The story itself is tragic - a middle aged woman was arrested and charged in the killing of her elderly mother. A terrible, sordid allegation. I just don't see why the adoption detail needed to be included. It certainly does nothing to help the case of BC's Waiting kids (who, by the way, are not killers in the making!)
When I first saw the story, I sat down and wrote a thoughtful but direct email to the story's editor (see below).
Then I googled the name of the accused, to see how many other headlines popped up. Every.single.article. included the fact that she was adopted. How disappointing.
I'm only glad my son is too young to understand this article - it gives me time to notify the editor of every newspaper that ran the story's irrelevant detail a chance to think about their word choice (oh dear, you can tell I'm parenting a toddler, can't you?) before he's old enough to understand.
An excerpt from the little note I sent to the local paper. If the headline bothers you, feel free to modify my letter and send it along as your own:
As an adoptive mother, and sibling to five through the miracle of adoption, I find it upsetting that you needed to include the fact that Vancouver's latest accused murderer committed her crime against her adoptive mother.
Were you taken in by the Hollywood myth of the recent flop horror movie "Orphan"? Do you believe that children who join their families through adoption have a predisposed tendency to kill their parents? Or are you simply trying to illustrate that a good woman - the widow of a police constable - fell victim to the violent rage (allegedly, of course) of her daughter, and, oh, and by the way, it was perpetrated by the child she adopted?
It's estimated that one in three Canadians are touched by adoption - meaning they, or someone they know dearly, came to their family through this ancient custom. Ever year, BC families welcome over 600 children into their homes. 50 or so are adopted at birth through licensed agencies. About 300 come internationally, from countries like China, or Haiti, or simply across the border from the US. And 300 are adopted from foster care through BC's Waiting Child program.
Perhaps you haven't heard any successful adoption stories. Or perhaps you have, but don't know that adoption is part of the story. I have six examples in my immediate family alone, all welcomed through foster care adoption. Newspaper headlines like yours, however, with their negative undertones about adoption, don't help the situation for BC's Waiting kids. Each year, 300 are adopted, but there are 700 more who wait... sometimes never getting that chance at a forever family.
If you'd like to learn the real story about adoption, or perhaps do an article on one of the many success stories (kids who DON'T grow up to murder their parents, for instance), it's worth a visit to www.bcadopt.com, and www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/adoption. Perhaps you can turn at least one person's mind towards believing in adoption. Who knows, it might even be your own.
Mother to a 2.5 year old, 36 pounds of curly haired bliss & sister to five.. all welcomed joyfully through adoption.