Wednesday, February 28, 2001

'People' explains it all

Good news, everyone! People magazine has looked into celebrity adoption, and determined that big glossy Hollywood stars who sell lots of magazines adopt their babies one piece of paperwork at a time, just like all us lowly unfamous folk. Phew! Glad to have that issue settled. Thank goodness for good, solid investigative journalism.

The secret, apparently, is not being able to wave large checks at pregnant women, but hiring lawyers in many different places to seek your baby for you. Once again, we find that the difference between the rich and not-so- in America comes down to more and better lawyers. People also reports that celebs are more willing to adopt non-white babies, and more willing to accept babies from birthmothers with somewhat colorful pasts.

And that's fair enough. I suppose I owe Rosie O'Donnell an apology for grumbling about her adopting healthy white babies and not going after those foster children she touts so much on the show; according to People, two of her adopted children are mixed race, and she does now have a foster child as well. Good for her. I wish she might publicize this more, to give people the idea that if celebrities are doing this, it must be good to do -- but I imagine she doesn't think there's anything particularly special about it, just as those of us who've adopted kids with special needs are uncomfortable when people tell us how wonderful we are. We're not wonderful. We're just parents. And so are most celebs, wherever and however they've adopted.

If the message boards on the Web site are any indication, people are not being swayed by People's celebrity defense on the adoption issue. Accusations of baby buying abound, and laments for all the less-glossy people who wait years and years for a baby. It's hard not to be annoyed, I guess. But in fact, lots of less-glossy people have gone through very questionable channels to get their babies. Lots of less-glossy people have shelled out huge sums to pursue parenting. Perhaps deep down the problem is not that celebs do anything differently, but we perceive the normal procedure as being less difficult for them. They don't have to mortgage their homes to pay for the adoption; they have people to handle the details; they have glamourous things to do while they wait.

And they have People magazine, so they don't even have to send out announcements after. Not fair! Not fair!

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