Don’t mess this up ‘Switched at Birth’
It’s probably no secret to all of you that I’m a TV junkie. I watch every different kind of television – anything that you can find on hulu or netflix chances are its in my queue and I watch things that I consider the best things on TV to things I consider pretty bad, but love all the same.
The show on ABC Family – Switched at Birth – is one of those shows that I can’t get enough of. In the beginning I was a little embarrassed by how much I liked it, but honestly I have to see every episode and I eat it up. I’ve found a lot of it compelling, in fact I have written about some of their nature vs nurture story lines previously. I think the fact they deal with nature verse nurture without dealing with adoption has let them openly explore issues that might not be understood as well if the did it under the umbrella of adoption.
When the season started again a couple weeks ago I was excited and eagerly watched the first couple of episodes. But something happened. A pregnant woman started talking about adoption. Right here, if you don’t watch the show you may not really follow what I’m about to say, sorry about that. So this woman was impregnated by Angelo during a one night stand. Angelo is the bio dad to Bay. Angelo was also trying to get back together with Bay’s bio mom. So he brushed off the pregnant woman because he didn’t want to ruin his relationship with Regina (Bay’s bio mom). Bay found out, let him have it for abandoning another kid so Angelo told Regina about the pregnancy and hasn’t been on an episode since.
Then Bay’s brother (but not bio brother) ended up spending time with the pregnant woman, getting to know her, and found out she was considering adoption. And he told her that before she decides for sure she should think about the fact she does have family around – she has Bay and by extension Bay’s family. Bay will be this child’s half sibling and maybe deserves to at least meet Bay.
The whole interaction was a small part of an episode, and although I’m betting they will bring back the storyline, I’m more than curious how it’s going to play out. This show has set up this idea that both nature and nurture means something. The girls who were switched at birth have been given the right to know both their bio family and the family they were raised , they talk about both their Moms, they are family to each other as well. There are no words to describe most of the family ties, other than the normal Mom, Sister, Dad, Brother that doesn’t do justice the the complexity involved. And all of this throughout the show has been normalized, it doesn’t sound weird or seem odd when Regina talks about her two daughters even though one she raised and one she gave birth to.
So on this show where they have spent so much time showing how important and how nebulous family is – both the family that gives you biology as well as the family that raised you – will they transfer that to a child who is biologically related to Bay? If the woman goes through with the adoption will they find a way to have an open adoption with Bay’s only biologically related sibling? Or will her whole family step up to show that family and biological connections are important and worth fighting for and in doing so give support to this woman and her child and allow her to parent? This will be one of those few times on TV where we might actually be cheering for this woman to not place her child for adoption, and wouldn’t that be something.
I’m looking forward to seeing if they mess this up or not. I really hope they don’t.