COMMENTARY – Adopt this Amy Winehouse news, if you will. Here’s one adoptive parent who might through a childish fit over the possibility of a publicly troubled, yet famous, individual’s apparent family options.
Winehouse died just over a week ago, with tales of the 27-year-old singer’s demise of uncertain causes shouting the sad news from newspaper banner headlines and topping internet news search rankings. The soul-rocker’s autopsy proved inconclusive, although gossip rags and music fans alike pondered possible drug- and alcohol-related causes.
Then the real shocker splashed across the news waves.
Despite her highly publicized battles with personal demons of drugs and drink, was wild-child Winehouse actually planning to adopt a child?
Britain’s “Daily Mirror” tabloid newspaper broke the story July 31, claiming Winehouse was indeed working towards adopting Dannika Augustine, a 10-year-old St. Lucian girl. The troubled rock star was photographed romping with the youngster on the Caribbean island. Her grandmother, single mother and distant father were quoted to confirm the rumor.
The “New York Post” jumped on the bandwagon, publishing photos of Winehouse and the Caribbean child.
Then, just as suddenly, Winehouse’s own representative denied her client’s apparent adoption intentions, talking with TMZ on August 1.
Whether Winehouse had hoped to adopt young Augustine is almost immaterial, now that the mysterious and personally plagued music artist has passed away. What remains is a key question for folks who long to adopt children.
Why does adoption seem so simple for celebrities and so difficult for down-home regular people?
Celebrity adoptions look easy, whether such stars appear to be responsible adults or all-out party animals.
Consider these cases. Madonna, Meg Ryan, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer, Calista Flockhart (Mrs. Harrison Ford), Rosie O’Donnell, Edie Falco, Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards, Al Roker, Valerie Harper, Paula Poundstone, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Mia Farrow, Jim Caviezel and many other stars have been trumpeted with praise for adding children to their families through adoption.
While married, Tom Cruise (now Mr. Katie Holmes) and Nicole Kidman (now Mrs. Keith Urban) adopted smoothly as well.
As an adoptive parent, I have to scratch my head and wonder.
Sure, children may enjoy affluent upbringings in celebrity homes. Such parents may offer outstanding opportunities to youngsters, way beyond what the rest of us may be able to provide. On the other hand, why is adoption generally a much more difficult process for plain folks? When did fame and fortune become so family-friendly?
Personally, I worked with more than 20 birthmothers before our family was complete with two wonderful kids. I filed piles of paperwork in several foreign countries. I opened our personal finances, medical histories and other confidential areas of life to social workers and adoption attorneys. I was even fingerprinted before the proverbial powers-that-be deemed me fit for adoptive parenting.
They did everything but look in my underwear before offering their rubber stamp of approval for adoption.
What about Amy Winehouse?
I am saddened by her tragic and sudden death. Still, I cannot help but wonder if anyone did all that pre-adoption certification checking to Amy Winehouse, if she actually was planning to adopt young Dannika Augustine of St. Lucia.
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Our Russian Adoption Fiasco
Top Ten Tackiest Turnoffs when Talking with Adoptive Families
Adoption: Making Room in Your Heart and Your Home
As an Adoptive Parent, I Mourn the Loss of Caylee Anthony