Here are some Adoption STAR staff responses to the latest film clip we watched as a part of our TV/Film clip-viewing project. See our Facebook post on 7/2/14 for more information (or to view the clip yourself). This clip in question is from the TV show Brothers and Sisters.
“This clip reminds me of the significant grief and loss experienced by families who have had a placement and then had it revoked. While this is much more common in the foster care system and this is clearly what the role playing was about, it is a reminder that we always need to be sensitive to the grief and loss that a birth parent experiences each and every time they make the very painful decision to place. While this was more about the potential AP’s, for some reason it brought me to the BP’s!” – Kathy Crissey, Director of Adoption
“I enjoyed the clip and felt it was typical interaction between this couple (having been a committed viewer of the show.) Kevin (being an attorney by occupation) and Scotty (being the more emotional character) portrayed themselves, until the reality of the situation hit Kevin and he unexpectedly reacted emotionally to saying goodbye to a baby they hoped would be theirs. I love that this scene was incorporated into the series. It was really great to see that television segment showed the importance of pre-placement educational classes, managing expectations, and processing how one might react to loss. I also liked how the social worker was portrayed – positive, supportive, and compassionate.” – Michele Fried, Founder/CEO
“The role-playing shown in this clip provides a very realistic portrayal of a couple’s emotions while going through a struggle within their adoption journey. As Kevin and Scotty act out the motions with the instructor, the emotion involved with the scenario come out, and it has tough for Kevin to hold back the sadness he feels while acting. The reality of the situation (and how real the situation feels) sets in, and suddenly Kevin and Scotty are placing themselves in this moment. Their immediate reactions differ, as often occurs with couples, and slowly they become much more in synch with how they would handle their child’s birth mother reclaiming her parental rights. Communication and its importance when going through emotional events is the biggest thing I noted during this clip. Understanding each other’s feelings, and allowing each other to cope in ‘the moment’ as they need to as individuals, will be the best way to come together and work through what lies ahead for the couple. Brothers and Sisters did a great job with this piece of the episode, and the audience is able to get a closer glimpse into the minds of Kevin and Scotty.” – Zachary Fried, Client Relationship Manager
“Back when I was an undergraduate social work student, I remember distinctly hating whenever a professor would require us to role play as a part of a class. I also remember feeling a big guilty about my disdain for role-play, largely because as a future social worker I understood what an important and useful tool it can be for clients. As more time has passed, I’ve come to understand the importance of role-play on an even deeper level, and I think this clip does a nice job of reinforcing that. If prospective adoptive parents can get through the initial discomfort that often comes with the idea of role play and truly try to put themselves ‘in it,’ they’ll be better prepared for a variety of ‘real life’ situations and scenarios (profiling calls, for example) when they’re in the midst of an adoption journey.” – Michael Hill, Associate Director
“Education and role-play are two great ways to get prospective parents prepared for their adoption journey. I thought it was great to see that reflected within the TV show, as well as the fact that they threw in some accurate legal information regarding birth parent rights, too. It was one of the more realistic portrayals I have seen on television.” – Meg Montgomery, International Adoption Coordinator