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Monday, August 8, 2016

Foster Care Adoption in the Media

I was really excited to learn that one of the gymnasts on the USA Woman's Gymnastics Team was adopted from foster care.  So often, we only hear of the negative outcomes for kids in foster care. Being able to give my kids an example of a young girl as an Olympian who had a similar experience to them, makes my heart happy. It was disappointing to come across this story: nbc-announcer-apologizes-for-comments-about-simone-biles-parents

You've probably already heard about this but Simone Biles was adopted from foster care by her maternal grandfather and his wife.  I guess these details are important (to some) because she is biologically related to her (adoptive) father and as written, one is (I guess) supposed to gather, not biologically related to her (adoptive) mother.

I suppose any story about an adoptee will give the details behind the adoption as they do make up the adoption story. And for some adoptees, these may be important details. To others, maybe not so much.

Apparently the NBC announcer, Al Trautwig,  made on air comments referring to her parents as her grandparents and then sent out the following tweet to clarify some Twitter criticism for not referring to them as her parents: "They may be mom and dad, but they are NOT her parents."

Wait, what?

The tweet was deleted and he apologized but its a teachable moment.

The language of adoption is important. Adoption is complicated. Its wrought with emotion and pain.  Insisting that adoptive parents are not parents is an insult to everyone involved. It makes their relationship seem illegitimate. Like it doesn't matter. I've read articles that talk about how her family came together. How their family attended therapy for two years to build trust.

I know this work. I've done it. And I know that it's exhausting fielding questions in the super market. I can't imagine doing it on the world stage.

But it's a teachable moment and I hope this comment will open the conversation in the media up to understanding how adoption, and adoption from foster care work. And then maybe we can educate the world on why more needs to be done for our kids in crisis. Because let's face it, this has garnered a lot of attention, while other kids have died and no one said a peep.


2 comments:

  1. I read an article today whose headline was, "little girl abandoned by father and drug addict mother is saved by a Christian couple who adopted her" and I wanted to be sick.
    The article also said that her former foster mom had a trampoline but wouldn't let her play on it. That made me really upset because foster parents are vilified enough, not to mention the threat of an abuse investigation if our kids get injured!

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    Replies
    1. Yes- I came across that article too. There was also one that included homeless and "saved" in the title. Neither true.... That's why the language and how adoption and foster care are discussed are so important.

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