Cate Blanchett, one of my favorite actresses, recently adopted a baby girl, Edith
Vivian Patricia. Edith joins three male siblings, ages 6, 10 and 13. In a sense, baby Edith is given a chance for a whole new life. As an adult adoptee, who was given a second chance at age five, I cannot help but be happy for baby Edith.
Recently, I’ve heard a rash of negativity of celebrity adoptions. Critics bring out the commodification of adoption, e.g. the money that sometimes enters into the “transaction.” They would say that when the stars adopt, it does not really help the overall rights of adoptees, birth parents and the adoption situation in general. I beg to differ…
There are 145 million orphans in the world today, boys and girls who will have to grow up without the love and guidance of parents. Any situation which allows even one of these children to gain a family is a victory, a triumph, a cause for celebration. Celebrity adoptions call attention to the option, when a couple or single parent cannot or chooses not to have children in a traditional way, of “the adoption solution.”
In my opinion, Celebrity adoptions have helped improve attitudes toward adoption as a viable way to build a family. Magazines and newspapers feature photographs of movie stars holding adopted children. Often these little ones were adopted internationally. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, for example, have several children of their own and three from other countries (Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam). Madonna’s tots are from Malawi. Sandra Bullock and Charlize Theron are some of Hollywood’s adoptive moms.
To those who claim that celebrity adoptions do not help the overall causes of adoption, I would say this: the adoptions make a profound difference to the children who are chosen. Think of…
The Starfish Story
A ten-year-old girl is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along
she sees a grandmother, walking slowly and
stooping often, picking up one starfish after
another and tossing each one gently into the
“Why are you throwing starfish into the
ocean?,” asks the girl.
“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out
and if I don’t throw them further in they will
“But, grandmother, don’t you realize there are miles
and miles of beach and starfish all along it!
You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even
save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you
work all day, your efforts won’t make any
difference at all.”
The grandmother listened calmly and then bent
down to pick up another starfish and threw it
into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”