One last post about the new Daniel Henney movie, "My Father". The real-life adoptee behind the movie, Aaron Bates, was in Seoul recently to attend the premier of the movie and gave the media an excuse to push another "inspirational" adoption story. Had it not been for phrases such as "Love never fails, love conquers all", "adoption works" and "When you love someone so much you don't see what their eyes, skin color are like", this could have been an interesting article about the tribulations of adoption reunion. Take for instance the irony that when going to meet the person he thinks is his father, the real-life adoptee Aaron Bates finds out that he is in fact his stepfather. We wonder if this is included in the movie?
One issue that the article does raise is the role of the media. Is it help or hindrance in adoption reunion? For most adoptees it is the only means of finding birth parents but as a result we endure prying questions and must submit to the hungry eye of the camera during the most private moments. And as with Aaron Bates, the media always has its agenda, whether to feed the division within the adoption community or to play up a one-sided discussion.
Adoptees have worked too long and told too many personal stories of pain and anger, to have the message that love conquers all retold. We are no longer in the 70's and we've come too far to go back to that trite truism that makes transracial adoption sound so simple.