It seems Disney may have made a huge oversight with the long-awaited sequel to Finding Nemo.
If you've been living under a rock, you might not know that the Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory, is showing in theatres now. The story revolves around a blue tang called Dory with the memory of a goldfish. The one thing she does remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them.
Just another heart-warming tale of finding your way home with the classic Disney happy ending.
But parents of adopted children are being warned to screen the movie before taking their kids to see it. Jenny Haggard shared a post on Facebook outlining the problems adoptive parents could face after their kids have seen this movie:
As a mom who has not adopted, these thoughts never once crossed my mind. It seems Disney didn't think this one through properly. Or are parents just making a mountain out of a mole hill?
We've asked some moms who have adopted what to weigh in:
Julie Knynaston, who blogs over at Heart Mama Blog, is a mom to 3 gorgeous kids and felt there was no correlation between adoption and the movie: "This post was shared widely in adoption groups on Facebook, which made everyone nervous, but I think parents can read into things a bit too much. I honestly felt there was no direct correlation between the story line and adoption. I saw it as a movie about Dory's loving parents never giving up on her and it ended in a happy reunion. My 5-year-old honestly didn't pick up on any of the issues the post warned about, and neither did I."
Sharon van Wyk, aka The Blessed Barrenness, had a slightly different perspective: "After reading the post and all the comments, it did give me something to think about. Especially because my youngest child seems to carry a lot of unresolved hurt and trauma from her placement and my oldest child is now at an age where she is much more aware of her adopted status and what it actually all means. They're both Dory-crazy though, so I would probably ensure that we watch the movie with them so that we can address any questions or concerns they might have."
A point in the review Sharon did disagree with was this:
"[Dory's] birth parents were physically, emotionally, & mentally stable and ACTIVELY seeking for her. This is not the case for MOST of our tender-hearted kiddos. This birth parent 'fairytale image' can create a false image in their forming minds."
In Sharon's experience, because they went the private adoption route, she knows her daughters' birth parents are emotionally, mentally and physically sound. "I know their choice to place their children up for adoption was a conscious one and not one forced upon them. Their decision to place their children was an act of love and not an act of neglect in any way, and as a result, there is no reason for us to believe we couldn't have an all-inclusive family unit (including birth parents) when our children are older."
Ultimately, I think parents need to screen any movie their little ones watch. We can't trust Disney or any animation studio to know what's best or appropriate for our children. In the case of Finding Dory, parents who have adopted know their children and their situations best, so screening the movie first or watching it with them could do no harm.
Have your adopted kids seen Finding Dory yet? Is this mom overreacting? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.