Adoption Beat

May 25, 2010

Finally, a little balanced reporting

Filed under: Uncategorized — adoptionbeat @ 8:50 am
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I just love it when the media gets it right.

Following the story discussed in my March 27 blog, several adoption reform activists including me, contacted the reporter via email. We got no response until I posted a reader’s comment linked to the article on the SLP-D blog. To her credit, the reporter called our Illinois spokesperson and had a lengthy fact-finding discussion. We were so impressed until the next SLP-D article was written by another correspondent who parroted the propaganda the bill’s primary sponsor was using to try to slip it by anyone who was not paying attention.

Although, in fairness, I believe the inability of the forces for true adoption reform to work together, is largely responsible for Sara Feigenholz success with HB 5428, I cannot excuse the media from complicity. Most did not cover this bill at all as it slid through the legislature like a greased pig.

This despite the fact that the media were contacted over and over with adoptee objections to the bill. Those who were polite enough to reply personally got some additional information that would have required some reportorial enterprise to produce a good story. But this did not produce even  balanced coverage much less the bombshell that a little digging might produce.

A conservative Internet-based publication, the Illinois Review, is the only media that presented the other side of this controversy in anything other than a letter to the editor prior to the signing of the bill into law. See: http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2010/04/adoptees-say-quinn-should-veto-open-records-bill.html.

I appreciate this coverage. It’s a start. But I’m guessing that any conservative publication in Illinois has a limited readership. So certain of their continued reign, I don’t think that Democrats are listening to what conservatives have to say.

As a reporter, I do listen. As a life-long Democrat, I often do not agree, but I listen. And, if I was a political reporter, I would feel obliged to report on ALL viewpoints regarding a proposed law. There are more than two on this particular bill. And there is one heck of a back story if an enterprising reporter would connect the dots!

HB 5428 appears innocuous to people who do not appreciate the issue. But it’s dangerous because it is really nothing more than a cleverly-disguised confidential-intermediary-employment-security bill. The chief objection most adoption reform activists have to this bill is that it codifies a previously unsupported right by one party to deny another party access to his records, namely a birth parent veto. You can call it a preference, if you choose, but if it has the force of denying the rights of someone else, it’s a veto.

In the interest of full disclosure: I am adopted but I have NO connection with Illinois. I am reunited with my birth family but I cannot have my original birth certificate and that’s all I really wanted. Search was my only option with OBC access denied. If I hadn’t searched, I would not have some terrific relatives in my life, but I would also not know how crooked adoption is. My own involvement as an adult adoptee (not an “adult child” as persons of my ilk are referred to in this bill) and an adoption reform activist for 30 years makes my reporting on some aspects of adoption suspect. However, my appreciation and knowledge of both journalism and of the adoption issues qualifies me to evaluate news coverage of adoption. In the main, the media in Illinois do not get a passing grade.

I’m still willing to share what I can prove and what I suspect with an enterprising reporter in Illinois. I don’t need credit for the expose. The problem sees to be is that the corruption in Illinois adoption does not have enough zeroes after the dollar amount to make this a “viable “story.

This blog entry was drafted over a month ago. Posting was delayed by over-scheduled, non-existent free time.

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2 Comments »

  1. There are times that i dont read more than two lines but i think you have a unique blog. Cheers !

    Comment by Cordia Kulwicki — January 17, 2011 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

    • Thanks! I wish I could discipline myself to blog more frequently. I have too many irons in the fire right now.

      Comment by adoptionbeat — January 18, 2011 @ 6:18 pm | Reply


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