Adoption on Television - Links to all available past programs

(65 Posts)
Lilka Sun 06-Apr-14 13:44:38

We need this I think - got information on various different threads about different tv programs but it's all scattered about.

So, Lilka's big list of adoption related documentaries and where to watch them!

1. Panorama: The Truth About Adoption

Filmed in Coventry, this documentary covers the search for an adoptive family for two sisters, decision making about the future of 3 children in care, and the story of a little boy whose foster parents want to adopt him but whose birth mother wants him back
Watch here -

2. A Home For Maisie

In her 8 years of life, Maisie has lived in 10 different homes and been through 2 adoption disruptions. She has significant emotional and behavioural needs. Social services have placed her for adoption one final time, with a couple who have already adopted 8 older children, but if this doesn't work out, Maisie will spend the rest of her childhood in care. This documentary follows the family and Maisie as they go through therapy at Family Futures, an organisation with a 95% success rate at keeping families together
Watch -

3. Love is Not Enough

This moving 8 part series followed 4 families in the late 1990's, as they went through an intensive home study process and adopted their children (both domestic and international adoption). The filmmakers then followed up to see what life was like several years after adoption. Very moving and in depth, this is still relevant and worth watching 14 years after it first aired
Watch all episodes -

4. Protecting our Children

This 3 part series followed social workers as they worked with vulnerable families in their area, and made decisions about when to take children into care
Watch -

More to follow when I find the links smile

MyPreciousRing Sun 09-Nov-14 10:38:18

MyPreciousRing Sat 08-Nov-14 16:36:52

The Mulberry Bush programme is amazing.

TheFamilyJammies Wed 17-Sep-14 00:44:03

Oh my goodness. That was incredible in lots of ways that I'm not sure I can even articulate.

Lilka Tue 16-Sep-14 20:17:32

Found another slightly older but good one that I'd given up hope of finding!

"Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go" broadcast in 2009 on PBS, part of their POV series
Here -

It was filmed at the Mulberry Bush School, a co-ed residential school for roughly primary aged children with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. Most of their children are in foster care (some having exhausted tens of placements), but some are adopted. This program focusses on 3 of the boys there.

This film has no voice overs or background narration, but subtitles explain what's going on where necessary. Instead, it's just scenes of school (and weekend/evening) life. The lack of back story or explanations might be confusing at points, so at the bottom here I've included links to a couple of articles about what the school do and the children who come to them.

I found it very moving and interesting and I hope you all will as well

If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, I'd still read the articles anyway!

Fantastic Guardian article from 2010 - here

And DM article actually only from a few days ago. Yes, I'd even make an exception and read the DM in this case - here

ladyme Fri 15-Aug-14 18:45:11
ladyme Fri 15-Aug-14 17:44:54

That is without question, the saddest documentary I have ever seen sad

Bringonthesunshineplease Fri 15-Aug-14 13:08:42

I love these short documentaries. The first is hearing from Darius an amazing boy who was adopted at 6 and his experiences of adoption and the 2nd is of his adoptive mother and her experience of adopting Darius. So inspirational and Darius is amazing and resilient. Hope you enjoy too smile

MrsM2509 Wed 13-Aug-14 09:58:26

I watched the 7thepisode of love is not Enough lastnight, absolutely heart breaking. I couldn't sleep for thinking about it. I don't want to give anything away for anyone who hasn't watched it, but it certainly has got me thinking ahead today.

Watched it all, the clips on Mercy Mercy the adoption from Ethiopia. Want to chat to anyone who saw it! I will be away so may not get back to you straight away. It leaves a very lasting impression!

I am watching part three, it is just so painful to watch.

