Demand an Apology from Fox News for Defaming Adoptees

Dawn Davenport

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Demand an apology from Fox News and Dr. Ablow for the statements he made defaming adoptees.

Demand an apology from Fox News and Dr. Ablow for the statements he made defaming adoptees.

As I blogged about yesterday, Dr. Keith Ablow made a defamatory statement about the mental health of adopted persons on the Wednesday, Feb. 15 Fox & Friends show.  I have attached this segment of the show in a clip below. Yesterday, I was infuriated and needed to vent, but now that I’ve calmed down and had time to think, I want us to take this further and request a public apology.  We need your help.

It is important to not let this become a political argument.  Before yesterday, I had honestly never heard of the organization or person he was talking about.  I don’t care if Ablow is right or wrong about this organization and person; I care very deeply, however, that he defamed the hundreds of thousands of adoptees by inferring that being adopted leads to mental instability and the craving for power. (I will do my best to refrain from publicly wondering what happened in Dr. Ablow’s life to lead to his desire for power and fame.  Ooops, guess I just did. My bad!)

Seriously, listen to the clip below. If you feel as we do here at Creating a Family, please take a moment to send the following emails to the addresses listed.  Being adopted is simply a way of entering a family.  Obviously, it involves loss and often sadness for the adopted person and the first family.  It is not, however, an automatic sentence to mental instability or a craving for power.

Send to Dr. Keith Ablow

Dr. Ablow,

On Fox &Friends on Wednesday, Feb. 15, I heard your comment on the mental health status of adoptees, and hope you will consider a public apology.  As you no doubt know from reading the longitudinal large scale research on the mental health of adopted persons, including studies out of the University of Minnesota, University of Colorado, and Penn State, adoptees are no more likely than non-adopted person to be emotionally unstable. You can find summaries of some of this research on the Adoption Research page at http://www.creatingafamily.org/adoption/research.html.

Regardless whether you were right about the mental health of the particular individual, attacking and perpetuating myths about hundreds of thousands of people who have been adopted is unprofessional and dangerous. Please address this on air and acknowledge your mistake

Sincerely,

Send to: info@keithablow.com

Send to Fox News

Fox News:

On Fox & Friends on Wednesday, Feb. 15, I heard Dr. Keith Ablow made a defamatory statement about the mental health status of adoptees, and I hope you will consider a public apology. Dr. Ablow inferred that adopted persons were mentally unstable.  As he should know from reading the longitudinal large scale research on the mental health of adopted persons, including studies out of the University of Minnesota, University of Colorado, and Penn State, adoptees are no more likely than non-adopted person to be emotionally unstable. You can find summaries of some of this research on the Adoption Research page at http://www.creatingafamily.org/adoption/research.html or listen to a few of the Creating a Family radio shows where the leading adoption researchers have been interviewed.  (For example: http://www.creatingafamily.org/radioshow/is-genetics-or-the-environment-most-important-in-determining-who-our-kids-will-be.html)

Regardless whether he was right about the mental health of the particular individual, attacking and perpetuating myths about hundreds of thousands of people who have been adopted is unprofessional and dangerous. Please address this on air and acknowledge this mistake

Sincerely,

Send to or call:

  • friends@foxnews.com or call 1-888-369-4762
  • Your local Fox News Affiliate (you can find the email or telephone number by searching for “Fox News Affiliate & ________(your city or nearby large city)

Please view this clip here rather than going to the Fox website so that we do not inadvertently improve their website statistics. If you don’t have a few minutes to watch the clip, the transcript of the defamatory language is as follows:

This is an adopted boy who needs to plumb the depths of his psyche. He was adopted. Many adopted children are tremendously well-adjusted, but for some reason, this man feels he’s unloved and unlovable, shunted to the side, and that’s the antidote he feels: unlimited power.

We will be keeping you up to date on what happens with this campaign via our weekly e-newsletter, so sign up on the left of this page if you want to follow.

