Kids’ Rights!: The Business of Adoption is an interesting adoption documentary made by the duo Michael Dudko and Olga Rudnieva. The documentary follows Michael and Olga as they navigate through adoption, regulations, cultural differences, and the journey of deciding whether or not to be adoptive parents. It is intense, thoughtful, heartbreaking, and a call to action. What more could be done to help children around the world and why are legal regulations preventing children from being placed with adoptive parents?

The documentary was created shortly after the Ukrainian government denied placement of a child with Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish. In an interview with the couple, they explain their heartbreak at the opportunity lost for the two children they had applied to adopt. Sir Elton John talks about how angry it makes him that good, loving families are ready and able to provide care for children at a level above and beyond what the government is offering them, and yet, they are denied the right to adopt. David Furnish makes a plea for society to re-evaluate the rights of the children and what is of best interest for them. It is one of the many times in the film we aren’t left with answers, but with lots to consider.

Michael and Olga start the process of adopting through a private agency and are overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork. It was a familiar feeling. They also start to add up the actual cost of adoption and start to see how costly adoption truly can be. This is when they explore other adoption options in the film. They look at adoption from a foreign country, foster adoption, and at different adoption agencies. What they continue to find is children in need and a system they aren’t totally comfortable with.

They speak to social workers about the effects of orphanages on children. The statistics are appalling. They go to China and Ukraine and visit orphanages and schools. It’s difficult to see kids in these conditions. They find doors and opportunities that once looked promising, now closed. And yet throughout the film, they just seem to keep moving forward. They are drawn to adoption, they see the need for adoptive parents, and they know they could provide a good home.

I personally believe this is an excellent starter film for anyone who is considering becoming an adoptive parent. The film does an excellent job of keeping the focus on the rights of the child and exploring many of the options adoptive parents can explore.




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