Sunday, June 25

Another Strange "News" Article

Multiethnic Families (and the ignorant newspaper authors who write about them)

There has been quite a bit of buzz recently about an article that appeared last week in the LA Times. The title of the article written by Leslie Gornstein is “How to Shop for Kids the Brangelina Way”. Was the author trying to educate or be funny? She did neither. It is appalling that many continue to see adoption, and for some reason especially international adoption, as the purchase of a child. I can’t say that I’m especially fond of Angelina Jolie because she has done and said some very strange things over the years, but I do understand her comment that prompted this article. From what I can tell this is the comment that prompted this article: “Next, we’ll adopt. We don’t know which country. It’s gonna be the balance of what would be the best for Mad (Maddox, who was adopted in Cambodia) and for Z (Zahara, who was adopted in Ethiopia) right now. It’s, you know, another boy, another girl, which country, which race would fit best with the kids.” For some reason, the author of the above mentioned article and another LA Times author, who penned an article titled, “Angelina’s Greatest Hits” found Angelina’s comment to be odd and worthy of analysis.

I do not find her comment odd or offensive. It’s realistic when a family is considering adoption. As my husband and I considered adoption, we too discussed and gave consideration to the gender and race of our future child. We weighed the options carefully – domestic adoption of a Caucasian child, domestic adoption of a child of another race or of mixed races, or international adoption of a child from a European or Asian or African country. We ultimately made the choice that was the best for our family – the best country and race for our family. While families such as ours carefully evaluate the pros and cons of various adoption options, the manner in which Ms. Gornstein spoke of the “upside” and “downside” of certain countries and “likelihood” that Jolie would adopt a child from one of these countries was highly offensive.

I don’t expect that we’ll see any sort of apology from Gornstein or the LA Times. What drivel like this does is prompt discussion and makes me to give thought to how I will answer my daughters when they may ask me, “Mommy, did you buy me?” or any other number of questions prompted by the uninformed and insensitive.