Saturday, July 17, 2010
Tap, Tap, Tap, is this Thing On? CNN Features Adoptee Issue but Forgets to Invite Adoptees to the Table
On SmartTalk Radio, PA Senator Greenleaf was interviewed with Mary Robinson, former CEO of the NCFA, and Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the EBD Adoption Institute. Represented between the three of them were adoptive parents, policy makers, and institution stakeholders. Absolutely no one was invited to speak from the original parent or adult adoptee perspective on an issue that specifically impacts adult adoptees and original parents the most.
On WHYY (Philadelphia), Adam Pertman and Professor Anita Allen from U. of Penn (a lawyer, law professor, and adoptive parent) were interviewed on Adoptee Rights. Again, there was not one original parent or adult adoptee present to speak on the issue.
Today, on CCN, Adam Pertman, Chuck Johnson of the NCFA, and Jennifer Yurfest (and original mother from CUB) were interviewed with Don Lemon on Adoptee Rights. Again, not one adult adoptee was present when discussing an issue about adoptees gaining equal access to their birth records.
We need to change this. The population an issue impacts should be present to speak on the issue. All it takes is for someone putting a show together to realize this and ask us. There is no shortage of well-spoken, qualified, educated, adoptee professionals to speak on adoption.
The CCN show went how you'd expect it to. Pertman was presenting the facts about Adoptee Rights and the NCFA was spreading more unfounded falsities and stereotypes. Both know adoptees and even employ adoptees but appeared on the show themselves rather than empowering an adoptee to do so. The NCFA specifically claims to want to spread a "culture of adoption." Perhaps this means a culture where adult adoptees do not exist. We're the only member of the adoption system not currently listed in their mission statement, yet they're preferred over an actual adult adoptee to speak on adoptee issues. What's wrong with this picture?
A transcript of the CNN show can be found here (starting at 26:42)
Photo credit: Rasmus Thomsen
Tags: Access Legislation, Adoptee Rights, Adoption, EBD Adoption Institute, Ethics, media, NCFA, Original Birth Certificate
Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, MSS, LSW is a social worker, author, and speaker serving the adoption community through individual and family clinical work, groups, writing and teaching, and policy advocacy. She has participated in more than a dozen publishing projects, including authoring, The Declassified Adoptee: Essays of an Adoption Activist. Amanda is the founder of Lost Daughters, a collaborative writing project featuring more than 30 adopted women, and the founder of Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights, a grassroots policy advocacy movement. Amanda was featured as an activist by Yahoo!Voices in 2009, and is listed in Adoptive Families Magazine’s Top 20 Adoption Blogs.surrounding systems.