Denise Richards – the Anti-Hero
By: Meika Rouda
I never thought I would be a fan of Denise Richards but I have to say I am happy she adopted a baby. It is actually refreshing to see a celebrity type who isn’t particularly worldly or intellectual adopt a baby. Yes there have been many single celebrity moms who have adopted domestically: Sheryl Crow, Sharon Stone, Sandra Bullock, but no one like Denise Richards. She was on the cover of Playboy and married Charlie Sheen! This is a new frontier for adoptive parents. She apparently loves being a mom and wants more kids. So good for her. And yet people are down on her for being a single mom who already has two kids. Is it selfish to want more children? People aren’t down on Angelina and Brad. Is it because Denise Richards doesn’t fall in line with the maternal stereotype? She was in the Pussy Cat dolls so she can’t possibly be a good mother?
I don’t think adoption is the right choice for all people. There is certainly concern that maybe a celebrity is trying to save the world and not really thinking about what it means to mother a child. Mia Farrow had 11 adopted kids and 4 biological ones. I think she is a good mother with a good heart but let’s not forget her oldest adopted daughter married her partner, Woody Allen. Maybe 15 kids is too many. Ironically Soon Yi and Woody Allen went on to adopt two children of their own. I wonder if it would be OK for one of their kids to marry one of Mia’s kids. Hmm.
And what about Madonna. She is over 50 and out adopting orphans from Africa. While I don’t know her, she seems like a sincere mother who loves her children. In my book she has gone from being the Material Girl to being the Maternal Girl. When she adopted her son David Banda, she got a lot of flack for adopting a child whose parents are still alive. Most adoptions, especially in the US, are of babies whose biological parents are alive. This is not news. In my case I met both biological mothers of my children. I didn’t feel badly that they were placing their babies; I didn’t want to give them money and fix their lives. I knew adoption was a good choice for them and their kids. There is genuine love there. A genuine act of love. And I think if someone wants to adopt, whether a celebrity or a single mom or a single dad or a gay couple, you should adopt. It isn’t hip or chic or trendy to adopt child. It is a lifelong choice, the biggest choice. And to those who criticize others for making that choice, go parent your own child and shut up.
When I was a kid in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the big change in families was the meshing of step-kids. Divorce was rampant and suddenly their were step-parents and half siblings and step-sisters and brothers. It was confusing and scandalous and sent society into a tizzy. That seems so blase now. Do people even use the term step-child anymore? It sounds archaic. Then in the 90’s it was open adoption, celebrating adoption, and having kids know their biological mothers. Then in the 2000’s it was gay parenting. And now it seems to be blending families, adopted kids and biological kids, kids from different countries and single parents. It seems strange that something as natural as being a parent would elicit such controversy. Everyone says it and it is true: parenting is the hardest and most difficult job a person takes. It is also the most fulfilling and rewarding and heartbreaking and heartwarming. So you go Denise Richards and enjoy that baby girl. I think she is lucky to have you.