Television writers get so much wrong about foster care, adoption, and “natural” parents (see “Dexter” on Showtime), that it is a joy to see when they get it right. Forest Whitaker’s character, Sam Cooper, got it very right in Tuesday’s episode of “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” entitled “Devotion.” A father had abandoned his two children to foster care after his wife left him, and he went on to spend years in a new marriage with a new child, because, as the father character later says to his son: you had “so many problems.” Cooper than blasted the father, with that moral stance that Whitaker does so well: “You abandoned your kids because you thought they were defective? You have a responsibility as a parent: you encourage, you nurture. Even if you think things are going to go wrong. You just threw them away like they were garbage? What gives you the right to hide behind your money, your fears? You are a coward.”
Strong words – and necessary words for the purposes of the episode.
But they are strong and necessary words for our culture also.
A joy to watch and to hear (the episode can be seen on the CBS website.)