P. S. I did not originally include this link to the full segment of Fox & Friends where the above clip is taken from because the only place I’ve been able to find it is at a site that clearly has anti-Fox leanings (the name was a dead give away: “NewsHounds: We watch Fox so you don’t have to!”), and I didn’t want to support the general anti-Fox folks either. My beef is with this particular segment. However a number of people have rightly asked to see the comment in context, so I offer this link for that purpose. It’s about 5-6 minutes. NewsHounds

P.S. again: While not exactly taking back his comment, Dr. Ablow just published (Feb. 17, 2012) an editorial/opinion piece where he maintains that David Brock is mentally unstable, but acknowledges, “I have no idea what may have led David Brock to such apparently fundamental self-doubt and possible self-hatred”, and makes no mention of his having been adopted.

Image credit: Texas Governor Rick Perry

17/02/2012 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog | 47 Comments



47 Responses to Demand an Apology from Fox News for Defaming Adoptees

  1. Dawn says:

    Delaney, Adam Pertman, with Adoption Institute, posted something on his personal website today about Ablow’s comments- http://adampertman.com/2012/02/24/adopteeblog/. Worth the read. Not sure what other adoption-only advocacy groups have said.

  2. Upstatemamma says:

    Dawn,

    The truth is that RAD is not rare – it is not the “norm” meaning that it does not affect more then half the adopted population but it IS plenty common. It happens more then anyone wants to admit. Yes, it can happen in a non-adoption situation but the truth is that adoption is rooted in a separation of the natural attachment. The attachment of biological mother to her infant. When I just had my (adopted) son I would have rallied at that statement. Now that I have truly read and learned about attachment I know it to be true. Sure, a biological parent can be abusive and that can cause attachment issues but often enough even when a biological parent is abusive the child attaches to them anyway.

    I don’t like what the guy said. I don’t know about the man he was discussing. I don’t really know the original statement. But from the clip, from the way he said it, my mind sort of understood him. SOME adoptees will have attachment issues. Attachment issues cause HUGE attention seeking behaviors. Children with RAD (not sure about adults – I have not read that far because I can barely deal with today let alone worry about when she is an adult) are also GREAT manipulators. And paranoia gets you attention. it gets you followers. So it might be fake. I don’t know. I don’t know anything about it. I think he should have been more clear. I think if he WAS insinuating RAD he should have said it.

    Oh and RAD is not difficult to diagnose at all actually. My daughter has been diagnosed within minutes (and even without being met once) by SEVERAL attachment specialists simply by me telling them about her behavior and what is going on in our house. RAD causes some very clear, specific behaviors in childhood and so it would not be a stretch to think that a professional might be able to look at behaviors in an adult and make an educated guess. Also, saying that they can improve minimizes what life with a RAD person is. Sure improvements are possible BUT not common. The truth is life with a RAD child is Hell and they might not ever get better. Therefor I still stand by that could be what he was thinking.

  3. Upstatemamma says:

    I mentioned this on twitter – and I have yet to read the comments here – but I want to throw something out there. I have mixed feelings about getting all mad about what thie man said. There was a time when I would have been furious but now I wonder. I wonder if the adoptee he is talking about has RAD. I wonder that because my daughter has it – and while it doesn’t come from being adopted per say it does come from being abused or neglected in infancy/early childhood. Generally from institutionalized or foster care. Most of those children are one day adopted and therefor adoptees. I think the guy could have been a little more informative with his statement but I cannot help wondering if he was thinking of RAD when he said it.

    That said I do wish he had either given more details or omitted the adoption reference. When you just throw out the word adopted all you do is create a negative impression of ALL adoptees and that is not the case. So, I am on the fence. Should they apologize? Yes, I guess they should. But not so much apologize as much as explain. That’s my opinion. I will be sending letters but I think I will change mine a bit.

    • Dawn says:

      Upstatemamma, as you know, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a potentially devastating mental disorder, usually caused by the child having been abused or neglected in early life and/or having not had a steady caregiver to whom the child can form the crucial bond of trust between infant and caregiver. It is, however, rare and can be present in both adopted and non-adopted people. (I should add for those readers who are not familiar with RAD that attachment problems fall along a spectrum of severity with RAD being the most severe, and that all attachment issues can be treated and children can improve.) No doubt RAD could result in the need for attention and power, not so sure about paranoia, but Ablow has never even met this man, and I would assume that he hasn’t done a lot of research into Brock’s early life experiences. RAD is hard for mental health professionals to diagnose who are actively working with an individual, so how in the world (and why in the world) would Ablow attempt to do that with someone he’s never met. And, even more to the point, RAD is rare and is not at all reflective of the general population of adopted persons in the US. To insinuate that all adopted persons feel unloved, unlovable, paranoid, and craving attention and power, regardless if it is caused by the act of adoption or RAD, is wrong, or to use Maria’s word from a previous comment “awful”.

