Frank McMullan's blog

My post-retirement blog adventures

Film review: Off and Running

with 2 comments

family photo

Avery Klein-Cloud with the rest of her family

Almost by chance, I was recently invited to a viewing of Off and Running, a very fine documentary film about a Jewish lesbian couple who adopted several children, including Avery, a black girl, the main subject of the documentary.  No doubt a very loving family, it took me a while to work out the underlying “issue” in the family.   As I best grasped it, the adoptive parents shared fully their culture with their children, but they overlooked the birth culture of the children to the extent that at least in one instance it caused huge difficulties.  They couldn’t grasp its importance for their daughter when she needed to find out who she was – and not simply as regards possible contact with birth parents which they were fine with.  Transracial and transnational adoptions – more and more the norm nowadays – have additional demands above those in traditional adoptions. I never considered this previously.

The screening was organised by Adoption Mosaic, a Portland, OR, based innovative education, practice and support service for the whole child adoption community.

Here’s an interesting blog I came across on a related subject:

National Adoption Month: 10 Common Misconceptions about Adoption

November is National Adoption Month in the United States, and although the main purpose of the month is to encourage adoption of children in foster care, all things adoption seem to make the Internet rounds each November. This seems as good a time as any to clear up some of the most common misconceptions people outside of adoption tend to have about it. Here are the ten that came instantly to mind, based on my own experience of talking to people about adoption

1. Birth mothers are all teenagers.

Birth mothers (sometimes called “natural” or “first” mothers) — international and domestic — come in all ages and from all walks of life. Some are teens, but the mythical “unwed teen mother” that many people think of when they imagine adoption is a hold-over from the 1950s and 1960s when single and teen motherhood were less acceptable in certain areas of society than they are now. These days, the reasons for placing children in adoptive families tend to be more diverse than mere age or marital status…  Read more

via Shannon LC Cate


Written by Frank McMullan

27 November 2010 at 07:44

Posted in Adoption

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Frank, I haven’t seen the film you mention, I must seek it out. Joseph and I were recently approved to adopt; hopefully a sibling pair, between ages of 4-9. You’re comments on the adoptive parents not facilitating the children to understand their own culture is such a common complaint for transracial or transcultural adoption. It’s a massive issue here in the UK, but seems to be less of an issue in USA.

    Donal Traynor

    12 December 2010 at 17:40

    • Season’s greetings. Wishing you all every happiness and fulfilment on this next stage of life’s journey for each of you. My interest here is that my son is adopted, though without any of the particular complexities covered in the documentary.


      13 December 2010 at 00:55

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