My co-blogger, Heather’s recent post about the media’s ignorance in portraying birthparents got me thinking about my own rant. They not only are ignorant about birthparents but about the whole adoption subject as a whole and will use it at any time to make a story “juicier.” This subject has been on my mind a lot lately as the subject of adoption keeps coming up in the news more and more.
Have you noticed how the media uses adoption to describe people in their stories? At times, adoption is a pertinent part of the story and needs mentioning but other times it is pointless and I think the only reason it is mentioned is to sensationalize the story a tad bit more.
For example, there was a big local story back in the fall, about two children who were found in a park greatly malnourished and alone while their mother was out shopping. It was one of the big stories around these parts for a bit, bearing mentioning on the local news and headlining on the front page in the local newspaper. The children were taken from her and she was charged with child neglect. Instead of using this story as a platform to educate others about child abuse or child neglect, the local media put the main emphasis of the story on the fact that these children were adopted and that this was their adoptive mother and all the headlines read that. “Adoptive mother starves children,” read the headlines. I’m sure you’ve seen it before and you know what I am talking about, right?
In most stories like this one, I don’t think it matters whether the child is adopted or not. If this woman was going to starve her children and leave them unattended while she went shopping, it seems like she probably would have done that whether they were adopted or biological children. So why draw the negative attention to adoption by focusing on that fact? Sadly, I guess sensationalizing the story sells newspapers and increases ratings.