'Glee' Adoption Controversy Has Awful Timing

Mark Salling Idina MenzelGlee fans cheered when Ryan Murphy promised to give up on cutesy themed episodes and guest star stunts in favor of real character development in season three. But the very thing that's been drawing viewers back has got the powerful adoption community up in arms. 

A new online petition campaign complains that the show is failing to show the truth about adoption with Quinn Fabray's teen mom storyline. And if you thought Fox's decision to bump off all new Glee episodes until November had bad timing (silly baseball!), the planners of this protest might be even further off-course.


These folks had every right to be angry with the show's creators way back in season one or maybe even season two. Remember, when cheerleader Quinn popped out the baby she accidentally conceived during a one-nighter with Puck, a new mom magically appeared in the form of Idina Menzel's Shelby Corcoran, and the little teen queen's life went back to normal? That was not a real adoption story. For a real adoption story, I have to say it: go watch Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra on MTV's Teen Mom.

There's no adoptive mom fairy who waves her wand and gives the biological parents a chance to be footloose and fancy free forever more. There's stress, stress, and a whole lot more stress. And for the adoptive parents, it's very rare that a baby simply "falls in your lap" like that. It was an unfair showing all around for both sides of the coin.

But the petition mounted by Amber Austin, a mom who adopted a 1-year-old last year, and spread by other parents, takes issue with the new Glee plotline, the one that shows Dianna Agron's Quinn finally showing some strain from her teen pregnancy and decision not to raise her daughter. In case you missed it (where have you been??), the storyline that's just getting off the ground shows mom Shelby is having her own issues with placing her own daughter, Rachel, in the arms of two gay men a decade and a half before. So Shelby's back in Lima and working toward a more open adoption, something that reflects the set-up of more than HALF of today's adoptions (67 percent are at least semi-open). And rebellious Quinn suddenly wants her kid back.

Austin says adoption law precludes Quinn from taking baby Beth away from Shelby. She's absolutely right.

But excuse me for thinking that's the whole point ... ?

We're seeing Quinn go absolutely off the rails. The Glee writers showed her with a Ryan Seacrest tramp stamp and pink hair after two straight years of being Little Miss Perfect. Going after her baby is another sign of that persona imploding. The writers were finally giving us character development, and then the baseball schedule cut them off at the knees. We don't know if they were going to treat Quinn's idea like it had meat or continue with the "teen in need of an intervention" plotline, but so far, things are promising. Can we wait until we see what they do with it before we ask for their heads on a platter?

Do you think the adoption community has a right to be angry with the Glee writers yet?


Image via Fox

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