From my inbox:
I’m Barbara and I write a blog called Improv Mom for adoptivefamiliescircle.com. I’m currently embarking on a project that’s close to my heart — a documentary about open adoption. I wanted to ask if it was all right to post a call for participants (see below)on your site. Please take a read and let me know, I’d greatly appreciate. ~ Barbara
Call for Participants for Open Adoption Documentary
This is not a casting call for a reality television show.
This is a call for participants to be part of a genuine, frank, and heartfelt domestic adoption documentary offering perspectives from each side of the Triad. It will be produced with the utmost respect for every person involved.
More than ever before open adoption is being portrayed in mainstream media. The bad news is that portrayal does little to shed light on the well-entrenched myths about domestic adoption.
With storylines from popular television shows such as Glee and so-called “expert” interviews (like on the Today show), there is still very little understanding about what an open adoption is and how it benefits our children. What’s more, in the recent light of TLC’s extremely disappointing Birth Mothers “documentary,” which felt more like an episode of The Jersey Shore, it begs the question – Where is the respect and compassion for birthmothers? I think it’s time for an open adoption reality check.
Looking to hear from: Birthmothers, birthfathers, adoptive mothers, adoptive fathers, and adults who were adopted domestically to share their open adoption experiences. Ideally looking for people located in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
Very important note: All adoptions must be finalized.
To be considered: Please videotape yourself sharing one specific moment in your open adoption experience. Examples are below. Be sure to include your name (first name is fine) and how many years has it been since you made an adoption plan for your child, or adopted your child.
- How did you feel as you relinquished your parental rights?
- What led you to the decision to create an adoption plan for your baby?
- If you’ve been subjected to a thoughtless comment such as “Don’t you love your child?” how did you respond?”
- How did you feel during your first open adoption visit?
- When did you know adoption was the right choice for you?
- How did you feel when meeting/talking to your child’s birthmother for the first time?
- If you’ve been subjected to a thoughtless comment such as, “Can’t have children of your own?” how did you respond?
- What words come to mind when describing how you feel about your child’s birthmother and/or father?
- What do you think is the biggest misconception about open adoption?
- What do you think is the biggest misconception about birthmothers?
Questions for adult adoptees. The following were posed by blogger Mila at Yoon’s Blur:
- How has being adopted affected and/or complicated your life?
- What consequences and/or benefits have you experienced?
- What feelings do you have about being adopted?
- How do you incorporate both your adoptive and biological families into your life?”
Post your video to youtube and send the link to:
A little about me: Hi, I’m Barbara Herel and I write a blog for AdoptiveFamiliesCircle.com, brought to you by the editors of Adoptive Families Magazine, called Improv Mom. (You can take a read at — www.adoptivefamiliescircle.
My husband, Tony, and I have an open adoption with our daughter’s biological mother. Last year, we had our very first return visit and look forward to the next trip.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing your adoption story.
I had some questions, which were these: Can you tell me more about the documentary? Like the funding, plans for its showing, etc.? I can post this but I’m concerned about asking
people to share their stories on YouTube since that’s so public. Is there a way they can contact you first? What exactly are you looking for that you need to see the video first? (I hope that doesn’t sound accusatory — I’m just trying to understand exactly what all people are signing up for.)
And Barabara kindly responded:
The funding is me as of the moment. My plan is to create a 5 to 10-minute short (possibly longer depending on how many people I get and time my editor has to devote to this project) and then submit to Kickstarter, POV and other avenues to raise additional funding. I would want to submit to different indie film organizations and festivals.My idea is to have birthparents, adoptive parents who are at different stages in their open adoption relationship – a birthmom who is a year into her open adoption, an adoptive mom who is 5 years into hers, a birthmom or adoptive mom whose open adoption relationship has waned (just some possible examples I could think of. It’s going to be interesting to hear people’s stories).I want to ask provocative questions such as the ones posed in the posting, or talk about well-entrenched open adoption myths such as open adoption is confusing for children who were adopted and have it answered from all sides if possible. I see this as a series of interviews interwoven with home video footage (if someone was comfortable with that). I’d also love to include adoption-related clips from movies and television shows. I know that’s not really a possibility but would like to mention them and make them part of the discussion of how mainstream media misrepresents the adoption process and even the adoption language used.I thought YouTube would be the best way to screen individuals – to see how a person comes across on camera. I know you can post to YouTube without making a video public. We send videos to my daughter’s biological mother that way. That’s what I was thinking, but perhaps YouTube is just too scary. I get that. Writing about a specific time in their adoption journey would be a lot more comfortable for most. Perhaps it’s best to give the option and they could simply email me at this address. If chosen, I would then follow up to talk with them over the phone. Then go out to meet them and film.Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns, Dawn. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to get back to me! ~ Barbara
Please contact Barbara directly if you are interested in learning more!