Friday, July 10, 2009

Questions, Straight Up, No Answers

There is a new horror movie coming out soon called “The Orphan” and some members of the adoption community are up in arms about it. The story is about a couple who adopt an older child who is “not what she seems” and horror and mayhem ensue. The trailer originally included a line about how it must be difficult to love an adopted child “as much as your own” but the trailer was changed to take out the line after complaints from the adoption community. (And thank goodness! Why does that notion--that you can’t love an adopted child as much as a biological child--persist?)

But I digress...

I have mixed feelings about the whole uproar over “The Orphan”. Typically, it offends me for people to protest a movie they haven’t even seen. I’m all about thinking for yourself, people. If you want to protest a movie based on your own observations, that’s one thing. But to protest a movie because a magazine or your adoption agency or your preacher told you to…I guess I’m just the kind of person who wants to see for myself.

But on the other hand...

There is a huge problem with finding homes for older children who are available for adoption. I am not proud to admit that one of the reasons that we wanted to adopt an infant was because we did not feel equipped to raise a child with attachment disorder or other mental and emotional issues brought on by parental neglect or abuse. So our adoption choices were influenced by negative stereotypes and assumptions. I know we are not the only ones. Is it right for Warner Bros. to put out a movie that perpetuates these negative stereotypes and assumptions?

But then again, if your decision to adopt is negatively influenced by a fictional story, how motivated were you, really, in the first place?


Robin Thomas: A Nest With a View said...

Makes me think that Americans are still pointing the finger about what a family is. I just heard recently someone calling something the "step-child". There just aren't that many families unaffected by divorce or infertility, or a million other realities of the human condition. I just hate for a child to feel "different" and Orphan is another way for that to happen. I also understand free press and individual rights, so I am right there with you, as always.