Another PBS documentary about adoption, “Off and Running”

PBS’s award-winning non-fiction showcase, Point of View, will broadcast another documentary about adoption, tonight, Tuesday, September 7 at 10 p.m. Titled Off and Running, the film was directed by Nicole Opper. Please note: some PBS affiliates are screening the show at a later date. Check your local listings for air time by clicking on this link and typing in your zip code.( http://www.pbs.org/pov/tvschedule/)

How exciting and wonderful that the subject of adoption is receiving so much attention on public television! I’m glad I support my local affiliate, KQED, with a membership. 

Here’s the PBS synopsis:

Off and Running tells the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white Jewish lesbians. Her older brother is black and Puerto Rican and her younger brother is Korean. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s household is like most American homes — until Avery writes to her birth mother and the response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her “true” identity, the circumstances of her adoption and her estrangement from black culture. Just when it seems as if her life is unraveling, Avery decides to pick up the pieces and make sense of her identity, with inspiring results.” 

The question of true identity is a key issue for many, if not most, people who were adopted. Certainly, in our family, identity is a subject we visit again and again. I’m curious to see how another family deals with it and especially appreciate that the story is told from the point of view of Avery, the teen who was adopted. Personally, I have learned the most about adoption by listening to adoptees who share their experiences. 

I’d love to hear comments from anyone who watches the show.

 P.S.: A few interesting facts about adoption copied from the PBS website:

  • Though U.S. citizens adopted nearly 13,000 children from 106 different countries in 2009, a little more than two-thirds of all children came from only five sending countries: China (23 percent), Ethiopia (18 percent), Russia (12 percent), South Korea (8 percent) and Guatemala (6 percent).
  • South Korea has placed over 100,000 children in the United States since 1958. China has placed more than 70,000 children, 91 percent female, with families abroad, 70 percent of those American. While the exact number of U.S. children placed for adoption in other countries is not reliably reported, a decade ago adoption experts estimated the number at 500 annually.
  • While inter-country adoption may be the most visible category, the majority of American adoptions actually involve children adopted out of foster care. About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Of non-stepparent adoptions, about 59 percent are from the child welfare (or foster) system, 26 percent are from other countries, and 15 percent are voluntarily relinquished American babies.

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