It occurred to me this is what some of the world pictures when they think of non-biological families: evil stepmothers, stepsisters, evil adopted fathers, kidnappings, and wooden magical donkeys. Okay, that last one may be a bit of stretch, but it's still a negative feeling around non-biological children. Meet the Robinsons stands as one of Disney's only adoption stories that portrays the family as happy and welcoming towards the non-biological child.
What had me thinking about this odd vision of what adoption looks like to some people is a comment made about Nevada's starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, in an article commenting on his adoption. The reporter said "Though they often get puzzled stares and quizzical looks, nobody in the family thinks much about his place in it." I immediately thought "what did he expect? Colin to be sleeping in the attic, doing everyone's chores, and eating off special flatware for 'the adopted kid'?" Then it occurred to me that may be people do expect that behavior by families towards their non-biological children. I don't blame you, I blame Disney.
I would like to clear up any misconceptions right now: adopted/step-children are not slaves or outcasts in their families! Nor are their biological families seen as neglectful or a shadowy group in the night who did not love their child enough to keep them. Adoption, in any form, is very different than Walt's original perceptions. Times have changed since 1937 including improvements in transportation, communication, and animation, so why not adoption? We all need to sluff off that old-school image of adoption and see the new look of non-biological families. Allow me to provide some new images for you to picture when you think of adoption:
Happy National Adoption Month!!
Allow no more the media to shape your vision of what a functional family looks like. They get so many other things wrong, why do we take their word on something so important as family?