  4. Dawn says:

    We’ve been having a good discussion over on Facebook where someone wrote that she got the impression that the speaker was addressing the person in question only…giving (one) reason for his action and the Dr. was careful to say that many adopted persons are well adjusted. She raises a good point and one I have given a lot of thought to when trying to analyze my response.

    I think it might be easier to see why I object to over generalizations like this if you substitute the word “black” or “Hispanic” for the word adopted. You get the following: “This is a black boy who needs to plumb the depths of his psyche. He is black. Many black children are tremendously well-adjusted, but for some reason, this man feels he’s unloved and unlovable, shunted to the side, and that’s the antidote he feels: unlimited power.” Does that change your opinion about why it is a bad idea to imply dysfunction to an entire group?

    I would agree that this type of analysis as to the impacts of adoption on someone’s mental health is entirely appropriate in an individual counseling session, but I think I’m safe in assuming that Dr. Ablow has never had such a session with this man. So, how can he possibly be in the position to assess what might have influenced his supposed need for power. The only way he can do that is by making broad generalizations about the mental health of a group of people. That’s what I object to. Why mention his adopted status at all?

    This is not unlike when the media makes gratuitous mention of the adopted status of a celebrity’s child. “So and so was photographed at the soccer game with her adopted son.” I wrote a blog on Two Simple Rules for the Media (http://bit.ly/xrLrY7) where my first rule is only mention how a person joined his family if it is directly relevant to the story.

  5. Mark says:

    Hi, I am Mark and obviously I am am adoptee. Reunited with my natural family in July, 1990. Way to late to send a difference making email, but I am doing so anyway. Wondering if anyone has been to any of the multitude of websites, or even read the scores of books on the topic of mental health issues that may exist within the average adoptee? I have, and extensively so. I am sorry to disagree here, but not only from a lifelong personal experience, as well as literally hundreds of personal testimonies from adoptees, as well as dozens of extremely reliable studies from highly reputable mental health professionals, I must unconditionally agree with Dr. Ablow

  6. annnie says:

    Love the blog and show. I’ve listened to almost all the shows and some like 20 like times. Keep up the good work man!

  7. Bruce says:

    Stumbled on your blog almost by accident,but have been reading through them. I had never thgouht about ways that we and the media show prejudice to adopted people. I’m amazed at this guys comments and so glad you had the courage to say something so publicly. It’s probably too late for me to do anythng, but I’m sending it the emails anyway. I’ll also be more careful with me thoughts.

  8. Pat Johnston says:

    Personally, I think that many parents as individuals worry that if they make noise they’ll be told they are over reacting–even when they know they are not. I think that’s why advocacy GROUPS and professional advocates like Adam, you, me, etc. need to take the lead.

    • Dawn says:

      This experience is a bit of a twist on this logic then, since it appears that other than you and me and now (1 1/2 weeks later) Adam the advocacy groups have been silent. I should add that Creating a Family is an education and support group, not an advocacy group per se, but still…, why the silence from the others?

  9. Delaney D says:

    As you requested I held off on posting this rant, but want to do it now. (You didn’t say how longyou wanted us to wait and while I understand your desire to avoid “drama” I want to post this.) I find it interesting and VERY DISAPPOINTING that the other nat’l so called adoption advocacy groups did not join you in this petition. I am speaking directly about the infertility based groups that are supposed to also be adoption too. As far as I know, they did nothing to help with this petition, not even linking to it. Last year when you posted about their campaign to get PETA to withdraw some contest or something that they found offensive, a lot of us got on board, but when the adoption folks ask for help with something we find offensive they were totally quiet. WRONG! Dawn, I know you’re totally even in your support and educ. for adoption and infertility, but sorry, next time you ask for my support for something those infertility orgs want, the answer will be no. Also, did other adoption-only groups get involved or did they let this defamation go unchallenged. Where are the other voices of outrage or at least support in spreading the word?

