Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Change of Heart - Adoption Movie Guide

Keith and Kim decide to pursue adoption. Kim is more invested, and notes that “a million kids out there need a home.”Brittney, a 3-month-old infant, is placed with Keith and Kim – however, Kim is diagnosed with cancer. When the cancer eventually takes Kim’s life before the adoption is finalized, Keith must enter into a battle with the adoption agency – their policy is that single parents not be allowed to adopt.

How is This Relevant to Adoption or Foster Care?
State laws and agency policies are (at least theoretically) intended to protect children, but sometimes the policies do make it difficult for good prospective parents to adopt. Some people are scared away or prevented from adoption because of policies like the ones in this film.

Strong Points
Keith eventually does view himself as a parent, and he defends the “reality” of his parenthood. While Keith is engaging in a legal battle with the agency, his family discourages him from continuing. He asks his mother, “How much would you spend to get me?” His mother counters that it’s “not the same thing,” but Keith says, “It’s exactly the same. Like any good dad, I’ll go get my kid back.”


Keith and Kim pursue adoption even though Keith is not particularly interested and his family is unsupportive. It is concerning when assessing a family if their extended family is opposed to the adoption. It really should be a deal-breaker if one of the parents doesn’t want to adopt.

The social workers come across as pretty heartless. I know that this reflects the experience that some people have – and the fear that others have – of social workers – but lots of us are nice.

Some of the legal proceedings (and under-the-table dealings) in the film feel, well, sleazy. I wonder how often made-for-TV movies are the source of folks’ expectations of adoption.

Weak Points

The film could have the effect of making the relationship between adopting parents and adoption agencies far more adversarial than it actually is.

It’s hard to tell whether Keith is fighting for his own right to parent, or if he’s actually fighting for what he thinks will be best for Brittney.


There is always some level of interest when a film involves a single adoptive father, but the movie is a bit over-emotional, over-dramatized and not super-helpful. It’s probably a “pass.”

Questions for Discussion after the movie
What are the adoption laws in your state or country?

Why would a person in Keith’s situation go to court – is it child-centered or self-centered?

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