Adoption in the Media

For whatever reason, adoption has kind of been a taboo topic for decades upon decades upon decades. I don’t really understand it myself — adoption happens, it’s a thing, babies being placed in loving homes is basically the raddest ever. Let’s just talk about it, guys.

And let’s not pretend like babies are adopted for reasons only related to illegitimacy or youthful parenthood — children are adopted every day for every reason under the sun. And you can sit around thinking the birthparents are terrible people who made awful decisions, that they brought a child into the world without wanting it in the first place, but might I remind you that they did not get an abortion. So let’s not call names, shall we?

Teen pregnancy is even more taboo — like we don’t want to discuss the fact that teenagers have sex (and *gasps* KNOW about it, God help us all). And what a remarkably brave, mature decision to place a child for adoption in hopes for a better life for not only the child but themselves. It’s not selfish that they hope for better lives for themselves, either — I believe it’s commendable if they want to finish high school, go to college, find careers, fall in love, and have children when they are more ready for it. I’m not condoning teen pregnancy, but I think it’s time that we stopped looking down on them so much.

We’re humans. We make choices. Sometimes the choices are less good than others.

Aside from “Juno,” I haven’t noticed a ton of teen pregnancy and subsequent adoption in the media all that much (unless you turn to the Lifetime Network, and I know, I know, every few hours someone is placing a baby because she was 15 and pregnant, 16 and expecting, or pregnant at 17). So when “Mom,” one of my favorite sitcoms starring Anna Faris and Allison Janney (who, btw, are two of the most under-appreciated female comediennes out there today), decided to not only perpetuate the family theme of becoming pregnant at a fairly young age but then PLACE THE BABY FOR ADOPTION, I was pretty excited.

First off, I need to clear up a few things: a birthmother NEVER, under any circumstances, “gives” her baby up. So the verbage they continually use each episode is grating because it’s entirely wrong. A birthmother places her child with another loving family. They never give anything up.

But that aside, and I understand that’s mostly due to societal ignorance because it wasn’t till recently that people started addressing the whole placed v. gave up, they’re doing things pretty well. The daughter wants to place her child, the father was scared at first but SPOILER ALERT decided it was going to be the best option for everyone. And then we met the SPOILER ALERT IF YOU DIDN’T BELIEVE ME THE FIRST TIME future adoptive parents, who, you guys this is so huge, was comprised of a Caucasian male and an Asian female. Like, an interracial couple adopting a white baby.

THESE THINGS, THEY DON’T REALLY HAPPEN. And it made me really pleased. Like, oh my gosh, society is apparently ready for this. And no one’s freaking out that an Asian woman will have a Caucasian baby for the rest of her life because hey! It’s America! It’s 2014! We do stuff like that, and it’s awesome! (And don’t even get me started on the whole interracial couple thing — the first one I ever saw was between Eric Matthews and one of his girlfriends in “Boy Meets World,” and as a little Asian girl fully aware she’d marry a white man, that was rad.)

“Mom”: attacking all the potentially controversial topics in one fell swoop.

This only makes me crave more. Let’s recognize that society, it is changing, and for the most part it’s changing for the better. Because not that long ago, my birthmother would have been shunned in her society for having a child out of wedlock, and I wouldn’t have been able to legally marry my pasty-white husband, and not much longer ago than that, I wouldn’t have even been able to vote.

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