“Adoption Diaries” is a new television show on the WE network.
Thus far, the episodes have featured couples who have struggled with infertility. The show interviews the couple about their struggles, and desire to raise a family. The answers offered are honest, raw, and emotional.
The show also features a woman who is pregnant, and making an adoption plan. Again, when interviewed, the answers are the same nature as the adoptive parents-- honest, raw, and emotional.
I think it's great when a television show focuses on adoption. However, I do have a few concerns about this show. First, as a viewer, I feel like I'm intruding on a very personal experience. I know that each party agreed to be on television. However, unlike previous shows on adoption, you see firsthand the emotions the birth mother is going through about a decision that will change her life forever. In “Adoption Diaries”, you also see the raw emotions that grandparents and extended family go through on both sides. This is definitely a reality of adoption, but I do feel odd watching their personal conversations about the future of the unborn child.
Second, the show focuses on domestic open adoptions. Open adoption is a wonderful avenue for many families However, by solely focusing on open adoption, they are leaving out other successful types of adoptions. Semi-open, closed, foster to adopt, and international adoptions all have thousands of stories waiting to be told.
Why not feature one type of story each week? The show could reach a wider audience, and have the potential to reach the people it needs to reach most—those considering adoption. Again, I'm not sure I want to see every single detail, as it does feel like you're overstepping a boundary. But learning a little bit about all types of adoption would be a welcome change.
Finally, I'm worried the show may not portray the realities of all areas of open adoption. For example, what happens if opinions change after the baby is born (on either side)? What happens when it comes time to make a guest list for baby's christening, birthday parties, etc., and the parents can't agree on whether to invite the birth mother? Or, what happens if the birth mother has mixed feelings about attending?
In open adoption, these are some of the realities that families cope with everyday. Many families make it work flawlessly, and others have real challenges. I hope that this show will provide insight into some of these challenges, and suggestions for coping with them should they arise.
There's no doubt that the show is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Even though I feel like I'm eavesdropping on very personal conversations, these are real conversations taking place every day.
The show has great potential to reach out and educate others considering adoption.