Thursday, June 16, 2011

Now I remember.....

There was a reason I stopped watching Dr. Phil years ago. I was reminded of it again last night when I watched a rerun of an episode about a 16 year old girl who was pregnant and trying to make up her mind about what to do. This girl had a home, 2 parents who love her and were willing to support whatever decision she made and her boyfriend who was supposedly involved in the decision making process. It appeared that her mother was having a difficult time with the idea of letting her grandchild go - understandably.

Now Dr. Phil's idea of helping - have the girl meet with the people at Catholic Charities, have her meet an adoption attorney who wants to set her up with a counselor - gosh, no conflict of interest there. Here's the doozy - have her meet a woman who tried to adopt a newborn 5 times and the mothers all changed their minds after the births. What do you think is going through the mind of a 16 yr old pregnant girl as she watches a woman cry because of 5 "failed adoptions". Now the girl doesn't want to see a counselor because she and the PAP are best buds and she doesn't think she needs counseling.

Dr. Phil throws in one more helper. An adoptee who thought open adoption would be a bad idea because it would be too confusing for the child. The child only needs one set of parents and should be allowed to only bond with them. So where was the natural mother talking about the consequences of losing a child to adoption? Where was the counselor or psychiatrist discussing the lifelong pain and grief that natural mothers can suffer or the pain of adoptees who long for a connection with their natural families? Where was the discussion about the feeling of abandonment many adoptees live with? Where was the discussion of the lack of legal protection for the natural mother in regards to open adoption?

This young girl was only 6 1/2 months along, was being told that she's not responsible enough to deal with a baby and being presented with the usual one-sided, "adoption is the best option" BS and then pressured to make a decision. So of course at the end of the show she announces her decision to choose adoption. What a surprise. And people say coercion doesn't happen anymore - more BS.


  1. Sadly people believe Dr. Phil and in reality he manipulates young mothers. Wrong on so many levels but I have to say that telling the young woman about the history of failed placements is beyond the pale and worse than anything else said.

  2. I, too stopped watching Dr Phil a long time ago. I first thought he was a tell-it-like-it-is kind of psychologist when people needed the tough talk. Now I think he is a tell-it-like-I-think-it-should-be like so many others in the adoption industry. For me, this is one of the worst forms of coercion--when only one side is presented but also, but most particularly by someone who is supposed to be a trained counselor and therefor completely neutral. NOT.

  3. I can't stand Dr. Phil (I'm not much of an Oprah fan, either). While pregnant, I was presented with the idea of adoption within a week of moving in with a long-time family friend who's boss was infertile and trying to adopt. One of the first things she disclosed about her boss, the eventual adoptive mother, was that she had experienced a failed adoption and was supposedly devastated. Of course I felt so much empathy for a person I'd never met!

  4. I can't stand Dr. Phil for that very reason. I remember that show you are talking about. I remember screaming at the television I was so mad. And most of all, I kept wondering where was the sympathy for the pregnant woman who was being encouraged to lose her baby compared to the sympathy for the other woman who had lost the "idea" of a child.

  5. You beat me to the punch with your post. I've been in such a tizzy after watching this episode, that I haven't been able to write clearly. The 2 things that I took away from watching were:

    1. That the stepfather seems to be the driving force behind the whole idea of adoption. Hmm no big surprise there as it seems he is not vested in a relationship with the daughter but rather his wife.

    2. The way Mr. Phil(as he's not a doctor in my eyes but a "reality whore shrink") makes it sound as if this young woman should just hand over her child to a "desperate family" who has been wanting to have a child. I just about came unglued at that statement. Then how the show ended with Phil talking about how he KNEW he was going to catch flack and be accused of being coercive from a lot of folks..Um HELL YEAH! So what are you saying, that you know what you are doing is wrong but are going to continue to PUSH adoption down this young woman's throat anyhow?? WOW whatever happened to "do no harm" and allowing people to come to realizations ON THEIR OWN??? When is it ok for a "counselor" to peddle their own personal thoughts on a subject as fact? That's NOT a "counselors" job! You leave your emotions and judgments at the door when counseling others who come to you. The kicker for me was how at the very end of show they camera zooms in on the young lady, who by this time, is in tears and has her head hung. Absolutely shameful and exploitive! I didn't see him offering the same advice the the "Doctor Phil Family" that he has been destroying over the last what 6 years now? What a hypocrite!

    I went so far as to contact that show and offered to get in touch with the young lady that was on his show. I doubt I'll hear back from them. Judging by her mother's statements on the show, I don't think this girl is going to place her child for can only pray and hope.

  6. I think that show originally aired in '09 so I wonder if she went through with the adoption or kept her child. etropic, good for you for contacting the show. I thought about it too after seeing that mess. I agree, he should be called Mr. Phil. He's no doctor in my eyes, especially after seeing that. Thanks to you and the others for your input. I see crap like that on tv and wonder if others like me are out there trying not to throw something at the screen. Besides wanting to slap Phil I wanted to take that girls hand and take her away from all that, tell her the truth about adoption.