I’m a blogger, so I don’t need to adhere to journalistic ideals such as research, facts, and due diligence. I get to write whatever I think and pass it off as fact just because it’s my opinion. That’s the pro and con of the blogging platform. So bear with me when I say – You, Tom Weber, failed to do your job as a journalist today by presenting a program about international adoption with a panel that consisted of three white adoptive parents and a director of an adoption agency, also white.
(Read a great summary and critique of your show here>>)
And, when challenged by an adult adoptee caller for excluding local adult adoptees who are also adoption professionals, your lame answer basically indicated that 1) You have NO CLUE about the relatively HUGE number of adoptees who work in or research about adoption in your own community 2) You have NO CLUE about adoption in general and have irresponsibly reinforced the general perception of adoption as a finite transaction that takes place between adoption agencies and adoptive parents.
Local adult adoptees who can tell you what it is actually like to be internationally adopted (and who know A LOT about adoption!):
- Kevin Ost-Vollmers
- Ami Nafzger
- Jae Ran Kim
- Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
- Kim Park Nelson
- Anyone at AdoptSource
- Anyone at AK Connection
Other Adult adoptees who can help you understand the complexities of adoption (It’s REALLY complex!):
- Astrid Dabbeni
- Dr. John Raible
- Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavo
- David Smolin (adoptive parent)
- Arun Dohle
- Joy Rho
- Melanie Chung Sherman
These lists are not even close to comprehensive! So, the next time you talk about adoption on your show, I expect to hear one of these people (or people like them) on your panel.
A model for a story about adoption that doesn’t completely suck (as recommended by Jae Ran Kim):
Also, some pointers when selecting guests:
- Being an adoptive parent does not make you an expert on adoption. It just makes you an adoptive parent. Parents can offer their individual perspective on their personal adoption process, but they cannot offer expert opinions about the adoption industry or the experience of adoptees. Just like any profession, you have to study and critically examine the subject to develop expertise.
- Adoption agencies are also not experts on adoption. They are experts in facilitating the adoption process. Even though adoption agencies are set-up as nonprofit organizations, they have a bottom line and it is to facilitate adoptions. Therefore, they cannot offer an objective opinion about the decline of international adoption because a decline in adoptions of any kind equals a decline in their livelihood. It’s like asking a tobacco company to tell you that the decline in cigarette sales is a good thing.
- Adult adoptees are the people adoption is happening to. We are the ones who ultimately deal with the consequences of adoption. But, many of us don’t rely on our personal experience alone to make us experts. We study, analyze, and thoughtfully critique the adoption experience, because we don’t want to make a buck, we want to make the experience better for our community.
Tom, I know I’ve been hard on you, but if adult adoptees don’t demand some respect and recognition, you and others will continue to ignore our voices and confine the adoption experience to very limited points-of-view. I know it is tempting to discount me as angry and disgruntled, but if you do your research about adult adoptees, you’ll find that we are passionate and proud and ready to help people like you present a fresh, comprehensive and complex view on adoption.
Want to do a truly innovative story about adoption? Host a panel of adult adoptees (see lists above). We kick ass.