Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Oscars are Coming!

It's almost time for the Academy Awards! I was recently invited to guest-post at America Adopts. I appreciate their commitment to teaching about openness in adoption. In training prospective foster/adoptive parents, I noticed that the majority hadn't yet asked themselves about how they would approach openness; I'm grateful when agencies are proactive in raising the question and genuine in their efforts to educate about the benefits of openness. Please jump over to their blog to read my post, "Using Movies to Talk About Open Adoption." Please comment, too! As we create a culture that expects openness and honest communication in adoption, more adoptions will be characterized by open, healthy communication.


On February 24, we’ll know the winners of the 85th Academy Awards. Maybe you’re not enough of a movie buff to tune in to the Oscars, but you may have seen some of the Best Picture nominees. Or subscribed to Netflix. Or stopped by Redbox. We watch films because they’re entertaining, because they create a sense of shared culture, and because they connect with our stories in powerful ways. We imagine ourselves into the story, and we’re able to do that because the characters reflect parts of ourselves and parts of our stories. Films can get people talking and thinking about important things.  

Like adoption issues.

Families interested in open adoption are hoping to build a relationship with the first family of their children. They see how openly-shared relationships, information and stories can benefit to themselves, the first family, and the child. A family with an open adoption is pursuing honest and open communication as well as contact. Attention is often given to maintaining open communication between both sets of parents, and between the child and the first parents, but there’s also value in open, adoption-centered communication between the adoptive parents and the child. Some families intend to have this communication but find it difficult to establish. 

Questions like, “How do you feel about the relationship between your two sets of parents?” and “How does being adopted impact your identity?” might help a child identify and talk through feelings which they find confusing, but adoptive parents might find it difficult to ask those questions in a non-threatening way. Movies can help start the conversations. 

Oscar Best Picture nominee Les Miserables shows the unconditional love that Jean Valjean has for both his adopted daughter Cosette and for Cosette’s mother, Fantine. A conversation about the love between adoptive parents and first parents could naturally flow from this movie. 

Read the Rest on AmericaAdopts

Enjoy this article? Why not "Sit in the Front Row!" Sign up in the top-right corner! Also, find Adoption at the Movies on Facebook

You might also enjoy these Adoption Movie Guides of this year's Best Picture Nominees!

Adoption Movie Guide: Les Miserables
Adoption Movie Guide: Life of Pi

Feel like reading even more?  These two guest posts could be good reads!

Open or Closed? The History of Openness in Adoption in the United States
4 Things Social Workers Can Do to Avoid Burning Out.

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