I started writing this over the weekend and was going to find time to flesh it out…but time, well it is not going to be found and so I give you my lame attempt at a contribution to the 24th Open Adoption Roundtable, this time Heather asks:
How have you seen open adoption portrayed on television? What did you think? What, if anything, would you like to see?
I don’t see open adoption on tv. Adoption is big for tv these days, but open adoption…not so much. I hear of open-ish adoption on tv shows like 16 and pregnant. But I don’t see it because I don’t watch. Although sometimes when I’m flipping channels if I happen upon it I’ll watch and yell at the tv for awhile before continuing on.
If I could choose how open adoption would appear on tv we’d go back to the early days of Grey’s Anatomy. Izzy is a birth mom if you remember. In one of the early seasons (i could google it, but i’m lazy so I won’t) she is found by her daughter’s parents because her daughter needs bone marrow. If I had my way that would have led to an open relationship.
Yes young girl got pregnant chose adoption “deserving” two parent family got baby BUT then young girl grew up became a doctor! wasn’t a drug addict! is a contributing member of society! Isn’t the slutty roommate! If I had my way she’d have developed a relationship with her daughter and her daughter’s parents. It could have been off camera. Maybe just a mention here or there. An Izzy’s on vacation visiting her daughter line every so often…
And then we’d take one or two of those shows where the characters are adopting and we’d make their adoptions open as well. It could start with mentions of first parents here or there. Or off camera “visits” that are talked about having happened or going to happen so that extra actors don’t have to be paid.
Because what we (and by we I mean we the open adoption community not just we birth moms) need isn’t some overly dramatic half hour plot twist or even a three episode story arc. We need some normalization. We need to be worked into someones over all character. Hey open adoption isn’t so scary. It’s not confusing for the child. We don’t need to “kick it old school” (aka closed).