Monday, April 19, 2004

Adoption in the Media

Adoptive Families has some articles on their website regarding the portrayal of adoption in the media including reviews of popular movies and a rating of their "adoption friendliness." One review is of the movie Stuart Little, which we own and I have seen a few times. The review states that it is very adoption "un"-friendly, which is not what I expected. However, the reviewer mentions issues that I would not have thought of but which I think are important to realize.

In the movie, Stuart is a mouse adopted by the human Little family. Later in the story, a mouse couple comes to the Little house claiming to be Stuart's parents. The Littles allow Stuart to go with them. The mice turn out to be liars and in the end of the movie, Stuart returns to the Littles and all is well.

I always assumed the ends justify the means - the ending of the movie shows that Stuart obviously belongs with his real family, the Littles. However, the author of the review points out that children who understand what is going on in the story don't think of the happy ending to come... they see that Stuart's adoptive family willingly gave him up without much of a fight as if he didn't belong with them.

While writing this, I again consider whether this is going a little far with what seems to be a harmless story that ends up with the characters together as a family as they should be. But I have to wonder... how long does it take for multiple examples like this to take root in our minds and make us believe, without realizing it, that a decision like the Littles' is realistic and correct?

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