The Way Media Portrays Adoption As Told By An Adoptee
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Politics and Activism

The Way Media Portrays Adoption As Told By An Adoptee

I don't like it

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The Way Media Portrays Adoption As Told By An Adoptee
megan kimball

Growing up as an adopted kid, I thought that many of the things I knew about being adopted was common knowledge, but I was definitely wrong. The way TV shows, movies and books portray adoption seem to always have the same plot line; a small, innocent little girl with a doll being shuffled from home to home, fostered or in an orphanage and then adopted by a mother and a father who look like decent people. This is a common narrative in American media including the Netlix series Series of Unfortunate Events, and the book Anne of Green Gables. After going to the movies last night and watching the new Annabelle: Creation, I felt a little better at first about the portrayal of adoption, but then was very disappointed with how it turned out (excluding the possession of the doll, that was pretty cool. Great movie, honestly go see it).

The movie started out with six female orphans ranging from probably age ten to fifteen going to a large house for girls where they wait for families or parents to come visit them. This doesn't seem out of the ordinary for a stereotypical adoption situation in a film, but is pretty untrue as far as adoption within the United States. Although set in the forties or fifties, the accuracy of the situation still wasn't very great. The girls in the story traveled together from home to home which was rarely true and is still rarely true, even for some siblings. Throughout the movie, the characters were longing to be adopted, but the majority of the movie it was about their wanting to be adopted.

Why I have issues with the current way adoption is portrayed in media

Many of the stories that are portrayed in the media about adoption are from the past and evolve around the idea of an orphanage where kids go because their parents die in an awful death. The stories of people who are adopted from the United States today generally do not fit that narrative. Most of the adoptions today are either open or closed adoptions through an agency and are usually given up by a birth mother. The portrayal of adoptions through orphanages is untrue because most older kids who are not adopted as a baby are put into foster care.

I remember when I first started dating my boyfriend, I told him I was adopted. There were obviously some questions but he automatically thought of the traditional orphanage narrative. I had to explain to him that I am in an open adoption and I was given up willingly by a teen mom. Because of the way adoption is portrayed in the media, the general public is trained to think that orphanages are the way that people are still being adopted.

While there are people who are adopted through the orphanage system into the United States, it is not educating the public on the diverse nature of adoption in the United States. In order to properly educate the public about adoption the media needs to get past the orphanage mindset.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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