Tag Archives: media

What Does It Mean When It Is Entertainment?

I’m moved to write this by a post today on The Adopted Ones blog, which is itself inspired by this TV listing.   There’s a new reality show out there and the hook is we watch young women thinking about giving up their children for adoption.

What does it mean when decisions about adoption become the stuff of reality TV?   I suppose it means we’ve come a long way from the days it was a deep and dark secret, but really, is it all progress?  I’m inclined to agree with the criticism you’ll see on the Adopted Ones blog, but there’s more than that to bother me.   This isn’t entertainment–it’s real life and it’s serious and it’s not for us to sit around and watch.  Then again, I suppose we (as a culture) do a lot of that these days.

I was thinking about entertainment already today because I picked up a guide for the Seattle International Film Festival this morning.   Perhaps it is no longer a surprise, but my topics here are now the stuff of cinematic exploration.

Starbuck is the opening night feature in Kirkland (a Seattle suburb, if you are wondering.)  Continue reading

Sean Goldman One More Time: Because Family Sagas Never Really End?

There’s been a very long and very high profile legal struggle over the fate of a (now 11-year-old) boy named Sean Goldman that I have written about from time to time.  (That link will pick up most of the entries and probably a few stray items as well.)  The last post was over a year ago and I thought I was done then.

But it seems family sagas (or at least some family sagas) never end.   Here’s the story back in today’s news.  The immediate trigger here seems to be that Sean Goldman himself will for the first time be interviewed on TV tonight.

I won’t recap the story in detail here as you can read the history a dozen places on the web, including my old posts.   Continue reading

Genetics and The Extended Family

Here’s a thought-provoking story from the front page of the NYT.   As is often the case it is worth reading because I’m sure different things will strike different people.  I’m just going to touch on a couple of things that strike me.

Khrys Vaughn learned she was adopted when she was 42.    She decided to search for her origins by using a company that provides DNA testing and then matches you up with people you’re related to.   Through this process she located a third-cousin, Jennifer Grigsby.   Continue reading

The Father of Michael Jackson’s Children?

Just because the tabloids are all over every aspect of the Michael Jackson story doesn’t mean there aren’t a few interesting points that could actually make one think.  I’ve written about Michael Jackson’s children and the legal questions presented there a couple of times.   (I didn’t post when permanant custody of the kids was awarded to Katherine Jackson, their grandmother, but a court order to that effect was issued last week.)  

So here is the next twist in the saga–one that was almost inevitable given the fact that it has been widely rumored that Michael Jackson was not genetically related to his children.   Mark Lester–he played Oliver Twist in the musical Oliver! and I do vividly recall him singing “Who Will Buy,”–says that he donated sperm for Jackson and may well be genetically related to at least the middle child and only girl, Paris. Continue reading

The Wrong Sperm

A month or so ago I wrote about a wrong embryo case in Japan.   Here’s news of a case in the same general genre (ART mistakes) from the UK.    The story is pretty simple and I’m not sure how much there is to say about it.   The reporting seems a tad more interesting.

Three couples were using IVF at the same London hospital.   It appears that these were different sex couples and for each couple the plan was to use sperm from the man and an egg from the woman, to create an embryo, and then to transfer the embryo into the woman’s uterus.   The problem, for each of these three couples, was that they used the wrong sperm.

Now in this instance the mistake was caught within hours–it’s not clear to me that fertilization had even occurred.   This is quite a bit different from the case in Japan where the embryo was transferred and pregnancy resulted.   As soon as the mistakes were discovered, the sperm and eggs were discarded.    Continue reading

The Media on Teenage Mothers, Unmarried Mothers and Unmarried Teenage Mothers

Yesterday I wrote about the release of the newest statistics on whose giving birth in the US.   There’s a lot of information to digest there and of course, it isn’t easy to figure out what it all means.  You can spend some time reading the actual CDC release.   But after that you might turn to the media to help give the statistics some meaning.  I just wanted to offer a couple of quick notes on the coverage I’ve seen.

I linked to a couple of media reports yesterday–the NYTimes and MSNBC, which is running AP’s story.   I think the AP version is the more widespread story.  The lead in that one is about the rising number of unwed births.   The NYT gets to that point pretty quickly, too.

It’s noteworthy that the rise in unmarried births isn’t immediately portrayed as a bad thing.   Indeed, the AP story notes both that some happily unmarried couples have children and that some women are having consciously choosing children on their own.   (It seems to me that AP misses an obvious point when it doesn’t note that some of the happily unmarried couple parents are surely same-sex couples who would actually like to be married couples.)  Continue reading

From the Sports Pages

Within the past week, on consecutive days, there were two interesting articles in the New York Times sports section.   They’re especially interesting if you take them together.

Both are about sports figures who are also parents.   The first article is about Travis Henry, a professional football player,  who has had nine children with nine different women.   (There’s also an accompanying short bit about his lawyer, that notes some other similar situations with sports figures.)     The second article is about Brynn Cameron, a female college basketball player who is the single mother of a two year old.

There’s a part of me that thinks I should just stop writing here and say “See?”   I mean, isn’t there something pretty obvious here.  This is gender compounded.   First (and less importantly), because a female sports figure and a male sports figure typically exist in different worlds.   Second, and for my purposes, far more importantly, because sex/gender matters when it comes to parenthood.  Even the most sensationally successful female sports figure isn’t going to be the mother of nine children, each conceived with a different man.   Continue reading