Scandal: The Radiance Foundation v Shonda Rhimes

Radiance 1

Radiance Foundation adoption mythology. No. Abortion and adoption have nothing in common.

I’m beginning to think that this should be Stop Radiance Foundation Month instead of National Adoption Month.  Not a day goes by when I don’t retch or laugh or both at what shows up on its FB page. It is not a safe space for Bastards. I mean, if you think the I Am Adopted FB page is full of happy adoptees who will transform you into a diabetic in 10 seconds with their pink cotton candy and kool-aid, (even if half of them seem really angry) then RF is totally blissed out on it. Did somebody over there indulge on Purple Owsley and never come back?  Forced pregnancy followed by happy relinquishment is the RF model.There’s no middle ground here.Unplanned pregnancy = abortion. The way RF propagandizes, you’d think no single women keep their kids. I’m not sure what one of RF: slogans “Be the Hope” means. Many adoptees have been acquired as the hope of childless couples (or singles, though  I doubt RF supports that part of the deal.) Does any normal person want to be someone else’s hope? Has Bomberger ever talked to one of those`adoptee hope survivors?  Don’t we, especially if we are adopted, have enough problems?

Olivia Pope

Olivia Pope

My most recent visit to RF, though was rather amusing.  A “critique” of Scandal. Now, I don’t watch Scandal, but I know about it vicariously/  Now I think I should watch it because Olivia Pope had an abortion. Right on TV. An abortion.  And she didn’t seem to regret it.. Oh, my!  And adoption never crossed her mind.  Oh dear!

For a good account of the episode go to Kevin Fallon’s review in the Daily Beast where he reminds us that it’s been 43 years since Maude had her infamous abortion..and not much has changed. I’d argue it’s gotten worse.

For a  lousy review go to the Radiance Foundation:-

From RF:

Not a fan of sleazy ‪#‎Scandal‬ TV show. Even less of a fan of ‪#‎ABC‬ that lets a Planned Parenthood Board member provide a free (mis)infomercial for the corrupt abortion chain (you know…the show where the main character is having an abortion to “Silent Night”). Yup. Writer/Creator Shonda Rhimes is an active Board Member of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. Hollywood is about delivering truth as much as Planned Parenthood is about delivering babies (alive).

The abortion itself (and its parallel storyline about Planned Parenthood defunding) was bad enough for the RF director (or whoever writes for Bomberger on FB)  He  sputters out the privilege card as if the wealthy are duty-bound to procreate since they can afford to.That is, is there any  reason for a wealthy woman to get an abortion? If you don’t want to be pregnant, so what? Of you don’t want to be a mother, so what?  It’s what Bomberger calls “convenience”.and I call personal autonomy and ownership, something the rich and poor and in between share. Olivia didn’t want to be pregnant, no matter how much the essentialist head of the  Radiance Foundation wants her to be a brood mare for her Republican lover. She could have at least gone through nine months of pregnancy and found a desperate and childless WASP couple to take on the white man’s burden.


Shonda Rimes

Now here’s where it gets really amusing. To Ryan Bomberger’s dismay,  Scandal creator Shodna Rhimes is a board member of the Los Angeles office of Planned Parenthood  (so is Madmen creator and showrunner Matt Weiner) and “Hollywood is about delivering truth as much as Planned Parenthood is about delivering babies (alive)”  Ryan must not get to the movies or watch TV much where abortion is seldom spoken of  in positive terms,  and fantasies are filmed of, newborns happily handed off to deserving couples without a look back has been going on for a hundred years.  Lately think of Juno..

.Who’s being realistic here: Ryan Bomberger or Shonda Rhimes? Abortion is not a big deal for lots of women. Adoption, though, is.I don’t know how many birthmothers I’ve heard say over the years that if they’d known what adoption was going to do to their lives, they’d have had abortions.

But here’s the kicker.  Shonda Rhimes loves adoption as much as Ryan  Bomberger does–maybe more–only she’s not into forced pregnancy and mandatory adoption. She is, in fact,  the adoptive mother of two daughers, Harper (2002) and Emerson Pearl (2012) and the mother of a third, Beckett, (2013) through gestational surrogacy. Here’s what Shonda wrote about adoption on her WhoSay blog:

Now, you know how much I love adoption and how serious I am about adoption and how I will fight you like a wild woman if you try to tell me anything bad about adoption because adoption is awesome. Adoption rocks. Adoption made me a mother and built my family and just…broke open my heart in the most amazing ways. Adoption is everything for me. If you are thinking about adopting, I encourage you to DO IT. I encourage you to learn everything you can about it and yourself and then DO IT, DO IT, DO IT…Anyway, I don’t actually think it matters HOW a child comes into your family. Bio, not bio, infant adoption, older child adoption, c-section, surrogacy, egg donor, sperm donor, embryo adoption, whatever…children are amazing. They are a gift. We shouldn’t be worrying about HOW they got here. I don’t worry about it.

