I suppose there is only one way to properly bookend a series like 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom. Time to round out that profitable baby empire detailing poverty, struggles, and new parenting heartbreak with a reality show about the flip side of things: parents who are adopting. Can we really leave no parenting experience untarnished by reality television?
The New York Post reports that, The Baby Wait a new series on Logo, is brought us to by the lovely people who ushered the likes of Jennelle Evans and Farrah Abraham into our tabloids. Only instead of witnessing the anguish of very young girls, we’ll be watching couples wait on pins and needles through the tentative period in which birth mothers can reverse their adoption decisions:
“I think we are showing what true life is,” says Paul Siebold, a former publicist for WOR radio, who goes through the open adoption process on tonight’s “sneak preview” episode.Siebold and his domestic partner, Mark Krieger, who share an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, had already struck a deal with 18 year-old Genavieve Diggs of Plainfield, Conn., when they were asked to participate in the show.
“We thought, ‘What a wonderful way to chronicle what we are going through,” Krieger, a technology and project manager, told The Post. “And what a wonderful thing to have for later to show our daughter how loved she is and how selfless her mom is.”
Unlike Pat Robertson, Logo appears to already be aware of how the show’s spin could potentially impact how adoption is perceived:
“I don’t think we’re going to scare people out of the [adoption] process,” said Brent Zacky, senior vice president of programming for Logo. “The desire to have a child and create a family is deeply rooted in many people. And I think if you have that desire, you’re going to pursue it, knowing that there’s some uncertainty in the process.
While adoption clearly isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart — lest you pin a note to your child and ship him back to his homeland — “desire,” isn’t really what Logo is tinkering with. As evidenced by our rapidly changing times, the desire for a family takes many avenues, as well it should. But framing adoption through hackneyed one on one interviews, dramatic music, and other scripted signatures of reality TV could make for a completely feasible trainwreck. By which, once again, children are inducted.
Reality TV doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being respectful and kind to children. From pageantry to performative arts to cheerleadering to babies born to teenagers, kids continue to be an unfortunate cornerstone of our rubbernecking entertainment. So much so that it would be spectacular if we could leave even one cohort unturned by reality TV producers looking to grab another legion of eyeballs. Adoption, consistently reduced to either a flashy celebrity trend by our media or a “taking on other people’s problems” onus, already faces an array of representational problems. Let’s hope that we don’t have to cite The Baby Wait as another one of them.