' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Want to "star" in reality TV? Sign up to give your baby up

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Want to "star" in reality TV? Sign up to give your baby up

Decry the adoption culture all day long, but from the Adoption Option (see sidebar) to a casual comment the other evening about adopting a child instead of raising a chimp in one's home (who later goes berserk and chews up a neighbor's face), it's with us everywhere. Today's New York Times has a story about gay adoption and how it is on the rise. That story featured Matt and Ray Lees of Worthington, Ohio, who adopted eight
children between then, a seven-month old infant (presumably from the U.S.) two children from Haiti; and five siblings of a drug-addicted mother who could not care for them. We wish we knew more about the infant and the Haitian adoptions; but we do not. 

As for adopting five siblings from a mother who can't care for them, we say, good job. Without question, these men, who are white, are adopting black children in need of stable homes with regular meals and parental love and guidance. And the fact that they are keeping the siblings together is another boon. It can't be easy to find a home for five siblings. I mention the race issue here, because that undoubtedly raised the degree of difficulty of finding homes for these kids.

Because the siblings were born after 1996, they will be able to access their original birth certificates if they were born in Ohio. Their ages are not given, but from the photo, at least some of them are old enough to remember their other and retain a connection to her if possible.

The story also states that there are 115,000 adoptable children hoping for homes in the United States. Let us assume these are not children being produced to feed the adoption market, or that their mothers were coerced into giving up their children; these are kids in real need. But these adoptions are not the sexy stories that make good TV.

From a commenter, Cedar, today we learned that a production company called "Pop Management Entertainment" is conducting a national search for pregnant women who are considering placing their child up for adoption. Supposedly, "this ground-breaking documentary" will tell the story from the point of view of young expecting BIRTH mothers who are at a crossroads, facing the most important decision of their lives..." (emphasis ours) apparently we become birth mothers as soon as it crosses our minds that adoption might be necessary.

You can sign up to be a "star" on the upcoming show--the online form actually asks if you want to be the "star" in this drama or just a "fan." That's as far as I got before I wanted to throw my computer across the floor and shoot the producer. As we know from other shows such as Sixteen and Pregnant, the possibility of appearing on one of these shows had led girls to get pregnant in the hope of being chosen*

What is so objectionable about shows like this is that they will undoubtedly encourage young, impressionable, needy teens and young women to give up their babies because they feel they have no choice once they "committed" to the contract of going through with it; even if the contract signed during the weeks beforehand doesn't include that they "must" go through with the adoption, the emotional coercion will be intense. They will not want to disappoint their "friends" and "reality star" makers, the producers. --lorraine


  1. Here in Illinois because of recent legislation that allows civil unions, Catholic charities has stated they will suspend adoptions. They say that letting gay couples adopt is against their beliefs. I believe that they have filed a lawsuit.

  2. I want to be on a show where a woman is comtemplating divorce (we'll call her a divorcee even though she is still married). Five fabulous, sexually-starved middle-aged women with more cash and nicer homes than the divorcee will compete to claim her future ex-husband. I will do whatever it takes to win! But there will be requirements for the future-ex: prefer white, college educated, no tattoos, good table manners.

    Would that be tacky? No, of course not, it will be a ground-breaking documentary!

  3. This surprises anyone? I don't know about you but when they started making celebrity hijinks the headliner for the news, I stopped having faith in the American mind. Idiocy seems to make millions so they keep doing it.

  4. One thing, as a person, that each of us can do is to boycott any channel or broadcaster that permits these kinds of shows to be aired.

  5. I looked at the site for the production company. Seems there are many people who spend a great deal of effort pitching themselves to reality show producers. I always wondered where they found folks who are so eager to humiliate themsevles on TV, but now I see that they are mostly wannabe actresses, singers, and other no-talents of various stripes. Gone are the days of having actually having a real talent....just become a caricature of yourself on the tube and you're guaranteed a certain amount of fame. Oh, it helps to be the meanest of the mean girls with lots of catfighting and screaming (ala Real Housewives of Whatever City).

    This "ground breaking documentary" will likely result in the typical reality-show garbage that is standard fare these days. Another opportunity to present a nuanced view of the complexities of adoption will be wasted yet again. But someone will get famous and make a little cash, so I guess that's what counts.

  6. Discovery Fit & Health channel's series (Formerly TLC?)"Adoption Stories" t.v. series is right up there with this one. I remember reading that a first mother didn't want to place but she was being filmed for this show. She ending up placing.

