Tuesday, July 15, 2008

what am I doing here?

about me/about my film:

I was adopted at birth. At age three, my adoptive parents divorced. My adoptive mother is bi-polar; my father remarried four times. Growing up I began to question who negotiated this adoption; had anyone screened my adoptive parents or was the price just right?

I began searching for my birth mother and found very little information until I got the name of the lawyer who handled my adoption. He is a notorious baby broker who coerced young and terrified girls into handing over their white babies and (unbeknownst to them) selling them to affluent Jewish families for 25,000 per child. He has been disbarred in three states, written about in "The Baby Brokers, The Marketing of White Babies in America" by Lynne McTaggert, and even sold the babies of female innmates.

I have been connecting with birth mothers and learning of their experience and adoptees like myself who found their birth mothers or who are still searching. My documentary is about the selling of white children as commodity and the lengths that others will go to profit from the pain, exploit the embarrassment of a pregnant woman who in these cases, were lied to, treated like garbage and threatened that if they did not "deliver", they would go to jail. My birth mother is one of these women.

My journey begins by interviewing Jaymie, a birth mother exploited by the baby broker, who became a police officer, and then committed her life's work to reuniting over 2000 successful adoptees/birth parents (including her own), to other birth mothers and adoptees who were casualties of the baby broker. The subplot is my own search for my birth mother (with the help of Jaymie), interviewing my estranged adoptive family and adopted friends who've chosen *not* to search for their birth parents.

The end goal is not to find my mother, but about the relationships lost and found, those who unknowingly sold their children, finding out that you were bought for a staggering amount of money, and those who orchaestrated and profited from a profoundly personal and painful experience. Whether it is $100 or $25,000, should people make money from selling children?