What's wrong with "The Baby Borrowers," anyway?

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 9:00 AM

This post was originally published on Leave the lights on.

~ ~ ~

An anonymous commenter on my first post about "The Baby Borrowers" remarked that he or she felt the show is a "fantastic idea." He or she suggested that I "find out just what precautions were taken before these babies were 'borrowed'--- No parents would just willingly hand over there (sic) child for NO money, which I hear is exactly what happened. NO ONE was paid to do this."

So just what is my problem, anyway? Why don't I just lighten up? What about all the good the show will do?

Let's consider:

1. The show will help teenagers.
The show puts unmarried teenage couples into the same house to live as if they are married. It presents this arrangement as socially acceptable and no big deal, which ignores the fact that living together before marriage increases the statistical odds of divorce if the couple later marries. It puts girls in a position to be used by their boyfriends, as in the crude old saying, "Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?" You don't have to consider cohabitation immoral to see this as a problem; these kids, while legally adults, are still very, very young to be thrust into an arrangement that is so frequently problematic even for mature adults.

2. It's not TV, it's birth control.
NBC's slogan seems to promise that the TV program is meant to reduce teen pregnancy. It's not; that's a marketing gimmick. It's meant to sell sponsors' products by drawing viewers with the most lurid and shocking content possible -- just like all reality TV shows. Consider this: The first thing you see on the official "The Baby Borrowers" website is a poll about which teen couples stay together. That's not about preventing teen pregnancy. And later in the show, the couples will have to take care of an elderly person. That's not about preventing teen pregnancy. For that matter, having teenage couples cohabitating is not about preventing teen pregnancy.

3. The producers were very careful to make sure nobody got hurt.
Why does the graphic above use the inflammatory word "kidnappers"? Why such over-the-top language? Because I am describing the show from the babies' and toddlers' point of view. As Jan Hunt said in her open letter to NBC, "Sudden removal from their parents and placement with strangers for long periods of time is from a baby's point of view no different than a kidnapping." She continues, "It has been well-established that babies who suddenly lose their primary caregiver can quickly go into mourning and emotional depression." Causing a tiny child, who is just beginning to learn whether adults can be trusted, to grieve the loss of his families does hurt the child. I am sure the parents of the children on the show believed their children would not be harmed, but I am also sure that they are mistaken. I have seen for myself how a baby (my adopted son) grieves the loss of his primary caregivers. There are few things more heart-wrenching than a baby who won't eat because he is too sad.

It is tragic to me that it is too late to prevent the filming of the series. But I take hope in the possibility that viewer response -- or lack thereof (it's all about ratings) -- will prevent another season from being recorded.

Don't watch "The Baby Borrowers"!

Visit Sir Linksalot for more on "The Baby Borrowers."

Baby Borrowers sponsors: Countdown

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 10:00 AM

This post was originally published on Leave the lights on.

~ ~ ~

Here is the list of sponsors of The Baby Borrowers as of May 22. Let us see how many of these companies we can harry into dropping their sponsorship. Contact as many as you can, as many ways as you can, as often as you can to express your disapproval. Be firm, but please remain calm, detached, and polite. Rational voices are far more effective than hysterical ones.

Ace Hardware Corp.630-990-6600www.acehardware.com
Barbara Cosgrove Lamps816-221-3461www.barbaracosgrovelamps.com
Benjamin Moore & Co.201-573-9600www.benjaminmoore.com
Born Free, LLC561-347-8112www.newbornfree.com
Borup Construction208-884-1092www.borupconstruction.com
buybuy Baby516-507-3410www.buybuybaby.com
Chicago Cutlery®800-999-3437www.chicagocutlery.com
ClubFurniture.com (One Source Plus, Inc.)888-378-8383www.ClubFurniture.com
Corelle® Dinnerware800-999-3436www.corelle.com
CorningWare® French White®800-999-3438www.corningware.com
Finer Frames208-888-9898www.finerframes.com
GE ProfileTM Appliances800-626-2005www.geappliances.com
Green Dot Corporation626-775-3400www.greendotonline.com
Hello Kitty818-526-0111www.upp.net
Lamp Works847-295-7600www.lampworks.com
Larson Juhl & Artaissance800-886-6126www.larsonjuhl.com
Levitz Furniture212-634-2200www.levitz.com
Mazda North America949-341-6195www.mazdausa.com
Playcore-Swing n' Slide877-888-1232www.swing-n-slide.com
Pyrex® Glassware800-999-3440www.pyrexware.com
Realityworks, Inc.715-830-2040www.Realityworks.com
Revere® Cookware800-999-3441www.revereware.com
Simmons Bedding Co.877-399-9397www.simmons.com
Smith & Noble800-248-8888www.smithandnoble.com/sn/home.jsp
Southwest Airlines214-792-4000www.southwest.com
Spinmaster Toys818-526-0111www.upp.net
The Stylish Stork208-336-5655www.thestylishstork.com

I will keep track of which companies discontinue their support. And let me reiterate, please, use a rational voice. And it should go without saying that you should not break any laws and should cease communications with a company if they ask you to do so (i.e. no harrassment).

Subscribe to this blog if you would like to keep up with companies dropping their sponsorship.

Visit Sir Linksalot for more on "The Baby Borrowers."

The Baby Borrowers

Posted by Ginkgo100 | 9:00 AM

This post was originally published on Leave the lights on.

~ ~ ~

There are some television programs that are evil.

Most of these skulk at the fringes of the mainstream, available only on subscription channels, sometimes not available at all except on DVD or the Internet. In general, this blog ignores truly evil shows.

There is one evil show that I cannot ignore. On first impression, its cutely alliterative title, The Baby Borrowers, made me blink and say, "No, they didn't."

They did.

When I first heard about the show a few months ago, I tried to put it out of my mind because it hits very close to my emotional life as an adoptive mother. But I cannot put it out of my mind. As a member of the adoption community, I have a stark perspective on this program, for it recreates the most tragic parts of the complexity that is adoption.

The book The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier helped open eyes on the fact that separation of a child from her mother is always a tragedy. The parts of Verrier's position as it relates to The Baby Borrowers are devastating:
Every child who is separated from his or her biological mother will experience abandonment and loss.... There will be a difference between the environment of security and safety of being with the mother with whom an infant was prenatally bonded, and the anxiety and uncertainty of being with biological strangers (who [the child perceives] may also leave at any time).... The experience was real. That he does not consciously remember the event should not detract us from this truth. It wasn't a concept to be learned or a theory to be understood; it was a traumatizing experience....
In her writing, Verrier emphasizes the point that the separation of a baby from her biological mother is a traumatic experience. A later reunion, whether years later (as with some adoptees) or just days or weeks later (as with The Baby Borrowers), does not erase the experience. History cannot be undone, and babies remember with their emotions even if they are not conscious of it.

Jan Hunt of The Natural Child Project uses similarly forceful language in her open letter to NBC producers:
Sudden removal from their parents and placement with strangers for long periods of time is from a baby's point of view no different than a kidnapping.... Babies do not have the mental capacity to anticipate the return of a mother who has gone.... As traumatic as this experience will surely be for these babies and children, the effects will not end when they return home.
The choice of adoption is merely the least of several evils in a situation that a mother in crisis finds impossible. The Baby Borrowers performs this evil with two very different purposes: to draw revenue through entertainment, and to promote an agenda born of the culture of death (consider the promotional slogan: "It's not TV, it's birth control.")

Most evil television programs exist on the fringes because our society will not suffer them to enter the mainstream. I am utterly dumbfounded that The Baby Borrowers will air on a major network at prime time.