SXSW 2024

Adoptees: More than a Plot Device


Historically, the experiences of adoptees has been shaped by adoptive parents and adoption agencies, forming a one-sided narrative that frames their lives as "happily ever afters." This is affirmed by the entertainment industry in film and tv where adoption is used as a PLOT DEVICE with no regard for how this shapes + influences adoptees who may be watching.

This session will show why it's of the utmost importance to validate 'adoptee' as an IDENTITY and how folks can be mindful of this lived experience when creating film, television, and other forms of content.

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  1. An understanding of the harmful and problematic history of how adoption + adoptee experiences have been portrayed in media.
  2. A framework to identify how society at large talks about the dominant narrative of adoption and how to counter it (as an ally + an adoptee).
  3. The building blocks for developing empathy for our community, an essential piece to ensuring 'adoptee' is known as an IDENTITY and not a PLOT DEVICE.



Patrick Armstrong, Host, Ep, Conversation Piece with Patrick Armstrong

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Culture
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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