Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8 - Adoption in Fiction

 Adoption in Fiction. Comment on how adoption is portrayed in fiction, either as a fiction reader or writer. Adoption in classic fiction often centers on the orphan experience, from Oliver Twist and Little Men, to orphan Jane Eyre living with her aunt and cousins. Today there’s the Twilight series and others that use adoption to explain “families” comprised of various vampires. Talk about other examples of adoption used as a plot device in fiction. What types of adoption stories or adopted characters have resonated with you? Or haven't? Are the feelings and experiences described authentically, accurately? Discuss. As a writer, do you have a fictional adopted character? What issues is this character dealing with? What is their deepest secret or desire? If you have a desire to educate your readers about adoption, what do you want them to learn?

I've written about adoption in fiction a few times, TV shows like ER, 90210 and Amazing Race.   I also participated in an Adoption Reading Challenge last year, with the goal  to read 12 books with adoption related themes (I didn't make it to 12 -  my free time for reading and my break from adoption topics only let me get through 4 books).

One thing that bugs me on a lot of TV shows is that the adoptee is often portrayed as this broken, psycho-path who was of coursed, abused and abandoned as a child and had a horrible experience in foster care.  Maybe I just watch too many crime-scene shows.

Another thing that bothers me is the idea of adoptive parents as the saviours, rescuing the poor orphaned child from a horrible life.  The birth parents area always portrayed with every worse possible stereotype and are never, ever considered as even worthy of being a part of the child's life.

So overall, my view of adoption in fiction is pretty bleak. 
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