Adoption on TV: Parenthood

At Adoption STAR we keep tabs on adoption storylines on TV, and have written a lot about the adoption plots on shows like “Modern Family”, “Parenthood” and “Glee.” Yesterday was the season four premier of “Parenthood” and featured a continuation of the season three storyline, where characters Julia and Joel looked to grow their family through adoption.

For all of season three, Julia and Joel were looking to adopt an infant. When the birth mother chose to parent her child, Julia and Joel turned to foster care and took in a young boy named Victor in the final moments of the season. The season 4 premier saw Julia, Joel and their daughter, Sydney, acclimating to life with Victor. What was interesting was that Julia and Joel were walking on eggshells around Victor, afraid to reprimand him in any way though he was breaking many house rules and attempting to push the boundaries.

This led to Joel and Julia having a conversation where Julia admitted she is willing to let Victor slide on a lot of these rules because she wants to make him feel as comfortable as possible and let him know that she loves him. Joel counters that if they want Victor to start feeling like part of the family, then they need to start treating him like family and making him follow the family rules. This leads Julia to admit that it’s been five months and she still feels like she’s “waiting to fall in love with her son.”

Bonding between parent and child, especially in older-child adoption, takes time and it’s interesting to see Parenthood play the experience in a realistic manner. One thing that may have helped Julia and Joel are adoption education classes. While maybe these classes may have happened “off-screen,” Julia and Joel acted in the season 4 premier in a manner that suggested they could benefit from more adoption education. An adoption social worker may give them helpful tips and advice about the bonding stages of the adoption journey.

It will be very interesting to see how this story plays out over the next several months, and we will check back in on “Parenthood” later in the year. Those that watch Parenthood, what did you think of the fostercare adoption storyline in the Parenthood season 4 premier?