Sep 28, 201109:45 PMChina Mom
Thanks a lot, Quinn
Okay, I’ll admit it – I watch Glee. Although, I’ll also admit, I’m not “watching” it as much as I used to. During Season 1, I was glued to the television set, my inner music nerd rocking out to all the songs. Lately though, I find I’m often doing something else – scanning Facebook, picking up the living room, reading.
But this week, I was intrigued by the adoption storyline – naturally. If you aren’t familiar with the show, Quinn, the former perfect cheerleader and gleeclubber, placed her baby for adoption and all but walked away at the end of the second season. The stipulations of the adoption weren’t clear, but that was really okay – this is Glee, not 16 and Pregnant. The following season, the pregnancy, the baby and the adoption were hardly mentioned.
This season, Quinn is lost and seeking a new identity – as shown by her pink hair, nose ring and her new circle of friends, “the skanks.” She smokes. She has no ambition. She doesn’t even want to be in the Glee Club. She’s gone from mean girl to bad girl.
Until…she meets her baby. And then all bets are off. She dyes her hair back to blonde, joins the Glee Club and tells the baby’s birthfather, “I have to get her back…we’re gonna get full custody.”
Wait…you’re gonna what now? With so many horror stories about birthmothers who change their minds and keep or come back for their babies, we really don’t need that stereotype perpetuated on television. Thanks a lot, Quinn. Thanks a lot, Glee.
But that seems to be the case these days. Adoption stereotypes abound. It seemed this summer we couldn’t go to a movie without being bombarded with adoption themes from Tangled (a baby girl is stolen and raised by some crazy woman who claims to be her mother) to Kung Fun Panda 2 (a baby panda is abandoned and raised by a goose who never tells his son about his "real parents). The movieplex was filled with landmines for adoptive families.
And adoption is never portrayed correctly on the screen – it’s either too easy (and six months later they have their baby!) or done for the wrong reasons (a baby will save our marriage - we'll "just" adopt!). Birthmothers are either portrayed as martyrs or baby stealers. And adoptive parents are either conniving and rich or earnest and fragile.
Back to Glee, where Quinn went from one stereotype to another. She started out an uninvolved birthmother and took a quantum leap to baby stealer. There has to be something in between when it comes to open adoptions.
I realize I’m not one to discuss the ins and outs of domestic adoptions and what happens if they’re open or closed. My daughter is from a faraway land and our adoption is as closed as you can get – we will never know who her birthparents are. There are absolutely no records of her birth. She was found at an office building in China. No note. No identifying papers of any kind.
But I can relate on some level when I hear a television character announce that she’s going to get “her baby” back, no matter what. It cuts to the quick. The child is not “her baby.” That baby has a mother – a mother who has cared for her, held her and loved her for months. To lose that just so Quinn can find herself is a storyline I don’t think I can bear to watch.