Called “a comic look at the agony of adoption,” Phoebe Potts MFA ’02 takes her audience through a deeply personal and surprising journey through the experience of adopting a child in the one-woman-show Too Fat For China. The title of the show comes from Pott’s attempt to adopt a baby in China, when she was told her body mass index of 29 would stop her from doing so.
“In 2008, when we did this, you could adopt a baby in this country for the tune of $40,000,” Potts explained in an interview with Greater Boston. “You don’t pay a birth mother for the baby (that would be actual trafficking), but that is the amount you have to part with. We also learned that if we were ‘open to race,’ we could get a Black baby girl for $28,000, and a Black baby boy had this bargain price of $24,000. So, during Obama’s first year in the presidency, a Black baby boy is valued at 66% less than a white child through adoption.”
From her behind-the-scenes vantage point of the systemic racism and affordability barriers seemingly built into adoption, Potts discovers the depths of her own privilege that benefitted from GI bill wealth acquired by non-Black WWII veterans in her family and allowed her to join a parade of middle-class, American white women adopting international babies.
The show, which juxtaposes dark realizations about the adoption system with witty storytelling concluded a stellar sold-out run in Boston earlier this year. Starting next week and running through August 20, audiences can see Potts at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival with performances in Venue 236 at the Greenside @ Infirmary Street (6 Infirmary Street, EH1 1LT).