  10. Joanne says:

    Sent both your letters after making them from my perspective. Thank you. I refuse to be involved w watching Fox as is bias, however this is an unethical issue for a person perceived as expert to be spouting off. There are many great kids waiting for homes and to massage the myth that adopted kids have something wrong w them (that one’s bio kid would not?), is unforgivable and pathetic.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Hi.
    I’m sorry, but I do not see the problem here.
    He is referring to ONE MAN. Who happens to be adopted. In the transcript it says “Many adopted children are tremendously well-adjusted, but for some reason, this man….” THIS MAN. No one else! Get over it!

    • Dawn says:

      Jennifer, I appreciate your comment, but disagree with your point. Keep in mind that he says he has never counseled this man, and in fact, has never met the man. So when trying to analyze why Brock behaves the way he does, he says it’s because he’s adopted. By making this statement he is perpetuating the commonly held stereotype that adopted persons are as a whole unbalanced. Relying on stereotypes is the only way he could make this assumption since he’s never met the guy. I object to stereotyping a diverse group of people, be they black, women, Jews, Christians, or adoptees. The “many are OK” prelude does nothing to take away the stereotyping. I’ve said it before, but the best way to understand this is to substitute a group that we all publicly cringe when someone makes a stereotyping comment. I can’t imagine that we wouldn’t all gasp if Dr. Ablow said the following about an African American man who he disagrees with.

      “This is an black boy who needs to plumb the depths of his psyche. He’s black. Many blacks are tremendously hard working, but this guy is lazy, shiftless and is probably on welfare.”

      I know I cringed just writing it and checked twice to make sure it was in quotes so as to be clear that I wasn’t saying it. While stereotypes against blacks are no doubt alive and well in the US, at least we’ve reached the point where it is no longer acceptable to perpetuate them on TV. Stereotypes assign individual characteristics to an entire group and often lead to prejudice and discrimination. Adopted persons as a group do not feel any one thing and do not act in any one way.

  12. dpen says:

    Dawn,

    I was directed here from the adoptedones and I am pleased with your outrage at this guys generalizations of adoptees. When I first read it my first thought was …Here we go again…the sterotype of adoptees beiing pathological AGAIN! I like your comparasion to the black person being generalized. I was a little confused as to how someone could say that it didn’t count.

    How about this one. A supposed doctor goes on the air and says something like. This person is an infertile adoptive parent. As some are really well adjusted, there are some that suffer from insecurity as not being called the real parents, they suffer from their own grief over not having their own and can become paranoid, attention seeking, self proclaimed saints that are holy then thou, better then biology ect. Being an innocent child being brought up with that kind of thinking can be hell on that child…and adult. Those kinds of adult parents are great brain washers and try to make the adoption about the needs of the parent and not the child. Its VERY common and can effect a human being for the rest of their life.

    Do I believe that is a common attiude…sometimes….but i do beleive its very real. so lets not talk about a group of people and say its ok for someone to get on the air and spout garbage about someone he does’t even know. Lets not perpetuate the stigma that adoptees KNOW is real and try to defend it. Its NOT ok for anyone let alone a supposed professional to make such broad statements about a man that if truth be told is more aganist this guys politics and trys to attack by hitting in the heart and gut. THAT is VERY common in the world of adoption. Especially adoptees.

    • Dawn says:

      dpen, I’m glad you commented. How about the following scenario. Would others who think the comment directed towards adoptees wasn’t offensive, would they feel different about this one?

      In discussion a female political candidate that he disagrees with: This is an girl who needs to plumb the depths of her psyche. She is a woman. Many women are tremendously well-adjusted, but for some reason, this woman is histrionic and hormonal, unworthy of an office which requires reasoned decision-making.

      Doesn’t this imply that woman are prone to histrionic and hormonal mood swing that would render then unworthy of election?

  13. Dawn – this is something I struggle with when using a disclaimer on my blog simply because whenever you use a disclaimer you are grouping people into one group that becomes suspect because it is a group or class of individuals.

    In adoption how many shy away from discussing abusive parents or disruptions because talking about it and bringing it up for discussion taints all adoptive parents? You have to disclaim it applies to all Adoptive Parents which actually serves to reinforce that the reader/listener understood you to mean all adoptive parents are abusers or ready to throw away their adoptees. Talking about the same in a biological family does not require the need to disclaim because biological families are not a suspect class.

