The media typically take one of two approaches when it comes to adoption. The stories are usually the same. A baby is either left someplace like a fire station or an adopted child commits some sort of horrible crime due to the “damage” he or she has endured. I distinctly remember as a young adult having a fearful view of adoption. There were too many unknowns. The media always portrayed the children as “damaged” or having some sort of tragic illness. They also often portrayed adoptive parents as disconnected from their adopted children while connecting with their biological children. Would I be able to handle all that adoption had to offer? Would I love all of my children equally?
Luckily, time and experience have taught me that the media’s portrayal of adoption is far from the truth. While there are many unknowns in adoption, there are many controllable factors. Most adoption agencies and avenues to adoption lay out the process very clearly. Adoptive parents go into adoption knowing what to expect. Most agencies also ask adoptive parents to specify what adoptive situations they are open to and what age of a child they are seeking to adopt.
The media portrays adoption as a child dropped off on a doorstep or one with little-known history. While history can sometimes be a bit ambiguous, better records are taken every day and history is often well-known. Open adoptions are becoming more of the norm. The media loves to cling to the story of birth parents coming back for a child years after an adoption has been finalized. Unless some legality was not following in an adoption, the finalization of adoption is legally binding. There is no opportunity for a birth family to come back later and “take” a child back.
The media generally presents adoption as a scary and broken process. The stories that tell of tragedy and heartbreak sell and are viewed much more than happy stories. If you are wanting to know more about adoption, consult those around you who have adopted. Join communities on sites like Adoption.com. While adoption can have tragic stories, there is much more beauty in adoption than not. Do not let the skewed view of the media stop or dissuade your call to adopt or support those in the adoption journey.