Friday, June 4, 2010

Celebrity Adoption & Secrecy

Sandra Bullock waited months before announcing her adoption, and Sheryl Crow announced today that she adopted a second son a while ago.  Jenna at Chronicles of Munchkinland considers the "'hush-hush' that is surrounding recent adoption announcements in Hollywood:"

I’m hesitant to support any kind of secrecy in adoption. I thought we had pulled away from the Baby Scoop Era and moved toward something a bit more open. Even those who don’t support open adoption and on-going relationships with first families can admit that society’s past love-affair with secrecy in adoption wasn’t always the best choice. So when I see someone keeping a child’s addition to a family secret, even briefly, I kind of prickle. Again, I’m assuming that the secrecy is based upon a desire to avoid the media hounds. But still. They wouldn’t keep it a secret if they were growing a baby in their belly. I mean, we’ve got word that John Travolta’s wife is expecting another. Why treat the two differently?
Go read the whole thing, and then tell us what you think.  Is this trend toward secrecy a problem?


travelmom and more said...

With the unpredictability of adoption compounded with a hounding media, I don't blame these families for their "secrecy." I imagine their families and friends know about their adoptions, so why is it any of our business if they don’t give a press release? We have had paperwork in for a second adoption going on three years now, and we have told almost no one. There is no big secret; I just don't want to deal with questions about when? We have no idea when or even if a second adoption is going to happen for us so why announce it to those out of our inner circle if we don’t know for sure. Additionally if I were famous I wouldn’t want the added pressure of the media following a venerable child around, I think it is good parenting that these families choose to keep their kids sheltered from the public for a while.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a difference between a celebrity keeping the adoption of a child secret from the media, and thus having that child become a tool for the media money making machine, and keeping adoption in-and-of-itself a secret or taboo topic.

If I were either of those women, I'd have kept the adoption secret as well.


Jennifer said...

I agree with Anonymous in regards to keeping the adoption mum from the press. I personally am friends with two people who have become relatively famous in Hollywood (one in film and the other in television) and their efforts to keep their private lives private are impressive.

To answer the question, "We've got word that John Travolta's wife is expecting another. Why treat the two [pregnancy vs. adoption] differently?"

Because they can.

Wendy said...

I personally don't care whether they keep it secret or not, same with their bio children. What is with celeberity fetish anyway?

An actor's private life should be just that. The more we make their adoptions "special", the more I think it hurts adoption. Stereotypes are reinforced when their adoptions are public and oftentimes, they are NOT the face of what adoption should be and yet, they are given that status.

I know it is a pipe dream, but I wish celebrity was something of the past--overhyped people being overpaid for contributing nothing more than entertainment to the world. Maybe I will be a bigger fan when educators, those in social services, and volunteers recieve kudos and checks to help them pursue their passions. Sports and TV stars and their lives do nothing for me, neither does their personal life. my soapbox.

Maddcuhess said...

I'll never understand this sense of entitlement people have towards the private lives of celebrities. What some may see as secrecy, I see as privacy. My question is why do people feel they have the right to now exactly when a celebrity adopts or gets pregnant?

JBH said...

I'm not thrilled about the secrecy...but understand about media hounds.

Also, when a celeb's belly is's hard to keep that a secret from paparazzi.

Posie said...

I left this comment on Jenna's site - it's still awaiting moderation, though comments posted after it have been approved.

"What happens if a celebrity confirms that he or she is part of an open adoption, and the media discovers the identities of the child’s birth family? This isn’t such a farfetched possibility – when Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick confirmed that they were expecting twins via surrogate, the surrogate mother was stalked by paparazzi and her photos and personal information were posted on gossip websites.

With that situation in mind, I can see why a celebrity might hesitate to confirm whether or not an adoption was open. A birth mother probably wouldn’t want her Facebook photos on TMZ, or “birth mother of Sandra Bullock’s son” to come up every time an employer Googled her name."

I feel that this is a relevant point - is it ethical for a celebrity to confirm that an adoption is open if this means probable intrusions into the birth family's privacy? It's not about shame - it's about an individual's right to decide who to share personal information with, how, and when.

Anonymous said...

Secrecy may be the wrong word. Why not use privacy?
Is it anyone's business what people do to make a family? I don't share our story with everyone. I think that all families are entitled to privacy.