Please read what my very smart friend Rich Lee, professor at the University of Minnesota, has to say about Penelope’s statement, "For a while I’ve had the feeling that my life won’t be complete if I don’t adopt."
It is an interesting rhetoric to say one’s life would be incomplete
without adoption. It reminds me of the imagery of pregnancy invoked and
employed by some people who choose to adopt. [** Side note, most of the readers know what I’m talking about – things like the "China ultrasound" photo on t-shirts, using the term "paper pregnancy" etc.]
I agree with Rich when he writes that positioning adoption in a biological birth discourse positions adoptive families as non-legitimate by comparing and contrasting against non-adoptive families as being the standard. Rich writes,
Worse still, families who adopt and elect to use the bio-birth
narrative are willingly or unwillingly falling into the dominant
discourse that adoption is inferior and therefore attempting to gain
legitimacy through fallacious reasoning.
What compels Ms. Cruz to make such a comment? . . . It
definitely came across as privileged and entitled. Regardless of her
intention, the message that it sends is that adoption is not normal and
she is clearly special to have such an innate calling.
That makes sense, though I am not surprised that adoptive parents would take a defensive stance, which is how I might see these attempts at legitimacy.
But I think it is also about becoming a parent. Anyone that is any sort of parent knows how important a relationship it is.
I don’t know what it feels like to be a biological parent, but I do know what it feels like to be unconditionally committed. And I never knew that until this part of my life.
I don’t know why celebrities feel this need to follow trends or whatever the blazes they are up to, but at least they stir up thought and discussion.