‘Glee’ adoption plot sparks online petition
An adoptive mother is using an online advocacy platform to distribute a petition calling on the producers of Fox’s “Glee” to create a public service announcement that would offset what she calls “harmful” inaccuracies in an adoption-based story line.
Amber Austin said she initiated the petition on Change.org because of a plotline involving cheerleader Quinn (Dianna Agron), a teen mother who placed her baby up for adoption. On the show, Quinn is, as the petition puts it, “actively (and with malice)” trying to get the baby back from adoptive mother Shelby (Idina Menzel). In a convoluted twist, Shelby is the birth mother of adopted Glee Club member Rachel (Lea Michele).
More than 1,400 people have signed an online petition asking ‘Glee’ creator Ryan Murphy to produce an adoption Public Service Announcement (PSA) to counteract the fact that the show “perpetuates myths about adoption that harm adopted children, adoptive parents, and birth parents alike.” The PSA would clarify that it is not easy to take a child away from its adoptive parents.
Ms. Austin told The Hollywood Reporter, “When people are considering adoption, there is a lot of worry and confusion about the relationship with the birth mother. I know that ‘Glee’ is a dramatic show, but it uses that drama to talk about important issues like racism, homophobia and sexism. Since adoption is such a core part of ‘Glee,’ the producers have an opportunity to raise awareness about how adoption really works.”
The petition notes that “in real, legitimate adoptions, a birth mother cannot simply take a child away from their family or pop back into a child’s life. … Furthermore, most adoptions in the US are open to some extent, so these dramatic scenes with birthmothers never take place because a relationship exists from the start. For adopted children, the show raises the fear that they may be taken away from their adopted families. And for adoptive parents and birth mothers, the show creates confusion about the nature of adoption — confusion and mistruths that proponents of adoption constantly work to dispel.”
What do you think? Is the Glee storyline problematic for adoptions?