I really do more than just watch TV. It just happens that many of the TV shows I’m watching have adoption plots, and I’m watching shows while I create invitations for the Twilight-themed baby shower I’m planning for a friend.
So, I watched Parenthood tonight.
I’m not overly fond of the Parenthood adoption storyline. Joel & Julia decide they’re going to adopt during the season finale. In the next season’s opener, they’re apparently done with the home study and are showing their profiles to expectant mothers. Then, Julia finds out that the “coffee girl” at her office is having a baby and placing said baby for adoption. So Julia asks to “buy” the coffee girl’s baby. At first, “coffee girl” says no, because she wants a closed adoption. But Julia is just so darn nice, that “coffee girl” says yes. And then “coffee girl” finally becomes Zoe. Zoe’s boyfriend, the baby’s father, basically wants to sell the baby. He asks for $20 or $30 thousand, and when J & J say that’s illegal, he says, no adoption. But eventually, Zoe convinces him to sign “the papers”. Along the way, Zoe moves in with J & J, and then moves out when she needs space, not that Julia ever gives her that space.
On Tuesday’s episode, Zoe has her baby. It’s a boy, which we knew all along. Julia is there for labor and delivery. When Julia, Joel, and their daughter Sydney go to get the baby from the hospital, Zoe is in the nursery, holding the baby. Julia assumes her bitch zombie face. We are meant to believe that, without any words being spoken, Zoe is going to parent her baby, and J & J are going to leave the hospital baby-less.
You know what upsets me the most?
Never anywhere has a social worker shown up.
Even in Jackson’s adoption, which was a real clusterf*@k at the hospital, there was a social worker involved. The social worker was very involved in Cassie’s adoption. Where is the social worker for Zoe? For J & J? There’s been zero support for any of them, adoption-wise. Did Julia not know that it was Zoe’s right to see the baby in the hospital? Did no one prepare Zoe or Julia for this?
Why no, they didn’t. Which is wrong on so many levels.
From a legal standpoint, Parenthood has simply been making things up. In California, consent can take place only after the (birth) mother has been discharged from the hospital, unless an agency is involved, and we haven’t seen anyone from an agency. Furthermore, consent must be signed before witnesses. And I don’t know what “papers” Zoe’s boyfriend signed, because in California, a birthfather cannot sign a TPR before the baby is born.
I know it’s TV, and they’re going to take liberties, but can we at least get something right? Can we at least see an adoption professional counseling these people? And please Parenthood, you really need to stop with the music montages and the brooding faces.