Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Education is Key

Television shows this fall seem to be portraying a lot of adoption storylines. Unfortunately, they aren't portraying it the way that it really is and this kind of worries me.

I am a huge fan of the show Glee. In the first season, they did a story line about adoption and I think they did it justice. The characters seemed to go through what we as birth parents go through, such as grieving, and dealing with other people such as parents, peers, and family.

But now that it is season 3, they have brought back that story line, and needless to say, I am not a happy camper about it. In a recent episode. the adoptive Mom tells Quinn (the birthmother) that she wants her to be a part of the baby's life but not until she gets her act together. And at the end of the show Quinn goes back to looking normal (she dyed her hair, dressed inappropriately, was hanging with the wrong crowd, and rebelling as some teens do.) She tells the birth dad "If being blonde, dressing like this, and acting like everything is okay is what I need to do to get my daughter back I'm going to do it. WE are going to get full custody of Beth". 

This line completely made me so mad. She relinquished her rights in season 1 and this is a year and half later. Obviously, her rights would have been terminated by now and she legally wouldn't be able to get her daughter back. I feel like it this is showing us birth mothers in a very bad light and showing the non-educated people of the world, and even hopeful adoptive parents the fears, and adoption in a bad light.

And on another show that I don't watch but have seen the previews for called Parenthood one of the girls that wants to adopt a child says to a teen that is pregnant "Can I have your child?" These lines that they use just makes adoption all around look bad. Now, I can't say I haven't seen a couple of hopeful adoptive parents be forward like that, because I have. But NOT all hopeful adoptive parents are that forward, and they are definitely usually not that rude about it.

I have posted and emailed both networks on the problems with their story lines and how as writers, they obviously had to go to school and are educated people. Yet, before they write a script or lend a hand in the development of a story line they don't educate themselves on adoption law and how adoption TRULY works. I say this because in Glee, legally no matter what Quinn does to her appearance, or the way she acts she will NEVER get her child back. She relinquished her child, and after an adoption is finalized and all her rights are gone I don't believe there is any judge in the world that would overturn the ruling. Also, in most cases, a case worker or social worker for the hospital is present and the birthmother is asked before signing if she is under any duress, been bribed, pressured to sign, etc.

I think it's one of those things that just gets to me because I feel like adoptions have come so far since they first started and now these TV shows are setting us back.  They are showing birthmoms in a bad light and scaring adoptive parents more than they should be.

We as birth mothers aren't perfect, but showing to the world, and even potential birthmothers that they can just go and take their kid back whenever they want isn't right. We need to educate these wome, and also adoptive parents about the way that they act during certain situations. I feel like my main issue here is exploiting adoption as if it's this bad thing, and as if we are bad people. And we are far from bad people.

I understand that these are just television shows, and we should always take them with a grain of salt, but there are people out there that watch these shows religiously and get their information and their education from these shows because they look up to these people as if they, and their situations are real, when they are not. CLEARLY.

I leave you with this, "Who have you educated today?". If you can take one, just ONE person's perspective and give them a small piece of what your adoption story was like, then maybe, just MAYBE we could change the way the world sees adoption. Even if it is just one person at a time.

"Be the HOPE you wish to see in the world, be the CHANGE that changes the world".

Photo Credit

1 comment:

  1. But they're not just television shows! They are either reflecting the culture or, more than likely, shaping it! These shows are telling watchers what to think about all kinds of things including adoption. I agree with you that education is key.