  14. Dawn – regardless if he used remarkably or tremendously well-adjusted it implies to me that the defective sterotype is hyped or he wouldn’t need to qualify others are okay – defective isn’t probably the best term but you understand my limitations on words. It all goes back to the “bad blood” sterotypes of my generation – suspect.

    Apply the same maladjusted because of it – but others are tremendously well-adjusted [despite] dealing with this to any other distinct group of individuals – when you do this with people challenged by infertility does it not make you assume as a group of people to be suspect of?

    • Dawn says:

      The Adopted Ones, intuitively I know you are right that the use of the qualifying statement “many are tremendously well-adjusted” actually adds to perpetuating the myth that adopted persons are as a group “suspect” or prone to mental instability, but I can’t seem to work out in my head exactly how it does this. There are certainly some who have commented here or said so on Facebook and Twitter, who believe that the statement actually exonerates him from defaming the adoptee population as a whole since he is only saying this about one specific man. I know this is not true when I read his whole statement, but am struggling to articulate why. I’m hoping that you and others can give me the words to express this feeling. HELP.

  15. Dawn, I too watched the entire segment and rewatched it after that comment so I could write down exactly what he said the the verbal cues he provided.

    The comment was about adopted people coupled with the headlines scrolling across the bottom of the screen one being about his mental breakdown in 2001.

    The intent was to bring up the stereotype applied to adoptees as being defective. Yes, we all have things to work through to greater or lesser degrees but we are not defective human beings.

    His “well-adjusted” comment about other adoptees was also used to dismiss – something we are all too familiar with as a tactic as well, and if I remember correctly? he had added a term like “remarkably” before well-adjusted which actually just confirms his bias of adoptees as fundamentally defective – if I am wrong about the term please ignore it may have been a visual assumption on my part.

    If he hadn’t meant to use the term adopted boy as a dismissive tactic meant to inflame people to assume the worst of Brock because he was adopted, and actually believed it had something to do with who Brock is as a person he would have kept it in his commentary instead of what he wrote instead.

    • Dawn says:

      “The intent was to bring up the stereotype applied to adoptees as being defective. Yes, we all have things to work through to greater or lesser degrees but we are not defective human beings.” Exactly!I feel like this is the point I’ve been trying to makeover and over again in the last several months in the blog. Different ways it has come up, but the same point. But that’s off topic here.

      The word he used was “tremendously”, rather than remarkably. It seems to be a less inflammatory to me. What do you think?

      I know that his use of the word “boy” was grating to you and to lots of people, including me, but I wondered if what he intended to say was that he wasadopted as a boy, which isn’t so bad. (Me thinks I might be over analzying just a bit. ;-))

  16. Maria says:

    Its pretty aweful when kittens and puppies are told to stay with mama for 6 to 8 weeks then a human baby taken away immediately from mama…that kinda doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • Dawn says:

      Maria, yes, adoption involves a huge loss. And yes, any time a woman has to or decides to not parent her child it is an excruciatingly painful decision, and is an awful experience for all involved. The question here is whether it renders the baby, then child, then adult prone to mental instability. I say no, and the research supports me. Dr. Ablow apparently would say yes, or at least believes it on the subconscious level.

  17. Tom says:

    My brother is adopted, and he’s got to be 10x more stable than me. He’s the most secure, drama-free, stable, even tempered person I have ever known. He’s got to look at my life like it’s some sort of trainwreck compared to his. Well, this is what we’ve come to expect from Faux News.

  18. malinda says:

    This NYT article supports my contention that Ablow has violated professional ethics:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/health/views/24mind.html

    “In 1973, the A.P.A. defined a set of requirements for communicating with the media — the Goldwater rule — stating that psychiatrists can comment on mental health issues in general, but that it is explicitly unethical for them to offer a professional opinion about an individual without directly examining that person and getting his or her permission to comment.

    So it would be fine for a psychiatrist to say that someone who experiences hallucinations and delusions appears psychotic, but to offer a diagnosis of schizophrenia would cross the line.

    The distinction between general description and diagnosis may seem like splitting hairs. But for two reasons, the Goldwater rule is just as important today as it ever was.

    First, it is intellectually dishonest for a mental health professional — or any physician — to give a diagnosis without examining the patient. A professional opinion is supposed to reflect a thorough and rigorous evaluation of a patient and all relevant clinical data obtained under the protection of strict confidentiality. Anything short of that misleads the public about what constitutes accepted medical practice and invites distrust of the profession as a whole.

