Adoptions With Love Blog

The Adoption Storyline in ABC’s A Million Little Things

ABC’s hit drama series, A Million Little Things, just wrapped up its second season in March, leaving fans with many questions about what will come next. Will Eddie survive? Will we see Maggie again? And, of course: Will Rome and Regina ever adopt a baby?  

As most fans already know, adoption plays a significant role throughout Season 2 of A Million Little Things. We follow Rome, a script writer, and his wife Regina, an executive chef, on their journey to adopt a baby. 

A Million Little Things’ Adoption Story Recap

Rome and Regina are perhaps the most passionate and well-loved couple on A Million Little Things—but they are not without their challenges. In Season 1, we saw the couple struggle to cope with Rome’s battle against depression. We also watched as the two went back-and-forth on their desire to have children. Independently, Rome and Regina both had difficult relationships with their parents growing up—which diminished their desire to have children themselves. 

This sentiment changed completely in Season 2. Rome expressed his desire to become a parent, and after some time, Regina agreed that she too wanted to become a mother. However, she did not want to have children biologically. She wanted to adopt.

Rome beamed at the thought of adoption. He wanted a family, and recognized that not all families are connected by blood. Families are formed on unconditional love and support.

DJ Nash, the writer and producer of A Million Little Things, said he wrote Rome and Regina’s storyline based partly on what he knows himself. When he and his wife got married, they did not want children. Over time, however, their feelings changed. DJ Nash said in an interview, “The journey that they go on is going to be really emotional.” 

“When you go and make the decision to have kids, you are often examining how you want to be like your parents and how you want to be different than them,” the producer said in a separate interview. Rome and Regina are constantly thinking about how they can be the best parents possible, and like many hopeful parents, are both excited and nervous about the road ahead. 

Rome and Regina are selected by an expectant mother, Eve, who is eight-and-a-half months pregnant at the time of notice. Eve wishes to meet the couple in person, and they get to know one another at a local coffee shop. Meeting an expectant/birth mother is very common today, as this usually gives her peace of mind that she is selecting the right family, before finalizing the adoption.

During their meeting, Eve explains that she is not ready to be a mother and does not have a strong support system. Rome and Regina find out that the biological father of the baby, Derek, is abusive. Eve has been hiding her whereabouts – and the pregnancy – from him as a result. She is staying at a women’s shelter at this time, where Regina is on the board.

Throughout Season 2, Rome, Regina, and Eve enjoy a very open adoption arrangement. Eve moves into Rome and Regina’s home temporarily for the end of her pregnancy. She even attends the baby shower, and gets a job at Regina’s restaurant. They are very close. When Derek finds Eve, Rome and Regina protect her and help her get a restraining order against him. 

In the end, however, Eve gives birth to a baby boy and decides that she wants to parent. For the first time, Eve realizes that she “can do it” and is capable of being a parent. She chooses this after recognizing the amount of support she received from Rome and Regina throughout the adoption process. This, of course, leaves Rome and Regina heartbroken.

Producer DJ Nash says, “In essence, what Regina and Rome are going through is like the death of a baby… Even though they were three for just a minute, that was the plan.” Undoubtedly, the two have some grieving and some challenges to overcome in Season 3.

What A Million Little Things Gets Wrong About Adoption

While there are several aspects of the adoption process that A Million Little Things got right, the writers missed the mark in a couple of key areas. 

First, was the relinquishment of the biological father’s rights. In the episode where Eve meets Derek, the expectant father, she encourages him to sign the adoption papers and surrender his paternal rights. He does so at the hotel, with a notary, which makes his consent “official.” In reality, this could not have happened. 

As many fans know, the series is based in Greater Boston, Massachusetts. According to Massachusetts adoption laws, expectant parents cannot sign written consent to the adoption before the baby’s birth. In Massachusetts, there is a four-day waiting period between the baby’s birth and when a parent can sign official consent. This includes the expectant/birth father’s consent. The waiting period is designed to give birth parents more time with their decision. Adoption is a lifelong choice and once parental rights are relinquished, the birth parents cannot change their minds. 

The other issue that comes into play with the A Million Little Things’ adoption story is the fact that there was no counseling for Eve, the birth mother. Typically in the adoption process, a licensed agency will provide in-depth, in-reach counseling services for any expectant mother considering adoption. Not once in the show did we see the agency providing counseling to Eve.

If Adoptions With Love was involved in this process, we would have ensured that Eve received guidance and support throughout her pregnancy. This would have involved:

  • Education on all of her options, from parenting to adoption
  • Recognizing her feelings, wishes, and goals in life prior to making a decision
  • Exploring the potential impact of each possible choice
  • Assessing the reality of parenting and what is required to raise a baby
  • Understanding the emotional impact of unplanned pregnancy
  • Establishing expectations for pregnancy, delivery, and beyond
  • Preparing for the emotional and physical effects of birth
  • Validating and preparing for the grief and joy often occurs post-adoption
  • Learning about the legal aspects of adoption 
  • Making a plan for an open or closed adoption arrangement
  • Creating a written, open adoption agreement between the two families
  • Continuing guidance and care after the baby is born

Most importantly, we would have ensured that Eve was fully comfortable every step of the way, and felt secure and confident in her decision. If she had received this level of support, she would have felt secure at each stage of the adoption process. She also would have been prepared for the emotions that come after giving birth. An adoption counselor would have talked to her about the emotions to expect throughout the process and in the future, and how to cope with those feelings. In addition, she would have had the chance to ask questions and talk to a counselor about any second thoughts along the way.

Of course, there is always a chance that an adoption can fail. As birth parents take time in the hospital with their baby, they may ultimately decide to parent like Eve did. But if Adoptions With Love was involved in this story, we would have prepared Regina and Rome for this potential outcome, as well. Just as expectant/birth parents should have counseling throughout the process, so should adoptive parents. At Adoptions With Love, adoptive parents are required to complete counseling sessions with a licensed social worker, before adopting a baby. This ensures they too are emotionally and mentally prepared for the adoption process. Not to mention, we would continue working with Rome and Regina until they have their baby. Adoptions With Love is committed to helping hopeful parents grow their families through adoption, and we will not stop working until they can welcome their little one home.

In addition, if Adoptions With Love was involved in the process, we would have been able to be there and mediate any meetings with Derek, the biological father. We also could have contacted him to tell him about Eve’s pregnancy, so that her safety was never threatened. If an expectant/birth mother does not feel safe around the father of the baby, our team can step in and make contact through a licensed adoption attorney and terminate parental rights as needed.  

Finally, Eve would have received great support from Adoptions With Love. Rather than living in a women’s shelter, we could have helped Eve front several months of rent during her late pregnancy, and cover any associated utility bills or living expenses. You can learn about our birth mother services here.

Adoptions With Love is a full-service, non-profit adoption agency in Massachusetts, working with expectant/birth mothers nationwide. Since 1986, we have been helping expectant/birth mothers through unplanned pregnancies, and finding safe, secure, and loving families for their babies. We also work closely with hopeful families throughout Massachusetts, who (like Rome and Regina) dream of becoming parents through adoption. 

If you would like to learn more about our adoption services, please do not hesitate to call 800-722-7731 or contact us online here.

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