Sunday, January 3, 2010

Adoption Is An Option: How the media keeps adoption at bay

I have a hard time watching tv lately. It seems to me that whenever I turn it on and start to flip through the channels I am always disgusted by something that I see on there. I am a news junkie, correction...used to be a news junkie, and it never ceases to amaze me how contradictive our society is. On any given night I can find the debate about abortion on some news channel. At the same time, I can find a show about teenagers having babies and raising them. Meanwhile I am hearing about yet another young girl who went into a bathroom, gave birth to a baby, then put the baby in the dumpster and returned to work. I am going to tread on some thin ice here, but I cannot sit by and accept this programming any longer.

Have we not learned that whatever we put in the media will be influential to our youth? In the last couple of years there have been pshycologists and therapists screaming that if we keep putting the super thin girls in the magazines then we are bound to raise bulemic/anorexic girls who look up to these models despite their lack of nutrition. The same people tell us that kids need to get moving or else we are going to have a generation plagued with diabetes. I want to know why these same professionals leave out the subject of adoption and how it is a logical, and often appropriate, decision for young women and girls to make. Does anyone out there remember the Pavlov's dog theory? In short, the theory says that when one thing is associated with another long enough, one will eventually think of both in the same. Skinny girls in all the magazines...then you have to be thin to be beautiful enough for a magazine. Pregnant adolecents playing house with their young do not have to be an adult to try and act like one. Health Care debates on what coverage there will be for abortion...the government places more emphasis on aborting a child than other choices out there for women. Can you understand where I am going with this? If I as a 39 year old woman am seeing all of this on television and the messages that it is sending to our youth, why are we at all surprised at the state of unintended pregnancy in this day and age? We are shoving sex down their throats every chance we get. I challenge you to watch a sporting event with your children without seeing an add about erectial dysfuntion, and I do not want to explain that to my 9 year old...thank you very much! Turn on a video, just about any video, and you will see sexy clothes, sexy dancing, (sometimes not so sexy dancing that is right out of the forbidden part of town) sexy lyrics in the most innocent of songs. The first woman to compete and almost win the Indy 500, and the cover of the magazine shows her clevage in her racing suit. All of the stars, politicians, media icons having sex scandals and the 47 updates we get every hour from the media!...the list goes on and on.

What is my point? I say let's focus on positive stories about adoption from young women who found themselves pregnant, looked to the future to see that they wanted the best for their children, placed their babies for adoption and and now are proud of their decision. There is no shame in taking a less than perfect situation and making the best of it. IT is not the easiest thing to do, in fact it is a LIFE altering decision that will affect just about everything in your life, it will change you as a person. But let's give the youth out there positive examples these girls can look to instead of have someone other than Tia Tequela to look up to! I have been living as a birth mother for almost 20 years and I have an interest in why adoption is seen as such a negative choice for those who choose it for their children.

If there is no support or awareness of the option of adoption, then there will be far fewer adoptions for years to come. I have been on my quest to raise awareness for some time now and I cannot tell you how many people have contacted me after reading my writing saying "thank you for speaking up!" There are many birth mothers out there from many different generations that are happy to see that there is someone strong enough to say the things they cannot. There are adoptees that are now working through their abandonment issues that have told me how much they appreciate the honesty that I have. There are adoptive parents and waiting parents who appreciate my perspective because in trying to adopt and all that comes with it for these couples, some have admitted to me that they never thought about the feelings of the mother the way I have described my struggles and they appreciate knowing our side of it. Anyone who knows me or has read my writings knows that I am sometimes too honest about my journey through motherhood, but it is obviously helping people out there feel not so alone. Like the Pavlov's Dog theory, if we start putting positive, honest, eye opening stories about strong, courageous and selfless women out there then there can start to be a change in the perception of adoption. After all, wouldn't we all want to see a positive change in this epidemic of teenage pregnancy we seem to have in this society?

It only takes one person to stand up and make a change with their conviction and desire to be heard. I am trying very hard to be the one who advocates for adoption in a positive light, it has to start somewhere.

Kelsey Stewart is the Author of The Best For You


The Millers said...

Hi! I don't know you, but I got your blog off the birthmothers website. I am a birthmom myself and I agree with you 100%. The truth of the matter is, is that good is becoming evil and evil is becoming excepted/good. All of the core values that made this country what it was to begin with is being obliterated. It's considered selfish to place a child for adoption but not to abort it? The health care bill could help to insure abortions but they don't offer any type of help for adoption or information or anything? Things are seriously skewed.

I am with you, I USED to be a news junkie, but I don't watch the news anymore for these reasons. Have you watched the show "Find my Family"? I have found this to be a very positive show about adoption. The only problem is that it probably won't last and it will probably get cancelled. Thanks for your thoughts, you don't need a point to what you are saying, its the fact that you are saying how things really ARE.

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Thank you for your thoughts. I sometimes think I should just get rid of my tv, but then I would miss a lot of sports!

I have another post here about the media and adoption. I was really steamed that day! Anderson Cooper was giving so much time to abortion on his show, and no mention of adoption what so ever! I know that this is not the most pleasant of subjects for some, but there needs to be someone to step up and give the OTHER choice a voice! There are so many girls out there who are pregnant and not sure what to do, if they turn this crap on then they will see it as the norm. I am not saying "Let's have a show with just happy birthmothers." That is not what I strive for. I just want someone to take notice that there are wonderfuly touching, moving, difficult stories out there that could benefit these girls and help them see the positive along with the negative. we all know about the negative, that is what we constantly see. If someone would just show them that it can be rewarding and healthy for all involved ... the adoptee, the adoptive parents and the birth parents ... to be honest about it and work through it, then there just might be a whole generation of women who can make an educated choice for themselves based on all the stories that are out there.

Thank you for your response and thank you for reading!

My best to you,