Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Doc McStuffins

 I'm not too sure how familiar you all are with the abundance of shows that play on Disney Junior, but I have a young Minnie Mouse fanatic here, so I have a plethora of Disney Junior knowledge.  The other day, as I was watching the masterpiece that is otherwise known as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, I saw a commercial for Doc McStuffins.  My attention was drawn to it because this season is featuring an adoption story line.  The McStuffins family is adopting a baby, and viewers will be able to follow the family through the process.

Naturally curious, I started Googling this (isn't that what everyone does?)  Adoptive families are ecstatic about the upcoming season, as the Doc McStuffins crew has done a good amount of research about adoption, proper adoption language, adoptees, and the adoption process.  They feel it will be a great way to normalize adoption with young children.

This is all great, but I wonder what role the birth mother is going to play in this scenario.  If the birth mom were involved in an open adoption with baby McStuffins, I would also be ecstatic.  Not only would this preschool TV show be normalizing adoption for adoptive families, but it would help young children of birth mothers (like my own) to see that their moms aren't different.

I worry, though, that birth families will again be lost.  I worry that, like many stories related to adoption, the McStuffins family will say, “We're adopting!” and then arrive with a happy baby to complete their family.  I worry that there won't be any statements about where Baby McStuffin's came from, and mostly I worry that the adoption will be portrayed as a closed adoption.  Closed adoptions have really decreased tremendously in popularity over the last several years, and I really feel that it would be doing a disservice to adoption to portray it this way.

As a whole, Doc McStuffins has done a nice job of portraying a family that doesn't always subscribe to the norms of society (Mr. McStuffins is a stay at home dad, while his wife is a successful career woman).   I have high hopes for this series, but I'm always hesitant when adoption is portrayed in the media.

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