Thursday, March 13, 2014

Media & Language of Adoption

People look to the media to get information and form opinions on a number of items, sadly sometimes the way the media portrays certain topics isn't always helpful.     I read this article last week on how the media portrays and discusses adoption.   On one hand it seems shocking that people feel a need to add the fact that a child was adopted even if it has nothing to do with what is being reported on.   While it is great that adoption is not a taboo subject used constantly mentioning that a child was adopted doesn't seem necessary to story lines.  The use of positive adoption language being used is a great but there is still a lot of room for improvement.   

Speaking of positive adoption language, there is still a lot of negative terminology around adoption.   When talking about adoption people will sometimes say things like "but don't you want your own child?" (nobody has ever asked me this, I have seen comments like this on message boards and in other reading).  An adopted child is your own child the same as a biological child is.  There is no difference.   There is a good resource on positive adoption language here.   

Part of the negative language and concept around adoption is perpetuated by the media.   Yesterday I heard Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home" for the first time and it got to me.   The first verse and chorus are:  

"Little boy, six years old
A little too used to being alone
Another new mom and dad
Another school, another house that will never be home
When people ask him how he likes this place
He looks up and says with a smile upon his face

This is my temporary home, it's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passing through
This is just a stop on the way to where I'm going
I'm not afraid because I know
This is my temporary home"

To me this points out the negative aspects of adoption "another new mom and dad", "another house that will never be home."   My first thoughts on hearing this was I really hope this isn't how our child(ren) will feel.  

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