Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tap, Tap, Tap, is this Thing On? CNN Features Adoptee Issue but Forgets to Invite Adoptees to the Table

I am glad that Adoptee Rights was given some real visibility on CCN TV with Don Lemon.  However, I am disappointed that an adult adoptee was not asked to be present for the interview.  Once again, adoptees were not given a place at the table.  This has become the norm in adoption.  Although some of my adoptive parent friends are some of my favorite people ever, they will tell you themselves that adoptive parents cannot be the only member of the adoption system invited to speak on adoption.  Adoptive parents and agencies are too often the only people invited to speak about adoption.  Shouldn't those who live out being adopted everyday of their lives be invited too?

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

4 comments:

Gaye Tannenbaum said...

I knew there was a problem when Don Lemon introduced the segment with:

"You know what, there has been a long debate over giving adopted children access to birth records."

Margaret Susan Hoffman-LyBurtus said...

As a birthmom I was glad we were represented but I do agree an adoptee should have weighed in for sure, after all they are the ones being denied the OBC's, Duh! To CNN....... do another show with them included.

Peach said...

Excellent points as usual! I thought Jennifer and Adam did an great job keeping "the main thing the main thing" in their facts that overwhelmingly support adoptee access legislation. We're making progress. Maybe some of us adorable little "adopted children" will be given the microphone soon. lol

CullyRay said...

Peach's comment about "us adorable little 'adopted children'..." made me think that maybe we should all post pictures of us when we were those adorable little children on Facebook... maybe for the month of August or maybe like Ann Wilmer - her's is up all the time (she was very adorable!!)