Just the phrase “reality TV” is enough to make me feel nervous. There seems to be no area of life which TV bosses are afraid to poke their cameras into these days and it looks like the emotive issue of adoption is the next victim.
A new reality TV series is set to follow mothers as they give their babies up for adoption.
The aim of the programme is, allegedly, to shine the spotlight on the often traumatic and distressing time a mother who gives up her baby goes through.
I just hope this sensitive subject is dealt with tastefully and this does not end up yet another sensationalist TV show aimed at entertaining viewers at the expense of the participants.
The show, called ‘I’m Having Their Baby’, will follow a number of different mothers, all who give up their babies for adoption.
The first two women to feature on the programme will be 25-year-old receptionist Mary and 20-year-old Claudia, both from America.
The programme will take up their story 15 weeks before their due date and so will give plenty of time to delve into the difficulties women looking to give up their babies go through. The programme will not simply begin at the moment of handing over the baby to its new parents.
Mary became pregnant after having an affair with her ex-boyfriend. She is now divorcing her husband but feels she cannot keep the baby.
The cameras follow Mary as she looks through adoption books detailing potential families to adopt her child. The cameras continue to roll as Mary becomes overwhelmed with emotion over the prospect of what she is going to do.
Claudia falls pregnant after only dating a man for a month. The TV show sees her attending an ultrasound scan and she tells the cameras, “I must fight my maternal instincts”.
Both women are shown to question the suitability of the adoptive parents they have chosen at some stage throughout the process and both have severe doubts about giving up their children for adoption once their babies are born and they start to bond with them.
I will say again, I think what is essential is this programme deals with this issue with all due sensitivity.
On the one hand the programme can be seen as doing a noble thing by raising the lid on the subject of adoption – an issue which the majority of people know goes on but perhaps will have very little real understanding about. If the subject is dealt with properly, this programme could not only increase other’s sympathy for the plight that women who have to make the difficult decision to give up their child to adoption go through, but also act as an informative tool for those facing the prospect of having to go through the adoption process themselves, whether looking to give up a child to adoption or to adopt a child.
What makes me fear the worst however is today’s television is saturated with reality TV series, many of which are guilty of exploiting the people who take part in order to get viewers. Could ‘I’m Having Their Baby’ end up just another reality programme of this ilk? Certainly if this programme was taking to TV screens ten years ago I would not have the same kind of fears I have now.
Published in: Family