    Second — and especially timely as we enter another presidential campaign — the Goldwater rule prevents the misuse of medical authority as a political weapon to denigrate an opponent.”

    Anyone know how to submit a complaint to the APA?

    • Dawn says:

      Malinda, wow, it certainly seems like Ablow violated this rule, but from what others have said, I assume he makes these kind of over generalizations and quasi diagnoses frequently. Surely Fox News has attorneys who have vetted this?!?

  19. malinda says:

    I think it might also be appropriate to lodge a complaint with the American Psychiatric Association. Expressing his opinion in this manner without having examined the subject strikes me as a serious ethical breach.

  20. Traci says:

    I agree that Dr. Ablow’s comment was not acceptable as it addresses the adoption of David Brock as if it was a negative strike against him towards having positive mental health.

    I do feel the need to address the prior comments made by 3catsandababy. Media Matters does not exist to keep Fox News accurate. It exists to try to discredit and ultimately get rid of Fox News because the founder of Media Matters, and others in the organization, do not want the conservative voices on Fox News to be heard. Media Matters is not an unbiased organization, and I just wanted others to know that to put it all in proper context.

    • Dawn says:

      Traci, thank you for that information. As I said, I have never heard of Media Matters or David Brock before this. I am not objecting to Dr. Ablow’s comments as a vote in favor of Media Matters, but rather as a vote in favor of adoptees. I don’t have enough information to voice an opinion on the ethics or correctness of either the mission of Fox News or Media Matters.

  21. Mike Recant says:

    Dawn,

    Normally I am with you on your point of view but in this case I believe you and I have a different interpretation of Dr. Ablow’s comment.

    In this case I believe, however poorly worded, that he intended only to comment on David Brock’s mental state and that he (Dr. Ablow) believed Mr. Brock’s adoption was a factor. I don’t believe he intended his statement to be a general statement about adoptees. To me, even substituting “Black” for “Adopted” doesn’t make the quote any more damning.

    This is the problem with medical diagnosis from a newsroom desk (even by a professional) and communication by sound bite. There is so little to go one that who knows what Dr. Ablow really intended to say. I can only have an opinion, I can’t say anything as fact. I would warn about reading too much into such a short statement.

    But, obviously, other people have different opinions.

    • Dawn says:

      Mike, I too always hate to make judgements by sound bite, and worry that so much of our news now comes from sound bites, but that’s the subject for another discussion. I hope you listened to the full segment in the link I included at the end.

      I hear your point about whether he was speaking solely about Brock or whether he was generalizing. Although he tried to undermine his generalization by saying many adoptees are well adjusted, he then goes on to say that because Brock was adopted he felt unloved and unlovable, shunted to the side, and therefore needs unlimited power. Earlier in the segment he says that Brock is paranoid, seeks applause, and is dangerous. Albow admits that he has never even met Brock, and thus the impact of his adoption on his personality could not come from any specific knowledge of him. It had to come from assumptions and prejudices that he has about adoptees. Any number, in fact I’d bet hundreds, of life experiences or factors could cause someone to feel unloved, shunted to the side, paranoid, and in need attention. For example, depending on your beliefs and prejudices, one could argue that birth order, lack of physical attractiveness, being raised by a single parent, having an overbearing parent, having divorced parents, poverty, being a minority, or having a well adjusted two parent family (OK, maybe not that one) could result in a person growing up to be paranoid, feel unloved, and seek attention. Albow didn’t explore any of these. He choose only one thing to mention–that Brock was adopted. He did this not based on any knowledge about Brock and how adoption has affected his life, if at all, but because he has a prejudice that adopted persons feel unloved, thus seek attention. (Not quite sure how paranoia and dangerous fit in with his argument.) I see little difference between him saying this and him saying that all ____s are _____ (Catholics:guilt ridden; blacks:angry; Native American:drunkards; Jews:tightwads; Southerners:prejudiced; or any other stereotype of groups that you can think of).

      Thanks for your comment and for sharing a differing interpretation.

  22. Amanda says:

    I agree with you. I was adding the statement re: abuse because you all had already mentioned discrimination in the comments section. He’s being discriminatory but he’s also behaving like an abusive jerk.

    I don’t know why you couldn’t do both. When I saw it I was about to make a petition but saw you were already asking for an apology and didn’t want to go over-top of what was already in place.

