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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Whose story?

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nfl_a_kaepernick01jr_576.jpg [Photo by Patrick Cummings for Associated Press]

ESPN's Rick Reilly published a commentary on ESPN's website last week about Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick was adopted and according to the Reilly article, is currently not interested in meeting his birth mother.

Human interest stories about our sports figures are common, and adoption stories are often quite dramatic and appealing. Reilly's own personal experience as an adoptive parent frames this article in a way that appears to be as much about Reilly's thoughts and opinons than on Kaepernick.

Whether to have contact with birth family is an incredibly personal choice, and at times Reilly comes across as judgmental and authoritative. Reilly also appears to be conflating his daughter's experience as the template for how all other adopted persons must feel and behave.

Korean adoptee author Matthew Salesses, in a response to Reilly's article, writes, "The idea that Rick Reilly has any domain here is appalling. Whether or not to contact one's birth parents is a deeply personal decision that only an adoptee can make."

For more information:
Rick Reilly's article: Kaepernick's birthmom yearns for contact
Matthew Salesses response: Colin Kaepernick's decision to meet his birth mother should be his own

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