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Dear millions of adoptive parents: Do you consider yourselves 'actual'?

by Jeremy Hooper

If you think the far-right's narrow attacks on families are limited to gay-headed ones, think again. In their attempts to slight the 'mo set, they often offend many mo':

Modern Family is set to premiere September 23 at 9:00 Eastern Time on ABC. The comedy features three unique families living in suburbia and focuses on their misadventures.

One family includes a father who is portrayed as a Homer Simpson of
The Simpsons type of dolt, while another family is a blended family that consists of a much older American man who abandoned his wife in order to marry a much younger Hispanic woman he apparently met while on vacation south of the border. The third family consists of two homosexual men who have just adopted a baby.''

Bob Peters, president of Morality in Media, says ABC claims the series is just reflecting American families.

"Most families don't fit the image that is created in this program. I mean, thankfully,
most kids still do have two parents who are their actual parents," he points out. "And dad isn't a fool; mom isn't perfect, but you know, and religion is clearly an important part of life if not for most Americans, darn near close to most Americans."
'Modern Family' misrepresents American families [ONN]

Alright, so the very idea that these self-appointed Morality Cops should be able to determine which kind of modern family is acceptable is enough to get a fair-minded person's blood boiling. But look again at the text that we highlighted in bold. See the "their actual parents" line, which is a clear dig at the gay adoptive couple? Does Mr. Peters not see how offensive this is, not only to same-sex couples, but also to any couple who has adopted children? Or does he just not care?

To deny that adoptive parents are "actual parents" is cold, cruel, anti-family, anti-child, and just plain wrong. Yet we hear these "pro-family" folks toss around verbal slights like this as easily and as casually as South Carolina Republican congressmen toss around presidential "liar" claims. As gay people sensitive to others' cruel denunciations, we are admittedly sensitive to them. But even just as human beings who would never be so brazen as to define life parameters for the Earth's billions of inhabitants, the idea that any one person or group would be brazen enough to define the concept of "modern family" serves as a complacency-shaking eye-opener.

But the beauty part: It's these sorts of overplayed hands that are helping to change hearts and minds in America, showing the majority how and why they should be concerned with the anti"live and let live" troops, even if they themselves don't know an LGBT person. If you pull the "pro-family" thread past it's homo-hostile outer coat, you will often find other myopic (and aggressive) attempts at limitation hiding behind the surface. Nobody who fails to fit their uber-constrictive mold should assume that their lives and loves are safe from future rights rollbacks. We once made that mistake.

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Your thoughts

"And dad isn't a fool; mom isn't perfect, but you know, and religion is clearly an important part of life if not for most Americans, darn near close to most Americans."

Has he been to NY? Half the Wall Street dad's in New York are cheaters (not a stereotype, a statistic), which, in my opinion constitutes "fool". Mom isn't perfect? Holy freakin' sexist comment. Religion is an important part of life? Ask any New Yorker what's important in their life right now, and I can guarantee church and religion ain't one of the main concerns.

My dad was a total homer simpson type when he was alive. My mom is close to perfect after all she went through with my dad, and religion has never, ever been a focal point of anyone in my family's life. And we are happy, and normal. I grew up playing sports and went to college and have a job and I go on dates and my sister is married and owns her own dog grooming business and has a house, and we have bbq's on Sundays. Except my dad's not there. And we occassionally talk about sex stories. And my mom has a boyfriend. And we are all very happy. But since this picture doesn't fit what this dude seems to think is the "majority of America", does my happiness not count? Is it not real? Is it not an accomplishment? Please.

These people are ridiculously insulting. You'd swear they were PERFECT. Guaranteed half of their spouses cheat as well, and some with members of the same sex I'm sure. You always hate on what you want people to think you aren't.

Posted by: Stef | Sep 10, 2009 9:36:37 AM

I grew up with a widowed mother who, at 55, has been going through a very long engagement with no wedding date in sight. Just another family that Bob Peters doesn't count.

As an infertile bi woman, I've cringed at how the "pro-family" advocates dismiss infertile people and adoptive parents (who frequently adopt because they can't have their own kids). I've wondered whether people in the churches get offended, too.

I think I'll give Modern Family a watch, and I hope Bob Peters joins the rest of us in the 21st century soon. But I'm not holding my breath. This is, after all, a man who described Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Glamour magazines as "pornography."

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Sep 10, 2009 9:59:40 AM

"... religion is clearly an important part of life if not for most Americans, darn near close to most Americans."

If not more than half, then at least close to half... at least the guy is realistic in his assessment that the population is becoming less gullible, and isn't as quick to buy the lies being propounded by the lying liars.

"Most families don't fit the image that is created in this program."

And, most families are boring! No one will tune in to watch the same thing that they see at home every night.

".. most kids still do have two parents who are their actual parents."

All kids do (always) have two parents who are their "biological" parents. That doesn't mean that many of those kids who aren't currently living with their sperm and egg donors, aren't better off now that their "biological" parents are out of their lives.

But, this brings up a funny story, that I love to repeat every time that I get an opening: One of the pastors of a church that my mom used to attend quite faithfully, announced to the church board that he would be divorcing his wife (who had recently been institutionalized because she was quite literally 'batshit' crazy).

But, that wasn't the end of his revelatory announcements. Within a week, he also announced that he would soon be marrying his former DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. The ink on the daughter-in-law's divorce papers (and again, quite literally) was still drying. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but that's the sitcom that I would love to see made! "But mommy, are we supposed to call grandpa, 'daddy' now?"

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 10, 2009 11:15:44 AM

Sooooooo, my spouse and I are the actual parents of two of our four children, but not the two we adopted? ACTUALly, we are more of a parent to them than their actual one. The one that abandoned them. I am so sick of adoptive families being referred to as "less than". WE consider ourselves to be "more than" thankyouverymuch!

Posted by: SarahW | Sep 10, 2009 12:16:04 PM

My favorite great-aunt's second husband was more of a father to her first three kids than their biological father was. When he died her oldest daughter said she felt like she lost her father, but when their biological father died, she felt more like she lost her step-father. I doubt there are very many people who haven't seen within their own families why this is complete and utter WS.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | Sep 10, 2009 1:37:47 PM

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