    I think a petition in addition to letter-writing would make a bigger impact. More people would be willing to participate and Change.org petitions will send each person’s signature, along with the pre-written letter, directly to the desired recipients, each time a person signs (I once accidentally completely flooded a legislator’s office with emails and phone calls this way one morning–oops). I also think the petition should come from all three major angles in which Ablow showed his prejudice, where he degraded not only adoptees but children and individuals with disabilities as well. If a petition wrote about the disablist stereotypes he used against the mentally ill, in order to defame adoptees, I am sure many mental health groups would share the petition far and wide as well.

  23. Amanda says:

    Psychoanalyzing someone you do not know in order to shut them down is abusive. I’m not saying that to be dramatic–it is a maneuver often noted in abusive relationships where one person is emotionally or psychologically abusing another person.

    He should apologize. Dawn, if you started a Change.org petition demanding an apology, I would support it.

    • Dawn says:

      Amanda, making generalized statements about any group is defamatory and discriminatory. To say nothing of wrong.

      We thought about a petition, but thought that an email campaign would be more effective. Do you disagree? We are totally open to suggestions.

  24. Jerry Clarke says:

    Done. Let’s hope this results in an apology.

  25. What a stupid comment….And this is a psychiatrist?
    I would also like an apology from Jimmy Kimmel’s show. I normally don’t see it, as it is pretty raunchy, but the other night, I was too lazy to get up and turn it off while folding clothes. Would you believe he was talking about painting his office and then made the statement, I don’t want THAT color! It is the color of a prosthetic! Then said, “Who would want to paint the color of a PROSTHETIC?”
    Now, I have 2 children who wear them, let alone ALL THE SOLDIERS who have come home from the war that WILL be wearing them, and who are most likely quite sorrowful about the loss of limbs. To have Him say such a thing and make fun of amputees in that way burned my blood! But, stupid is as stupid does.
    Should I write? Probably. Will it be heard? Probably not. But we should do it anyway.

    • Dawn says:

      Christie, I believe we can make a difference with Fox News. I also believe that even if we don’t, all of us touched by adoption need to stand together and try.

  26. Dawn – thank you – would you consider also asking them to stop referring to adoptees as forever “children” never ever to be “adults”?

    • Dawn says:

      Oh, Adopted Ones, I’m so glad you brought that up. Amen! Also, why would he have referred to this man as a “boy”. How demeaning. Again, the guy he referred to may be totally wrong in everything he stands for–I have no idea what that is–but why refer to him as a boy?

  27. Keiko says:

    Sent! Email subject to Fox News: “Calling Adoptees Unloved & Unloveable is Neither Fair Nor Balanced”

  28. Kim says:

    Theadoptedones, THAT was what boiled my blood the most about the entire exchange! The man (whoever he is) is NOT a boy and his having been adopted does not relegate him to childhood forever. The second he said “boy” I knew he was going to have nothing good to say … Ugh!

  29. Dawn – It is a stereotyping of an entire class or segment of the population – it doesn’t work as you state above using race – it doesn’t work using adopted status. It is making incredibly assumptions not only linking being adopted but also applying a negative connotation to his “need for power” and linking those two together as equaling bad+bad = dangerous.

    (how fox will get out of this with gingrich being an adoptee lite (step parent adoption) I don’t know – in for a penny in for a pound)

    Anyway, if wanting to be in a powerful position universally makes one a bad individual then what does that say about people who hold office, run companies, run churches, or even run a news station – (cough cough)…

    People forget the slippery slope they go down when being mean-spirited trying to make someone look bad like this. If they have facts to discredit someone – bring them on but trying to spin it this way – no.

  30. 3catsandababy says:

    So, the adoptee in question is the head of an organization that monitors news to be sure it is accurate. Basically ensuring FOX news isn’t allowed to lie without being called out for it.

    FOX news is so mad about it that they put a psychiatrist on their show to discredit him? He literally just doesn’t want news organizations to be allowed to lie and they are analyzing him like he’s a serial killer. What?!

    What does being adopted have to do with wanting news organizations not to lie? Talk about trying to change the subject!

    I am so disgusted. That man is doing nothing wrong. I would love to have his job. I guess I am disturbed too. And hey, I am not even adopted.

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