Saturday, October 14, 2006

dean mcdermott's "adopted daughter" lola

Dear Editor of the [Philadelphia Inquirer] Newsmakers column:

I read Newsmakers daily, and I have noticed that it is your policy always to note that a celebrity's child is adopted, even when the story has nothing to do with adoption. It also appears to be your policy to do that by putting the adjective "adopted" in front of the word "son" or "daughter," such as in today's column, which notes that Dean McDermott has a son, Jack, and an adopted daughter, Lola.

I am wondering if you can clarify for me why you have this policy? I have two children whom I adopted, and I certainly think that adoption is a wonderful thing, and something that we in our family are very open about and celebrate. However, if you asked me to describe my relationship to my children and what it means for us to be a family, the fact that my children are adopted would only be one salient fact among many. Other salient facts would include that my daughter was conceived through donor insemination, and that my son is Black while the rest of us are white, for example. Yet if I were ever to make it into the Newsmakers column, I doubt you would describe me as "Marta, who has a donor insemination daughter and a Black son." So, if you wouldn't do that, why do you use the modifier "adopted" as a matter of course?

I'm not actually asking this rhetorically. It seems that this is a very common practice in the newspaper industry -- Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's kids, for example, are always identified as adopted, as are Chief Justice Roberts' kids, and on and on. I know this is a practice that drives many parents crazy, so I'm sure I'm not the first person to point it out to you. And I doubt that you will stop simply because I have brought it to your attention as being, at best, kind of stupid, and at worse, deeply offensive. So, I guess I'm really just wondering -- why?

Thanks for your time,



i never received a reply to this letter, but since i sent it, there has only been one mention of a kid whom i happen to know is adopted, and he was simply identified as angelina jolie and brad pitt's son, maddox. i don't think i've ever seen that kid (or any other adopted kid) identified that way, so maybe they've changed their policy? i'm a newsmakers junkie, so i'm keeping tabs.


At October 14, 2006 2:19 PM, Blogger Sara Skates said...

and they never printed your letter? Damn!

At October 14, 2006 5:19 PM, Blogger afrindiemum said...

i love it. i so wish you would have received a response!

At June 27, 2008 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well now Dean has given up his adopted daughter but still continues a relationship with the son from that marriage. Hmmmm, I guess there is a difference.

At August 19, 2008 4:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So he officially has done what's called a 'disruption of adoption'? I never had much respect for him, but now I have ZERO! If a person makes a difference between his/her adopted and biological kids, he/she doesn't deserve to be a parent, period!


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