MEDIA ADVISORY: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ADOPTION INSTITUTE SEEKS MEETING WITH FOX, ASKS MEDIA TO `DENOUNCE EXPLOITATION’
NEW YORK, Dec. 29, 2004 – Just days before Fox’s scheduled premier of “Who’s Your Daddy,” the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute today called for an urgent meeting between network executives and members of the adoption community, who have criticized the new reality show as insensitive and harmful.
“This is the holiday season, a time when we should be celebrating our families and embracing our children, not worrying about the impact a reprehensible television show may have on them,” said Adam Pertman, executive director of the Adoption Institute. “Maybe if the Fox executives hear us out and better understand our deep concerns, they will act responsibly and cancel “Who’s Your Daddy.”
In the Fox program, an adult adoptee interviews eight men to determine which of them is her biological father. If she guesses right, she wins $100,000; if she fails, the contestant who fooled her gets the cash. The show has been denounced by major organizations such as the Child Welfare League of America, the Children’s Defense Fund, the North American Council on Adoptable Children and the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, as well as by thousands of birth parents, adoptive parents, adopted people, agencies and groups representing all those constituencies.
To “get Fox’s attention” and mitigate the damage the show already has caused, Pertman also suggested:
* Media outlets should editorialize against the program. “Newspapers and other media regularly rail against the exploitation of people because of their race, gender or religion. Well, this issue is at least as important to tens of millions of their readers and viewers. They should denounce this exploitation, too.”
* Fox should take its $100,000 (and much more) and donate it to help orphans and others devastated by the tragic earthquake in Asia. “More power to Fox if it wants to help adopted people and their families reunite, but this isn’t the way to do it; get rid of the spectacle and put the money to better use.”
* Employees of Fox, especially ones with ties to adoption, should tell their bosses how offensive this show is. “Experience and research demonstrate the value of adoption reunions, so Fox could better educate the public about this fast-growing trend, which unfortunately is impeded by antiquated laws and policies.”
The Adoption Institute is one of the nation’s pre-eminent policy, research and education organizations. It provides accurate, unbiased information for journalists, researchers and policymakers. Its award-winning website contains extensive information on adoption-related issues, including ones relating to ethics and best practices.
Pertman, a Pulitzer Prize nominee for his writing about adoption, is the author of “Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America.” He lectures nationally and abroad, and his commentaries on adoption and children’s issues have appeared in major print and broadcast media.
To arrange an interview, or for more information, please contact Pertman at 617-332-8944 (office), 617-763-0134 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Institute website is www.adoptioninstitute.org.