The adaptability of American culture has allowed Americans to engage in a wide range of behaviors, the outcomes of which have both positive and negative consequences. For example, an American couple, relatives, or even a person can legally adopt a child of any race for purposes that favor both the child and the adopting party (Jacobson, 2008). Because of the racial and ethical plurality of the American people, there has been a great deal of borrowing in terms of traditions and values. This has served as a unifying force for them, allowing them to integrate freely. A high level of literacy in the nation has made them selectively exercise vital cultures and abandon the vices. I think people who live in America have been able to experience a lot of things that people in other parts of the world have not because of their mix up. In this assignment, I am going to analyse an American television show This is Us’ and discuss American culture especially the adoption of one of the black characters as a child by a couple who aimed to provide him with love. They thought the boy would get satisfaction from their affection, but things turned out differently due to the wonders that filled the boy’s mind concerning his culture, who are his birth parents and why he was different.
Thesis statement- adopted children should be taught their culture because it makes them feel original and esteemed, failure to do so, problems such as poor performance in school, family mistrust and breakup can be experienced.
This is Us’ is a hilarious and educative TV series that address the American culture on different fronts, but here I will talk about different races especially blacks and whites as presented in this show. Randall is adopted by a couple that is very dedicated to caring for him and providing the best in his life. The couple accepts him as part of their life, and hence they cater for his schooling, housing, and all other childhood requirements. Since Randall’s adopting parents knew his father, at one point they sent him a letter stating that they cannot give him back his son because he already has a very loving dad who is ready to take care for Randall no matter the situation. This was very touching for the father, and because he had signed the contract indicating that he was unable to care for his child, he had no other option but to cry. There is nothing painful for a parent like giving away your child and then receive his pictures and letters from the family informing you how happy he is (Lareau, 1987). The American culture does not allow, and even the law prohibits the biological parent from presenting himself to the child and telling the truth unless the adopting parents have permitted it. As the boy grew, he began to wonder why he was different from the rest of the family regarding color. He knew his friends had the same skin color as their parents, but his case was not like theirs. Because he never raised any question, I think he had numerous ideas alluding his minds concerning his birth parents because he had an instinct that his parents were outside somewhere.
Raising a child who is not yours as a couple is not an easy task. A lot of things have to be kept a secret from the child no matter what the situation because one day questions must be raised. Also, one is always in fear of the child abandoning the family at some point in life. A lot of American families has this issue because quite a significant number cannot be able to give birth to a child or do not want to undergo the process and hence end up adopting (Jacobson, 2008). Another challenge that erupts is the disagreement that erupts among the couple concerning the child especially when one partner thinks of giving back the child to the birth parents. This can even make the family to break up since the child usually acts as a source of joy mostly to the womon who willingly adopted the child and had created a strong bond between her and the child. In the TV series, This is Us’ at some point the adoptive father talks to his wife about giving back the child, but the wife strongly disagrees and says that she cannot lose him. During the process of raising a child culture and beliefs should be part of lessons to be learned and followed keenly. There is some difference between the white American and black American culture. It is hard for a parent to teach a culture that he or she does not understand and therefore, in a case like in the TV show the parent will end up teaching the child different cultural ways from which he or she should have been taught by the biological parents. When the child will be out in school and other social places he or she will recognize that people of his origin behave differently and that he is trying to be an imposter.
It is very crucial for an adopted child to learn about the culture of the race or ethnic group they originated. This would be very helpful for the family that has adopted the child in some way because the child might decide to abandon it and fully blends in the family (Lareau, 1987). Failure to teach him makes him feel like something is missing, and this would lead to the child conducting investigations thinking that there is something very relevant being hidden away. As a result, there will be loss of closeness and cohesiveness in the family that will make the parents to worry thinking that the child might find his way back home and leaves them. The case is similar to the TV show because after Randall grew and made friends he enquired his adoptive mother about his original parents and culture but the mother told lies. Thereafter, he began searching for his parents and through assistance from his friends he finally found his biological father. This posed the adoptive mother in danger of being abandoned, something that could have been preventable. It is right for an adopted child to know about his or her true nature concerning the culture and beliefs. It makes him or her feel original and free to interact with people from different places. It can make him understand why he was adopted and appreciate the adoptive parents for trying to make his life better.
Adoption choice should be made wisely to avoid numerous questions, and lies between the child and the parents like in the TV show, the case of Randall and his parents. A couple or an individual should find a child from the culture that he or she familiar with. Also, it can help if the child comes from the same race as the adopting parent(s). This can even make the child to never realize whether he was adopted, although it is ethically right to inform him or her if the news cannot break the child. Moreover, it is crucial to either adopt the child from far or to vacate after the adoption because the neighbors would eventually inform the child that he or she was adopted (Brodzinsky, & Palacios, 2005). If Randal was white, it could have been very difficult for him to doubt the fact about his parents because their color would be similar and the culture taught to him will be uniform with that of his friends and other white children. This way, they could have lived happily, and he could have never seen his adoptive mother as being a liar.
It is very uncouth for someone to pretend to be a birth parent to a child because it can greatly affect the child after realizing that whatever he or she thought was real is a fiction. There is a woman who claims to be Randal’s mother and meets him at school compound. It took very few minutes for him to tell that the woman was lying and he was very angry about it. Randall’s life was full of wonders and questions that even interfered with his academic and social life making him not to achieve the best. Such cases are very similar in America because adopted children especially when in college and before college dedicate themselves in knowing the truth about their origin. They lack time to explore their talents and have fun with their friends. Some of the youths who encounter them fail to understand them and hence cannot form a friendly relationship. This can be avoided via telling the children the truth about their parents or tell them a lie that would discourage them from conducting searches (Brodzinsky, & Palacios, 2005).
The adopting family should always be ready to encounter problems raised by their adopted children and also should be prepared to have rejection as well since upon realization by the child that his or her biological parents are alive then he or she will opt to seek them. The parent should not act against or try to hinder the efforts of the child but should present him with a free choice of deciding whether to stay and if the family has been treating him well he can opt to come back after he has met the parents.
Adoption should be done, but the adopting parents should always be wise to minimize the risks and the chances of the children realizing that they were adopted. The TV show This is Us’ has been able to educate us that adoption should not be accompanied by lies because at some point in time the truth will have to come out. The adopting parents also should teach the adopted child the cultures of his or her original ethnic group when possible and avoid hindering them from practicing the beliefs if he or she chooses to follow those beliefs. Also, biological parents should avoid contacting their children since they will cause problems to the family that adopted the child which can make the adopting family opt to take legal against them.
Jacobson, H. (2008). Culture keeping: White mothers, international adoption, and the negotiation of family difference. Vanderbilt University Press.
Brodzinsky, D., & Palacios, J. (Eds.). (2005). Psychological issues in adoption: Research and practice (No. 24). Greenwood Publishing Group.
Lareau, A. (1987). Social class differences in family-school relationships: The importance of cultural capital. Sociology of education, 73-85.