While I  find Shonda’s enthusiasm  for family building a bit over the top and don’t  agree with her on some points,she’s certainly more fun and genuine than the Radiance Foundation’s couch jumping  lalalanders  who bombast each day with tales of Jesus saves and happy adoptees ever after with nayr a word about adoptee rights..

People can be enthusiastic supporters and promoters of adoption and of women’s health and reproductive justice at the same time. We don’t expect the Bombergers of the world to try it, though. They’e sold their souls to adoption and adoptee bodies to the state…






One Reply to “Scandal: The Radiance Foundation v Shonda Rhimes”

  1. I realize this is very old and the owner has likely abandoned this blog so I guess I’m really commenting for myself. When my now ex husband and I were struggling with infertility we finally reached that point where it was either in-vitro or adoption. Interestingly enough we both became pro choice as a direct result of infertility treatments due mostly to understanding the business of getting pregnant and when the baby is a baby is very complicated. While I was spending hours upon hours looking at photos of orphans my husband was struggling to reconcile himself to the idea of a child that would not have his genetic material. I wasn’t so very altruistic either. I cared less about my genes. I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted to have that experience.

    Eventually we settled on the idea of adopting a little girl from China. How cliche is that? I must confess something I’ve never told another soul. A few months prior I had been in the grocery store and saw a middle aged white woman with an adorable little Chinese girl. She was climbing and hanging all over the bars that separate one check stand for another. I was so jealous. She was so cute. That’s how you’re supposed to feel about puppies and kittens, not children.

    I’ve watched the movie Twinsters three times as it made the rounds of my now four biological children. I was especially struck by Anaïs who struggled to believe she was loved and wanted, because she understood she was the last resort. She was the last option her parents had. I think this was likely made worse by not having siblings. It hit me hard. It hit me, because it showed me just how selfish I was as I planned to open my arms and heart to an unwanted child. That I never thought, oh, maybe she will feel like we don’t love her because we would rather have had biological children. I still would have done it, but it bothered me that I never thought of that because it profoundly showed me that adopting a child was all about me and my desires, not our potential child.

    There’s another issue with all of this though, one I can easily relate to my own life and my biological children. You simply don’t know what parenthood is going to be like and if you will really like it until you have a child, biological or not. Like the cliche I got pregnant shortly after we had solidified that we would start the in-vitro process, but also get the adoption process going as well. Well, I had my son and it wasn’t everything I dreamed it would be. Don’t get me wrong I loved my baby. He’s 14 now and we’re very close, but I had a hard time bonding with him, mostly because of breastfeeding issues that I now look back on as absurd. After four kids, looking back, I would have just put the poor baby on formula so the two of us might get more than 2.5 hours of sleep at a time. As it was I pumped for 5 months until my husband literally begged me to stop as I was going insane from the sleep deprivation. In short, me and my baby boy turned out not to be exactly like my fantasies, but I felt like since we had struggled with infertility I had to be “perfect.”

    Although I have four children I was a somewhat reluctant mother with the last 2 and had them for the wrong reasons. Don’t get me wrong I love all of them. They are all wonderful, but I am not a picture perfect mom. It used to trouble me a great deal that my oldest son and I did not bond the way I thought we should. I wonder if that would not have been harder if the baby I failed to perfectly bond with was adopted. I don’t want to paint a picture that I didn’t love my baby. It just wasn’t what I expected. I had no such inner conflict with the other 3, even though as I’ve stated I wasn’t terribly excited to get pregnant again (number 4 was unplanned when number 3 was just 7 months old). By that time I was experienced and had shed the need to be picture perfect in everyone else’s eyes.

    I still would have adopted a child. I hope I would have adopted at least 2. I have zero doubt I would have loved them the same as I love my bio kids. Which is to say I would have loved them deeply, but imperfectly.

    My point is I think there is an awful lot of selfishness. Of me me me when it comes to parents struggling with infertility who decide to adopt. They are fulfilling their own needs and wants. They get to feel really good about it because they are “rescuing” and “unwanted” child, but lets be blunt. They are not doing it to save the child.

    Did Anaïs’s parents adopt her, found out it wasn’t what they expected, and so never adopted another? That thought would certainly be going through my mind. I am a firm believer that kids should have siblings. At least one anyway.

    Watching Twinsters I had a little twinge that maybe I missed out on something, even if it wasn’t going to be the perfect situation. Even though my little Chinese doll turned out to be a real person with a real personality and identity I realized that had it gone that way she would have been very loved, but likely conflicted, as I would have been when the messy business of raising a child, any child, became a reality. Much as my first baby wasn’t exactly what I fantasized, so too adoption would have fell short of those expectations too. But then they start growing up. They start to become real autonomous people and getting to know them is priceless.

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