Adoption on TV: Modern Family or Parenthood?

A gay dad sits at the dining-room table, making a scrapbook about baby Lily’s adoption. A tiny conical hat perches on his head. It’s all the funnier because this dad—ex-college-football player Cameron—is so large.

"Look at this." Cameron reverently holds up the hat.

"Oh my God!" cries Mitchell, his partner. "Lily’s little hat that we bought her at the airport in Vietnam!"

Cameron puts it on, its red ribbons trailing beside his cheeks.

Mitchell eyes him. "Remember how cute she looked in that?"

"Remember how I used to wear it and walk around and act like I had a giant head?" Cameron giggles.

"That was good acting," Mitchell says.

Politically incorrect? Over-the-top satire? Yes on both counts, but that’s why a sharply written sitcom like ABC’s Modern Family gets at the uncomfortable  aspects of adoption—especially for us white middle-class adoptive parents.

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