not finsished, yet). But, I could see how someone could read it with a cynical eye, and say that he was using them, and not trusting them (when he swore before them that he had no knowledge of what the oldtimers were doing, twice).

It seemed that Toric started out as a little greedy (which isn't necessarily bad, as it makes you a harder worker), but it seems as time went on, he became more bitter and became evil. In the end, it seems like he finally through his lot in with the abominators. And it wouldn't surprise me if he had a hunting accident with the dogs that (Nip/Pinch?) brought him.

GH
I'd say you're right about Toric's trajectory. Anareth disagrees with me, but I like Toric as a villain because he's real. He goes bad the way the real everyday villains do. Your Madoffs and Lays and Nixons are far more numerous than your Mansons and bin Ladens and Hitlers. They're also a lot more mundane, and a lot less dramatic. Tall nails tend to get hammered--like Fax. Toric knows enough to keep a low profile.

But that doesn't make Toric's motivations any less twisted or morally wrong for his being mundane and undramatic. He's still willing to justify others being harmed so he can get his way; he's still willing to cheat and scheme to take that which he is not entitled to and to defy the rule of law to do it. His views are every bit as warped as Fax's or Meron's, but he puts a more pleasant face on for the public. But inside, his mind is just as much of a festering, morally corrupt sinkhole of greed and self-importance--and self-delusion.
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Old Aug 20 2009, 09:47 PM   #26
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

I disagree because I don't think Toric's wants start out as unreasonable--F'lar's basically a military dictator and honestly needs taking down a few pegs, and (Skies notwithstanding) the future of Pern does not belong to the dragonriders unless they learn to shift entirely for themselves, it's going to belong to the people who are willing to strike out from the old system and reject the hereditary feudalism of the Lords by creating their own holds and heirarchies as Toric wants to.

Meron apparently wanted to cause trouble for trouble's sake, and not very effectively. Fax was apparently operating in an entirely different dimension (DF really does not read like any other Pern book.)
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Old Aug 21 2009, 01:53 AM   #27
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Toric started out alright - he just learnt to get too crafty for his own good - slightly twisted at times but also learnt to run a "tight ship" so to speak. His twisted-ness will get him into more trouble then it's worth, eventually.

Back to topic:

In all the books, fostering could be classified as adoption but without all the legalities that go with it. After all, fostering is still being used today, here on Earth. I'm still thinking of more to add to this post .... for the moment, I like the ideas, arguments for and against and all the comments, people have come up with so far.
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Old Aug 22 2009, 04:13 PM   #28
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Toric started out alright - he just learnt to get too crafty for his own good - slightly twisted at times but also learnt to run a "tight ship" so to speak. His twisted-ness will get him into more trouble then it's worth, eventually. <sinp> Well I think that he wes quite right to leave and try his luck somewhere else, freedom of movement was granted to all in the Charter of Pern. Well he saw what he had built and wanted all, not wanting to share with others, once he saw what he had. RoP

Back to topic:

In all the books, fostering could be classified as adoption but without all the legalities that go with it. After all, fostering is still being used today, here on Earth. I'm still thinking of more to add to this post .... for the moment, I like the ideas, arguments for and against and all the comments, people have come up with so far.
Well this was the way it work out on Pern, just a twig of a thought here, well when someone started his/her apprenticeship out side of his/her home hall/hold it was called fostering out HH1 and they would be taped-foster-adoption to a Craft Master to learn that craft. Same thing with holder just they are learn management of a hold. In the weyrs they use it to bring out the best in the children of a weyr or weyrhold.
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Old Aug 22 2009, 09:48 PM   #29
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I'm not sure how it would work out with Weyr children but in Holds fostering is usually for a fixed period of time and generally seems to work along the lines of exchange student programs. Apprentices are not really like fosters except that they, as well as fostered holdbred children, can be sent back where they came from if they are found intractable or unsuitable.
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Old Aug 23 2009, 02:06 PM   #30
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I'm not sure how it would work out with Weyr children but in Holds fostering is usually for a fixed period of time and generally seems to work along the lines of exchange student programs. Apprentices are not really like fosters except that they, as well as fostered holdbred children, can be sent back where they came from if they are found intractable or unsuitable.
I was just thinking of my own mothers family, for my grandfather first wife passed away while still young, leaving I think three or four young children and then grandfather meet my grandmother who had four children and raised all of them as one "blended" family.

Its talking about sometime for Turns in the books, And the paying students of Craft/Hold breed girls who were sent to the Harper Hall to learn a music, which to me read more like looking for a right rank match outside of the Weaver Craftmaster who did wanted to learn how to play and became Menolly's first girl friend.
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Old Sep 15 2009, 12:45 PM   #31
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Default Re: The Adoption Option- on Pern

They were certainly socializing with the "sons of the Hold"!

I think fostering is a relatively short-term arrangement, at least for the higher-ranks. Piemur had a foster mother, but for all we know his real mother died and she was what we would call an adoptive mother.

I don't think dragonriders, especially, have families as we know them. They keep track of their children but don't live with them in family units. The two examples we have are Felessan (who got along better with his mild foster mother than he would have with Lessa) and Keevan, who knows who his father is but doesn't seem to know more, but is close to his foster mother.

I think in the Holds, families are more likely to live together, even with the common kitchens etc. And the cotholds are mostly family-centered.

Crafthalls - it's hard to know. Most of them are attached to Holds, and people may well live in the Hold and just "come to work" every day.
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Old Sep 15 2009, 02:05 PM   #32
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Except for in the main craft holds. Then you have Apprentices who live there. I wonder if they go back home for visits, or is once apprenticed they don't see the family again unless they are assigned there.
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Old Sep 15 2009, 06:15 PM   #33
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That's true, but they might not all have separate barracks like the main Harper Hall does.
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Old Sep 15 2009, 07:26 PM   #34
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Except for in the main craft holds. Then you have Apprentices who live there. I wonder if they go back home for visits, or is once apprenticed they don't see the family again unless they are assigned there.

Do you get "abducted" into the Healer Craft, or any other craft, as an apprentice? The only example that I can think is the Dragonsinger trilogy (which it's been a while since I've read), but I don't recall Menolly or any other Harper apprentices going home for visits. Not that Menolly would want to.

Yet I have a hard time picturing a Masterhealer, or Master-anything, making someone apprentice to them. "She's mine now! You'll never see her again; she has a talent for midwifery!"

Ah, no. Try sticking that line on Masterhealer Oldive.
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Old Sep 17 2009, 01:01 AM   #35
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Do you get "abducted" into the Healer Craft, or any other craft, as an apprentice? The only example that I can think is the Dragonsinger trilogy (which it's been a while since I've read), but I don't recall Menolly or any other Harper apprentices going home for visits. Not that Menolly would want to.

Yet I have a hard time picturing a Masterhealer, or Master-anything, making someone apprentice to them. "She's mine now! You'll never see her again; she has a talent for midwifery!"

Ah, no. Try sticking that line on Masterhealer Oldive.
They do have something related to the DS-HH2 where new master are created and apprentices are taped. Also they are to bring two changes of clothing, I would thing, one entered into a Mastercrafthall for traning, they don't leave unless they are sent to a hold/crafthall-hold/weyr?? to finsh their apprenticeship, 'walked the table' sent home for not meeting the requirements SoP, the holdless one releasted before her three turn as unsutable to the craft at her local healercrafthall if I recall right.
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