On Sunday March 2, Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting the 86th Academy Awards. Two dozen or so little statues will be given to the filmmakers who have achieved greatness this year.
Two of the nominated films have strong adoption themes.
Philomena, nominated for Best Picture, highlights the journey of sixty-something Philomena Lee. As a teenager, Philomena gave birth in an Irish nursery.
Her son was adopted, and she kept his existence a secret for much of her life. Now, on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday, she begins to search for him.
There are many good and recent films which show adoptees uncovering their own histories – The Invisible Red Thread (2012), Somewhere Between (2011), and Closure (2013) – are three of them.
Philomena is interesting because it’s the story of a birth parent trying to uncover the history of her adoption. Philomena particularly challenges the harmful stereotypes which have reinforced the idea of closed adoptions as normative and ideal. Continue reading →
This guest post is by Marlene Fine and Fern Johnson, adoptive parents and authors.
We are the white adoptive parents of two African American sons, both adopted when they were infants and who are now in their 20s.
Our experience as white mothers of children of color has taught us much about the importance of helping children develop a healthy racial and/or ethnic identity.
White adoptive parents of children of color from outside the U.S. are often encouraged to travel to their adopted child’s country of birth or to enroll their child in language or cultural classes. These are important to both the adopted child and the adopted parents and we strongly endorse them.
Two years ago, when I was 13, I found out I was pregnant. I knew that at my age I would not have been able to give my baby the care she needed, whatever she wanted, and everything she deserved. I wanted her to have a forever family.
I wanted her to have a father that loved her more than anything. Something that without placing her, I wouldn’t have been able to give her myself. I felt like open adoption was the best decision for everyone involved.
I’d seen and heard stories of adoptees trying to find their birth-moms and I understood how hard that would have been. I wanted to watch my baby grow, develop and to have a relationship with her. Continue reading →
When my 19-year-old, unmarried daughter came to my husband and I, and told us she was pregnant, we were understandably upset. Even though I had been worried about her for a long time, I was still unprepared to hear this news. She then told us that she had already decided that she was going to choose adoption.
We were immediately supportive, and told her we loved her and would support her decision and help her anyway we could. I couldn’t sleep that night thinking of everything she was about to face. There were many more sleepless nights to come. Continue reading →
Adoption for any member of the triad is emotionally exhausting. It can be incredibly hard to navigate all the bits and pieces.
An adoptive couple has to deal with their infertility/sterility/or any other problem that may prevent them from bearing a child of their own.
They have to raise enough money. They have to sit through hours of paperwork, fine tuning profiles, and making sure every last detail is taken care of.
They then have the agonizing wait hoping they get chosen by birth parents to be placed with. After that they have to navigate post placement which could include bonding, more paperwork, open adoption, questions, and others.
A birthmother has to deal with carrying a child for nine months only to place that child with a couple forever. They look through profiles, sit through meetings, doctor appointments, physical body changes, and public opinion from all sides of the matter. Continue reading →