Lilka Tue 12-Aug-14 13:46:23

The preparation on the agencies part was awful - if you've seen the first two parts, I think you've seen the bit where the agency decided the best way to take the children from their parents to the orphanage was to trick them into thinking they were going to get some candy and then having the parents leave when the children weren't in the room. Presumably to avoid having to deal with the children not wanting to leave their parents, or the parents changing their minds. It made me feel sick sad

Whilst there are orphans in Ethiopia (who have lost both their parents) who also don't have extended family who can care for them, there is once again a demographic mismatch between waiting parents and orphans. There aren't many "true" orphans living in orphanages in the desirable age range for waiting parents, after years and years of international adoption. The reality is, quite a lot of adoptions from Ethiopia are not adoptions of children with no parents or no extended family who could care for the child. As an aside, you need to be careful when you see 'orphan statistics' - frequently you see claims there are ~140/150 million orphans worldwide etc...actually, that's an estimate which includes all children who have only lost one parent, and do have one living parent still. So it's incredibly misleading. The current estimate of "true" orphans worldwide is about ~20 million. Adoption agencies - well, some try and act ethically, but some are just not much bothered by ethics at all.

I've just watched the first two episodes and I am totally hooked but utterly torn. What a terrible and sad programme. The contrast of the new adoptive parents happiness and the birth parents sadness is so awful.

I wonder why the adoptive parents were 'offered' the chance to adopt children who have parents, surely there are genuine orphans in Ethiopia?

<Spoiler alert> It is quite heart breaking. When the adoptive parents said no to the birth parents coming to the airport, I just felt so heart broken for the birth parents.

It puts my own fears and worries into perspective.

Adoption is so complex!

I am amazed when I think of the comparison with my own adopted son that he was so well prepared for the adoption (obviously totally different circumstances and UK domestic adoption) but still he left foster family who he loved and was so at home with us quite quickly. I think the preparation was so different.

This is all heartbreaking.

Lilka Mon 11-Aug-14 21:51:32

I tracked down "Mercy Mercy"/"The price of an adoption" with English subtitles. Powerful and devastating portrait of the serious problems with international adoption in some countries. I cried and I still feel upset and angry but it's a documentary worth the watching.

The film maker filmed the birth parents and adoptive parents of 2 Ethiopian children over several years before and after their adoption. The birth parents gave up their children because they were told they were both going to die of AIDS in the next couple of years, and because they were promised contact with their kids by the agency who were looking for parents who would give up their children. (They haven't died and they haven't recieved any contact either btw), and the filmmaker visited them several times after the adoption to hear their story. The Danish parents wanted to do the right thing but struggled with an older child who just wanted to go back home to Ethiopia.

As to the adoption agency, to give you the gist of how they were behaving; if the adoption agency representatives were transfigured into baby kittens, I would still be of half a mind to punch the baby kittens in the face

It's a Danish film and the person who uploaded it has put English subtitles on it - it isn't great as far as subtitles go (text speak and a few language issues) BUT you'll get the gist of everything just fine, and at least he did it in the first place because I couldn't find any other verison on the internet with English subtitles.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Q&A with the film maker, in English

Maryz Mon 11-Aug-14 00:48:11

Just marking place here, to catch up smile

The anti-"forced adoption" lot should come here and see the shitty aftermath of not allowing children to be adopted sad

MrsM2509 Sun 10-Aug-14 14:40:09

I'm on ep 6 of love is not enough,iris such a good programme. I dunno if it's right to say I am enjoying it, because I have shed a lot of tears but it is very interesting. I love how different each family is, and as it's 8 episodes you really start to feel a bit of a connection to them and wonder what's going to happen next. I know at the end I'll be dying for a recent update but am sure I won't find one. Definitely worth watching tho

adoptmama Fri 08-Aug-14 16:48:09

link to Exposure: don't take my child

Have literally watched 5 minutes but immediately want to make 2 points. The UK is NOT the only European/EU country which allows adoption without parental consent. My youngest had parental rights terminated despite the BMs wish not have her adopted. Two, they should not be showing the home video of the little boy as it makes him identifiable which is very unfair on the child as he gets older as well as on a new, adoptive family.

RaspberrySnowCone Tue 05-Aug-14 18:00:46

Very powerful Bringonthesunshineplease.

Bringonthesunshineplease very moving.

Bringonthesunshineplease Mon 04-Aug-14 19:14:06

Not on television but an interesting short film - The Lost Children Of Trauma, produced by adopters and adoptees to raise awareness of the support needs of traumatised children.

RaspberrySnowCone Fri 25-Jul-14 15:32:41

Thanks Smokeand glitter, just about to watch the last episode. Definitely seems a useful insight. Watched it when it was on originally but watching them this time with a different view point!

You're welcome, Lilka!