  7. These show are disgusting...

    Unplanned pregnancy and a subsequent surrender due to making a very uniformed choice is nothing to celebrate and not the business of millions of people who watch this crap.

    How are these women going to feel, some 20 years down the road, when they live not only with the anguish of a decision that they now regret, but to have done so in front of millions who watched it as if it is now some spectator sport?

    For those women who want to be a "star" via exploiting their unplanned pregnancies (or NOT so unplanned, to get on a reality show), I just have no words, except for why? I will never understand that.

    I watched 16 and Pregnant last night and the it happened to be the episode about the girl who was considering adoption. She didn't go through with it. I am sure as she watches her precious child grow, as she should have, it is a decision she will never regret.

    I hope some of these women will read stories, such as ours, about what it is REALLY like to lose your child to adoption and opt out of such idiocy via reality television...

  8. I cannot watch a reality show that follows the lives of expectant mothers thinking through their options. I just can't. It is inhumane and makes no sense.

    The severing of a family should never be filmed for public comsumption - it just shouldn't. And the one at the center of all that has their rights stripped away without a second thought.

    And sadly you are right Lorraine - some girls will get pregnant hoping to get on these shows.

    I bet the adoption industry is salavating at yet another show promoting adoption.

    I'm sad now.

  9. I'm starting to think that it boils down to this: all shows featuring "live" people, be it Maury, Montel, 16 and Pregnant, or whatever, just exist because people want to be vaildated that SOMEONE has it worse off than they do--that someone else's behavior is worse than theirs, no matter what they're actually getting away with.

    It's sad, pathetic, and sad again. The fact that the people of this country take pleasure in seeing other fellow americans (let alone humans) suffer, just because it makes THEM seem less like the leeches of society that they really are....


    What is becoming of our world.....

  10. Agreeing with Lauren. I may be the last person on earth who has never watched a reality show of any sort, unless you count animal and nature shows. The human animal is too disgusting.

    Anyone who goes on one of these shows to be "famous" pretty much deserves what she gets, including any pregnant young woman stupid and greedy enough to sign up. If everyone ignores this crap, it WILL go away. The only reason it exists is money and ratings."Reality" which is always scripted, is cheaper than paying actors.

  11. Perhaps we need to make our own production special.

    Yep! We'll call it "Survivors: First Mother Island." We'll lock a bunch of people in a Closet of Shame. Show rampant disregard for their civil liberties. Pressure them into signing over their parental rights by any means possible. Yell vile things at them. Accuse them of prostitution, drug addiction, child abuse, child abandonment and baby selling. Slap duct tape over their mouths and sentence them to 3 decades of silence. Then, after they're shell-shocked, beaten down and heartbroken? We'll suddenly let them free with this little piece of advice: "Forget and Go On!"

    Nahhhh....that's too much reality for reality TV. Nobody would ever believe it!!!!!

  12. I truly feel sorry for any expectant mother who buys into this type of “reality show”.
    Of course there will be extensive manipulation to the expectant mothers by the producers of the show. They are only looking at ratings and the profitability. Humanity, which gets thrown out of the equation when dollars are to be made.
    What about their child if they choose adoption? Will that child get a copy of the show their mother “starred” in when they are older?

  13. To return to the original topic, my nephew and his partner (married thanks to the State of New Hampshire) recently adopted a boy from Arizona. Though I'm sure two guys raising an infant will have its funny moments, I think they will be good parents. The mother chose them because of their liberal views, and provided contact information for their son's sibling so he will know family.

    As for foster adoption, I work with CASA and in the case I currently have, the mother is losing two of her four children to adoption and may lose my two if she keeps failing drug tests. I have given up on her, and am determined to work for the kids in my case, keeping them in contact with their shattered siblings. No, adoption is not the best of all worlds for kids, but neither is living with a meth head mom.

  14. @d28bob, the topic AT HAND was reality t.v's disgusting attempt to exploit young, pregnant,vulnerable woman and their infants, was it not? I was not aware it was about Gay adoption...

    Love this quote:

    "I have given up on her, and am determined to work for the kids in my case, keeping them in contact with their shattered siblings. No, adoption is not the best of all worlds for kids, but neither is living with a meth head mom..."

    Isn't is wonderful to sit on your holier than thou throne and control the life of another and her children?

    Drug addiction is horrific, this is true, but who are you to judge and say you have "given up on her"? This is a human being you are speaking of, not some soulless creature not worthy of redemption.

    Get over yourself why don't ya...



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