Adoption Stories from Adopted the Movie - A Feature Film by Barb Lee

The Story Behind Adopted

Director Barb Lee with her mother and brother.
Barb Lee with her family.

Producer/Director Barb Lee and her Co-Producer Nancy Kim Parsons always wanted to tell the story of international adoption in America, an issue they know particularly well as Korean adoptees. With this deeply personal understanding, they set out to create a documentary that revealed the complexities of transracial adoption without making judgments or telling the viewer what to think. Instead, they decided to explore the many layers of transracial adoption and they began by expanding their understanding beyond their personal experiences.

They sought the advice and opinion of the top academics, consultants, and writers. They attended conferences and organizations of adoptees and adopters. They interviewed therapists, pediatricians specializing in international children, adoption advocates, lawyers, and adoption activists – both pro and con.

Nancy Kim Parsons with her family.
Nancy Kim Parsons
with her family.

Two years later, they began searching for families who could help personalize the story of adoption. They talked with families all over the U.S. and ultimately met and followed John and Jacqui, a couple from New Hampshire waiting…and waiting to adopt a little girl from China.

Then, one day, a young Korean adoptee named Jen Fero sent them an e-mail. She was reaching out because she wanted to talk with her family for the first time about some of her more intimate feelings about her adoption. She was committed because she didn’t have a lot of time. Her adoptive mother had been diagnosed with brain cancer and only had a few months to live. Jen was going to try and bridge a gap of understanding between them before they ran out of time. After a meeting and an interview, Jen and her family decided to let Barb and Nancy follow them on their journey.