Lilka Mon 14-Jul-14 22:15:27

Oh yes dimples I have. I have in fact written a long blog about why I'm refusing to watch it!!! Also - is "adoption without parental consent" too long to say? No, it's not. More accurate as well

Still, no reason not to link it to this thread when it becomes available afterwards

dimples76 Mon 14-Jul-14 21:48:06

Have you seen what's on tomorrow evening on ITV- Exposure: Don't Take My Child about 'forced adoption'. Don't really want to watch it but I guess my family will so I'll have to so we can discuss afterwards.

Lilka Mon 14-Jul-14 21:46:39

Woo, last page!!! I'm tired grin

Adoption on the Radio (3)

6. Limited time only, interview with prospective adopters on this show.

7. Woman's Hour: Bringing Up Birth and Adoptive Children Together. Avril Head and Alice Noon talk to the program.

8. Woman's Hour: Adoption Parties.

9. iPM: Keeping Adoptive Families Together

10. Woman's Hour. Adoption myths: can you be too old be considered? We discuss with adopters and Alice Noon from the Coram, the children's charity and adoption agency

11. Woman's Hour. Edward Timpson, the Minister for Children & Families, on the government's plans to speed up the adoption process

12. Woman's Hour. A judge recently ruled that a mother should stop sending letters and cards to her daughter because her adoptive parents fear it will lead to a secret relationship. But who decides whether adopted children should be allowed to maintain contact with their birth parents?

13. When adoption isn't happily ever after.

14. The Creating a Family Radio Show is on every week in the US, listen to past episodes from here. Some are very relevent to UK adopters eg. about prenatal alcohol exposure.

15. Woman's Hour: Why Bonding is Important. Bonding with your baby. A new report says 4 in ten of all children are not forming the right attachments with their parents which means these children are more at risk of doing less well at school and are less likely to be successful in life

16. Woman's Hour: FAS. Should children harmed by Foetal Alcohol Syndrome receive compensation? Lawyer Neil Sugarman and medical ethicist Anna Wearing discuss whether causing FAS should be a crime

17. Woman's Hour: Fostering. Are foster children being denied normal family life through unnecessary restrictions on the decisions their carers can take?

Lilka Mon 14-Jul-14 20:54:59

Adoption on the Radio (2)

The Listening Project is a joint project between the British Library and BBC radio. People have conversations with each other that snapshot life and relationships in Britain today. Long conversations via the British Library, but Radio 4 (and regional BBC stations) profile short 5 minute (ish) conversations on radio

There have been LOTS of adoption conversations, so please forgive me the omissions here (especially since some BL convo links were broken). Please do add others as you find them. I haven't listened to all of these, but adding them based on the description.

To view ALL the short 5 min conversations, go here which lists all BBCR4 episodes of "The Listening Project". To view ALL British Library convos, go here

If you want to take part yourself -

5. The Listening Project (British Library and BBCR4)

a. Charlotte and Martin: Belonging. Fi Glover introduces a conversation between two teenagers who were adopted as babies and met through the Talk Adoption Wales group (sponsored by Children in Need). They found that sharing their thoughts about their adoption with other teenagers has increased their confidence - to the point that they've spoken about adoption in front of the Welsh Assembly. Unfortunately their full conversation got an error page at the British Library

b. Mike and Matthew talk about Matthew's Adoption from Vietnam in 1975, the war, and their relationship. Short version

c. Jo and Jimmy: Our New Family. Jo and her partner were not much more than a decade older than Jimmy when they adopted him at 18. It's been an adventure for them all

d. Omnibus edition including "the learning curve in adoption".

e. Andy and Fran: What Makes Us Who We Are? Fran knows that her husband Andy was adopted, but they've never really spoken about how he feels about it. and in full

f. Ian and Natalie: Adopting a Child from South Africa.

g. Pat and Beth (born 1998) talk about Beth's adoption and her Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. Shorter version here

h. Marc Freeman talks to his foster father Colin about his experiences.

i. Myrtle and Denika: Single Parent Adoption. Fi Glover hears from Myrtle, one of the first single parents to adopt in the UK, and Denika, who was 5 when she went to live with her; Myrtle was already over 50. After a rather sticky beginning, neither of them would now be without the other

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