Saturday, January 17, 2009

Adoption in the movies.

Over the past year or so I've run across a number of movies that deal with adoption on some level either by purpose or by chance.

The first one was Martian Child starring John Cussak as the recently widowed single adoptive father of a boy from the US foster system. The movies is based on a true story. It's been so long since I watched this movie that I need to watch it again. I watched it at the beginning of my research - and now that I've done so more research I'd like to watch it again. Like with Pumpkin Patch, it's just nice to peek into the lives of people who have "been there, done that."

I also watched Juno, which is the perspective of the birth mother for the most part, but in the end the baby goes to a single mother. Though - the birth mother originally chose a couple. I won't spoil the ending for those of you who have yet to see it. As I'm realizing that many international countries are closing to single parent adoption for whatever reason - I'm beginning to also research the domestic process. My heart is still in international - but - can't hurt to know things, right?

I ordered Losing Isaiah from netflix and remembered why I'm scared to death of domestic adoption. The movie is heart-breaking in some places. Especially when the court decide that it's more important for a baby to grow up in a home where his skin matches the adults than to grow up in the home of parents to whom he is healthily attached. However, there is a learning point there - the adoptive parents are white and the baby is black. One of the things the birth mother's attorney uses is the fact that the white parents do not have any black role models in the baby's life. I'm very committed to preserving as much of the heritage of my child as possible - I agree that it's important that the child have that "people like me" connection. (I don't think it trumps attachment, but whatever) The movie has an ok ending - but the middle of it just makes me want to throw things at the television and rant about the idiotic adoption laws in my country.

And, I caught the very end of Mom at 16 on lifetime the other day and I'm going to spoil the ending of that for you. The young girl chooses a couple to adopt her baby but after the birth decides to keep the baby. A number of weeks later she is watching a DVD her younger sister was making during the pregnancy to give to the baby's adoptive parents and the birth mom is reminded of why she was going to choose adoption and decides that really is what is best for her son - so she calls the couple and the adoption goes through. The end of the movie jumps ahead five years to the baby's first day of school. You see the adoptive parents and the birth mother there (home from college) - and a rather healthy looking open-adoption scenario. I'll go ahead and admit that Open-adoption doesn't really appeal to me. I know there is much support for it - but I'm selfish. I don't want to share. It scares me. There's a podcast waiting for me on open adoption - I need to listen to it - because maybe it's not as scary as I think it is. (Another reason I really like international - open adoption is not as common there)


  1. I loved the first two movies, and I read Losing Isaiah years ago and remember it being so heartbreaking (I've never watched the movie though). That Mom at 16 one sounds good.

    Open adoption scares me too - but this blog post really helped me to consider the other side of it.

  2. I've not seen any of those. Is open adoption where the bio. parents are able to contact?

  3. Juno is pretty much my favoritest movie ever. :)

  4. Found your blog from FRUA. I've only read your current entries and haven't delved into the archives yet. ;> I think you're right that it's best to do general info gathering now and save the specifics for later (country, agency, etc.) if you're still four years away. A lot can change in four years!

    You also said Russia requires a lot of extra paperwork for single adopters. That's not true. The only extras are a birth certificate (instead of a marriage certificate) and a document appointing a guardian. Of course, different agencies may have different requirements for singles...

    The financial requirement is just that you make x% about poverty. A teacher does.

    That's just to say--don't count Russia out! I'm a single teacher (no masters) and I'm in process!

    Last--there's a great yahoo group called single Russian moms. There are great, great people there who have lots of information and are willing to share and support.


  5. Kate - thank you so much for the info and specifics about Russia! It's very encouraging to hear there is another single woman out there (especially one in my profession) starting the russian adoption process! I've had a love affair with Russia since I was about 10 - but once I saw that they had "extra" stuff - I got discouraged. Perhpas I did just read stuff from the wrong agency. So much information out there!

    I'll add your blog to my list to follow!

    Heather - there are different levels and types of open adoptions - but in general, yes - birth parents and children have access to each other.

    Cynthia - thanks so much for that link! I know I at least need to do the research on it!

  6. I can't watch movies like losing Isaiah, because they make me furious! How can we say our society is beyond racism when it is allowed to continue in situations like that?

    And I have to remember that movies go for the dramatic, and dramatic is usually tragic - or tragic right up to the very end when everything comes out right after all. That's not the way real life goes!

    Although, I do have to admit that I liked Juno quite a lot.

  7. I've see Juno (hilarious) and Losing Isaiah. Watching Losing Isaiah is difficult for anyone, and it really does anger me that race get's to trump attachment. It's just so wrong. I've been planning on seeing Martian Child, just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  8. I watched Losing Isaiah in high school. It was very difficult for me, but it did focus on the problem of in country adoption very well.

    I didn't like Juno as much...I didn't see the comedy in it.