I was sitting in my living room, minding my own business when a promo came on the television for a new show. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Find My Family is a show set to debut on ABC, a channel I rarely watch, on November 23rd. The premise of the show is to reunite family members who have, in the words of the press release, “lost touch.” Included in that are, of course, birth parents and the children they relinquished for adoption. The press release can be read here.
A unique spin on this particular spinoff of the idea we’ve seen presented on television over the past few years is that the two searchers on the show are both adoptees. This could be good. This could be bad. This could not matter at all. What does matter is the fact that in the first episode the two birth parents are… married. I say that this matters because, so often, birth parents are portrayed as scandalous teens or young adults who slept around. These two “beat all the odds” and have been married for 27 years, raising three children in the meantime.
I’ll DVR the show and give it a thorough review here. I’m sure it will be both uplifting and heartbreaking. But, for the record, I hate shows like these. I hate the exploitation of raw human emotion. I hate that we set these families up without giving them support of counseling that they might need after the honeymoon phase of reunion wears off. I don’t hate that we’re reuniting families; I love that! I hate that we’re not offering these families the counseling that they likely need to endure the emotional roller coaster that they’re boarding.
As such, I’m torn. I want families to be reunited. I also want families to be supported. Surely there is a middle ground. I hope that those who tune in to watch this show learn that adoption isn’t always the easy answer. I do hope that it isn’t a glorification of the adoption industry without a thorough discussion of the emotional turmoil that goes on for all members of the triad. I hope that these families find a way to make their post-reunion-day lives work. I hope that they realize that reunion isn’t easy. It can be beautiful but it’s not easy.
I’ll watch the show on the 23rd at 9:30. If you do, I encourage you to come back on the 24th for my review and to provide your input.