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October 9, 2015

'Glee' Adoption Storyline Causes Controversy

by Jean Bentley, posted Oct 11th 2011 2:30PM
Glee'Glee' is known for serious storylines shedding light on everything from homophobia to bullying, but there's one thing the show's apparently not getting right -- its portrayal of adoption.

After teen mom Quinn declared on the Sept. 27 episode that she wanted to get her daughter back from adoptive mom Shelby, more than 750 people have signed an online petition asking 'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy to produce an adoption PSA to counteract the fact that the show "perpetuates myths about adoption that harm adopted children, adoptive parents, and birth parents alike."

Campaign creator Amber 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 takes issue with the fact 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."

Murphy has not yet responded to the petition.

Tell us: Do you think 'Glee' should produce an adoption PSA? Or is the show not obligated to do anything? Do you like 'Glee''s adoption storyline?

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Jessica Bush

I think this article needs to correct its statement that most adoptions in the US are open. This is false. There are only a handful of states that allow adoptees access to their records - which is the true definition of an open adoption. And these (so-called) open adoptions in states where the records are actually sealed are legally not enforceable... which means that if the adoptive parents choose to stop contact with the birth parents at any point they can do so and the birth family has no legal standing to challenge that - no matter what the agency tells you. And, yes, in most states there is a certain time frame when a birth mother is allowed to change her mind and get her child back. Of course, this time frame varies by state and most likely won't happen after the final decree has been issued - although it can and has in some cases. (The case of Jessica DeBoer being one of them.) If you really want to learn about adoption... not just the rose colored, unicorns and rainbows view the agency will sell you (because it is a multi-million dollar business) then seek out adoption support groups and learn from adult adoptees, adoptive parents, birthparents and other birth family members about the adoption INDUSTRY and how it works. And PS - I'm adopted.

November 30 2011 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lil ol me

Anyone looking to get information about adoption should go to an agency get literature so on, NOT seek out a fictional show, with fictional characters, so on. It is not a source of knowledge. If people actually SAW the episodes, they would know, that the adopted mom, wants the birth mom and father in the life of the baby, which does happen... Glee isn't there to educate the masses, it is there to entertain, and if you are NOT entertained simply change the dang channel, stop trying to state what other people watch, and how people should write there shows.

October 18 2011 at 2:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tori Ann

I don't think the PSA is a bad idea but "Glee" is a show - an extremely dramatic (and fabulous) TV SHOW! We have to remember that and not take everything we see in the media as the truth. "What about young people that watch the show? They're going to get the wrong idea..." = Well then the parents and/or guardians of said "young people" need to be having these types of conversations with them. In the current age, with all of this exposure to virtual life/media we need to make sure the boundaries between real life and make-believe are set.

October 14 2011 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"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."
Shelby and Beth moved away! That's why there wasn't a relationship from the start! That had nothing to do with it being open or closed or misrepresenting how adoptions work.

October 12 2011 at 5:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

glee..gay.. or "glay"..its all the same sic crap that has put a big target on the youth of this country.
thank GOD for the TMC, HISTORY, and MILITARY channel.

October 12 2011 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Basically the show is about advancing the homosexual agenda...

October 12 2011 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's not what the storyline is doing at all, and anyone who actually watched more than half an episode would know that. *eyeroll* get your facts straight.

October 12 2011 at 9:20 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

It IS a shame. The show has gotten way to political. Typical though~ once a creator gets the "power trip" feeling they feel that whatever they say is gospel. I wish they would go back to the singing and dancing.

October 12 2011 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Idiot premise, idiot show! Glee has gone downhill and I no longer watch it. Too much bull, not enough music. They played with the original premise and ruined the show! Why??

October 12 2011 at 8:31 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Connie Kenney

The country is falling apart and all anyone can think about is how factual a TV show is? Time may be better spent getting a petition against what the government is doing to American. Wake up people before it is too late!

October 12 2011 at 8:19 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Connie Kenney's comment

It doesn't matter because the government doesn't listen to its people. Never has, never will.

October 12 2011 at 9:51 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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