What’s Wrong With Cheerios’ Gay-Adoption Commercial





I am a white gay dad of two African-American kids as well, and I can surely relate to the feelings of these men in an intimate way. But, honestly, I am taken aback by the commercial, and not only because André and Jonathan are selling an intimate story of a life-changing personal event to a corporation to promote a breakfast product but because, more problematically, the commercial completely glosses over of the more profound dimensions of adoption. Adoption is often rooted in dark social situations and debilitating personal circumstances: poverty, racism, mental and physical illness, restrictive social mores and so forth. There is a reason that the men’s child is black, and it’s connected with how our society deals with issues in communities of color, here and abroad.

The commercial — and we must remember that it is a commercial, not a mini-documentary — spends just one short moment communicating some awareness of the other party in adoption, the first family, when one of the men speaks about the “risk she [the child] can go back in her biological family,” referring to the days or weeks after the adoption in which the biological mother is legally allowed to change her mind. The men immediately follow the acknowledgment of that “risk” with an expression of relief that that didn’t happen, saying, rather inarticulately, “Now she is really cool. She has love. She has confidence.” The reference to the first family is in fact not about that family but about the fears of the adoptive parents.

I wish this commercial were an isolated incident, but many representations of infant adoptions in gay and mainstream media are just as one-sided. There is a happy website, Gays With Kids, which shows mainly good adoptive-parent news stories. The LGBT advocacy organization Family Equality Council has the slogan “Love. Justice. Family. Equality,” but it appears that they’re only concerned about justice and equality for adoptive families and not for first families. The larger LGBT organization Human Rights Campaign has on its website a blog post titled “8 Questions to Ask Before Starting the Adoption Process" that doesn’t include any consideration of where these adoptable kids actually come from.

As a gay father, I find it hard to understand why a highly successful social movement, one rooted in social activism and focused on real change, is just as conservative as the rest of our mainly straight society where adoption is concerned. It seems that many gay men, like many straight couples and single parents, don’t want to see the bigger picture of adoption, a picture in which the first parents are seriously represented, their plight and perspectives acknowledged and regarded as prompts for social activism. Adopting a black child like André and Jonathan have done comes with an obligation to the family and the community of which the child was and still is a part. How to fulfill that obligation is a personal choice, but in my view, lying back and enjoying “normal” family life is not an option. I never regarded being gay as “normal,” and I don’t regard my “gay fatherhood” as “normal” either.

The little cheerio that floats in a bowl of milk to two already-together cheerios is a false image of adoption — and of human relationships, for that matter — since no person is ever an island. Every adopted child is connected to a multitude of others who are in fact visible outside the constructed world of a touching and brilliantly made if frustrating commercial.

Well as it relates to being normal, i think the commercial is showing what everything should be and what we should fight for, but the part where he talks about the impact it will have on the first family and where the child comes from has me confused. I was under the impression that when children are put up for adoption it is either because their birth parent(s) are incapable of caring for them or they don’t have anyone to care for them and giving up all rights to them (thus being adopted by a loving family is better than not) and well the second part just plain out confuses me. Does he mean child trafficking or something? Or am I just misunderstanding the whole thing?

Might I direct you to Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare, @bastardplanet and the The Donaldson Adoption Institute. Read some of the reports Native and Black organizations are putting out about the fostercare and adoption systems. Read about the Evangelical adoption crusade. Read about “rehoming” and “rebirthing.”

The adoption system is wicked racist, ableist, classist and imperialist and it would really behoove white queer people to look at the system they’re fighting for the right to participate in. There is a shit load of straight up child trafficking in adoption and that’s not getting into the coercive elements of the system. Adoption is an industry and that absolutely must change.

It is really not as simple as teenage girls who don’t want to be mothers finding nice white families for their babies, or abusive parents having their children removed. And just to head this off at the pass, no one wants to see children stay in abusive situations or institutions. No one wants to force a parent to keep an unwanted child.

For context I’m speaking as transracial adoptee, although my parents are straight, I’m not. I was a “voluntary” relinquishment.

Huh. Didn’t expect that. Although I still keep seeing it as better to adopt a kid than have my own if I ever want any. Why can’t things just be as simple as they look?

If you’re referring to bio children as your “own” you probably shouldn’t adopt. I am my parents child as much as the my younger siblings, who are biologically related, are. Phrasing like that is actually really harmful and part of the reason why people kept asking when my parents were going to give my older brother and I back after they had bio children. Most people in the adoption triad (adoptees, birth/first/bi parents and adoptive parents) prefer either Positive Adoption Language or Honest Adoption Language

I beg you to do some research if you’re actually interested in adopting.

(Source: watsuphotdog)





plot twist: michaela opens up about her relationship woes to laurel. laurel suggests her fiance might be bisexual, and michaela is like what so laurel tells her more about it and openly challenges some of the stigmas and stereotypes. michaela and…

htgawm wouldn't it be nice I would love this show to be as awesome as it's got the potential to be


what’s really amazing to me is that people are so afraid of body hair on women that even in a shaving commercial they won’t show a hairy leg. they demonstrate the razor by shaving a hairless leg. they show their product being completely useless instead of showing leg hair. it’s just wild

(via tomlipinskisfreckles)


The number of red heads you’re seen in your life is the same as the number of intersex people you’ve seen in you life, so maybe we should stop pretending that the sex binary is a thing k?

(via wordscanbesexy)


left my phone with my mother of all people by accident and now i’m trapped in Cambridge and still leftover anxious from an earlier appointment and not looking forward to starting another goddamned medication tomorrow and blargh 

gonna breathe, gonna eat some purse toffee, gonna watch broad city and remind myself it’s okay to be a mess

update: ugh i forgot that i finished broad city last night. everything is awful and not even purse toffee has helped. i shall try tea before completely giving up but today is suckish


Tell them you don’t know how Eve felt
when she saw Adam in one hand, and the rest of the fucking universe in the other.

Tell them you don’t know how Eve felt
when she wanted the universe.

- Caitlyn Siehl, Maybe Eve Was a Wild Thing
(via thatsyourgold)

(via alonesomes)


left my phone with my mother of all people by accident and now i’m trapped in Cambridge and still leftover anxious from an earlier appointment and not looking forward to starting another goddamned medication tomorrow and blargh 

gonna breathe, gonna eat some purse toffee, gonna watch broad city and remind myself it’s okay to be a mess