A new Priceline advertisement that makes fun of overseas adoptions is causing outrage among adoptive families.
The ad shows a young couple excitedly preparing a nursery and making plans to adopt a child from Eastern Europe. But when the couple comes back from the trip, they do not have a child. The wife says with relief, “That would have been bad,” and the husband responds, “So glad we went,” implying that the child didn’t meet their expectations. The commercial ends with the couple imagining what would have happened if they hadn’t been able to see the child before the adoption. It shows a scruffy looking grown man in the couple’s nursery, drinking beer and calling for “mommy” in a Eastern European accent.
Live Action News reports many adoptive families are upset by the commercial’s mockery of adoption and its insensitivity to the unconditional love that many families show to orphans who are often rejected by others because of a physical or mental disability.
Ginger Newingham, an Illinois mother of two adoptive sons from Eastern Europe, launched a petition asking Priceline to remove the ad. Newingham, who blogs about her adoption experiences, said the ad hit “too close to home” because one of her adoptive sons did not meet the description on his paperwork.
According to the report:
His issues, were far beyond the “social delays” his file said he had, she says, recalling their first meeting with their son.
On the same day that he bit my husband’s arm, stole my dad’s hat, and almost broke the only pair of glasses I owned, we signed the paperwork to be his parents.
We could not bear the thought of what might happen to him if he were never adopted.
Newngham told Live Action:
The Priceline ad stands in the way of our passion for the orphans by scaring away prospective adoptive families. It is possible that some children may continue to live in institutions solely because of the exaggerated circumstances found within this distasteful and inaccurate ad.
She says that even though their son, Nasko, will probably never live independently and the file on him was misrepresented, he is worth it all:
When we began looking at files of special needs children to be adopted, that was our priority. We only wanted to adopt a child who could one day live on his own. That was the goal. It was what we sought for our future.
Through this process and through many tears, we have realized the independent living of children is not the goal. Adopting a child who will live a “successful life” is not the goal of our future.
Giving children the basic necessities of hope, love, safety and assurance — that is now the goal of our future.
Through our lifestyle, our blog, and our ministry, we seek to encourage other families to adopt, even if it means changing their goals for the future as well.
Newingham’s campaign is gaining ground as she promotes the petition through her blog and other adoptive families spread the word. Popular Christian author Ann Voskamp also tweeted Newingham’s adoption story and then the Priceline CEO to ask him to remove the offensive ad, according to the report.
“Maybe if we shout together against Priceline, one more family will choose to take the considerable leap into the process of adopting a child. And maybe that family will be able to adopt him despite what his paperwork say,” Newingham wrote. “Maybe … one more child will gain a family.”
ACTION: Contact Priceline here.