Effects of Economic Status on Adoption

More Money Less Worry…

As mentioned before, one of the biggest components an adoptive family needs to think about is the financial status of the family as it is, and how it would change with the additional costs of raising another child. This entails buying more groceries, clothes, and saving for more schooling. The Tuohy’s, however, did not need to think about finances considering they were very well off when they offered Michael to reside with them. This capacity of wealth is expressed through their luxurious home, attire, and ample generosity. What they did need to be prepared for, however, were the judgements of their friends and the overall community. Research shows that, “Black and multiracial communities can offer important opportunities for children to access a sense of shared racial experience, insight, and belonging into adulthood” for African American adoptees (Samuels). This conclusion it is drawn due to experiences like those in the following clip where Mrs. Tuohy goes out to lunch with her preppy, well dressed, affluent friends and receives racial and demeaning remarks. The community she lives in and brought Michael into is not accepting at first and  accurately portrays why adoption centers desire to give African American children to communities with racial diversity. . Mrs. Tuohy contemplates officially adopting Michael but doesn’t follow through considering he is almost 18. He lives with the family as if he is actually adopted, but Mrs. Tuohy just becomes his legal guardian. Her friends on the other hand think she is doing this out of guilt and for attention, to gain publicity. According to a movie review, the biggest concern critic Philip French had was that everything was going so smoothly with the adaption of Michael to this new home and the only concern was expressed when he was getting recruited for college football. The investigator who was a black female felt as if the family was not going through this for their love of Michael but for themselves.Philip French suggests  “the family has taken up Mike’s cause in order to help their alma mater, the University of Mississippi, where Sean [Mr. Tuohy] was once a basketball star and Leigh Anne [Mrs. Tuohy] a cheerleader”. The investigator was convinced that they were trying to boost their publicity and status to seem like they care for the underprivileged and less fortunate when they truly do not. This was not the case.

The Blind Side (2009). Michael Oher stares at eviction sign on his childhood home door.

It is unfortunate that sometimes families put children up for adoption strictly because they cannot afford to care for them. The parents did not plan for all of the costs involved in parenting and therefore cannot provide the child with the best life possible. Rather than raise them terribly and desert their needs, it is best to give them the opportunity to be raised by a family who can offer them ample chances to be successful.  This was the case for Michael Oher. He was neglected because his mother could not provide for him so he was forced to fend for himself and had to hope to be taken off the streets one day. He had no food to eat, besides the leftovers on the bleachers in the high school which he would scavenger through, and no place to stay. Michael Oher grew up in the hood where houses were evicted or foreclosed daily. The audience is able to recognize this truly was the case for Michael’s neglect once he returns to his home just to notice an eviction sign on his door. He had no contact with his mother or any clue where she went. He was abandoned.

One of the most powerful scenes in the entire film is when Mrs. Tuohy offers Michael a bed, portraying the Tuohy’s as giving and empathetic. Michael mentions he has never had his own bed before and that truly touches Mrs. Tuohy which is evident when she relocates to a different room in the home to reflect on the difficulties and struggles Michael faced growing up. Leigh Ann Tuohy proceeds to pay for new clothes that fit Michael so he doesn’t wear the same shirt every day, again something he has never experienced before. Mrs. Tuohy allows him to get his license respectively because he is 17 years old, something he never would have been able to receive in the slums. She purchases him a brand new pickup truck, and pays for a tutor to strengthen his understanding in various subject in preparation for a college education. It is clear that Mrs. Tuohy cares about Michael’s success but at the same time she wants him to have fun as a teenager, just like most others get to experience. It is hard to think that “while race and racism may not be significant to white adoptive parents, the negative consequences of race are likely to remain relevant for Black and other children of color in transracially adoptive families” when the Tuohy’s are Michael’s ideal family although they do not have a genetic bond (White Parents, Black Children). They give Michael everything he could ask for and more, and do so out of love.