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

About the companion DVD, We Can Do Better

Child with American flagA mother and daughter.

In the companion DVD, We Can Do Better, a who’s-who of the adoption community offers wisdom and advice to help today’s adoptive families. With 30-minute sessions on clarifying parental intentions, establishing identity, parenting a mixed-race family, grieving, and navigating the politics of adoption, We Can Do Better cuts right to the heart of the issues deeply embedded in the rewarding, but complex journey of adoption. See below for details on each of the five sessions and links to watch excerpts.

Session I: Intentions Behind Adopting

This 20-minute session includes interviews with adoptive parents and adoption psychologists and social workers about what drives people to adopt. Whether it’s due to infertility, a calling from God, a desire to have a particular gender or race of child, or a combination of reasons, parents and experts encourage pre-adoptive individuals or couples to honestly assess their intentions so they can learn how to put the child’s needs first.
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Session II: Parenting the Adopted Child


This 35-minute session includes interviews with adoptive parents, psychologists and pediatricians about some of the unique issues adopted children may face including Attachment Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, developmental delays, and grief–over the loss of a birth parent and/or birth culture. The session also looks at how biological and adopted siblings interact.
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Session III: The MultiRacial Family

This 25-minute session asks adoptive parents to think about whether they really can, and should be, colorblind when it comes to their non-white, adopted child. Interviews with adoptees, parents and psychologists reveal the importance of addressing both race and culture with the child, acknowledging that racism and stereotypes still exist, believing children when they report instances of racial prejudice, and realizing that children often won’t tell their parents about everything that happens at school.
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Session IV: Identity for the Transracial Adoptee

This 25-minute session features interviews with adult adoptees who stress the importance of parents helping their children develop a strong sense of racial identity and self-esteem. Suggestions include bringing other adult people of color into their lives as role models, seeking out schools, communities or social situations where whites are not a strong majority, and understanding the struggles and confusion transracial adoptees might have. The session also includes advice and explanations from psychologists about why a strong racial identity is crucial for transracial adoptees.
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Session V: Tough Questions

This 20-minute session looks at some of the odd, inappropriate and sometimes offensive questions people–both strangers and loved ones–ask transracial and international adoptive families. Questions like, “how much did she cost?”; “is that your real son?”; and “why did you adopt overseas when there are so many kids in the US without homes?” will come up frequently. And while parents are not required to respond to those questions, their children may hear them being asked and will expect answers. Sociologists and social workers explain the socioeconomics and business of adoption that lead to these kinds of questions so parents can discuss these issues with their children.
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