(Written by Angela Tucker)
Have you ever heard an adoptee say:
"I love being adopted!"
"I hate being adopted!"
"It doesn't really matter to me that I was adopted."
I have heard all of these statements. In fact, in a recent conversation a 12-year-old adoptee told me that all three statements feel true - at the same time.
Since the debut of my adoption reunion story in the documentary Closure, I have been privileged to be on the listening end of adoptees as they share their stories. Many young adoptees have expressed to me sentiments about adoption they'd never felt comfortable sharing before. My dream is to give young adoptees a safe, welcoming platform to speak out within the safety net of the kindred connection adoptees often feel when speaking to one another. For this reason, I am launching The Adopted Life episodes.
Who are Bryan & Angela Tucker?
Bryan and I met in Seattle, WA, in 2006 and have been married since 2009. In 2010, I began my journey across the nation in search of my birth family. I asked Bryan to document the process for my own personal keepsake. As my search began to unfold, I decided it was important to release my story publicly for the sake of adoption education and normalizing the adoptee experience. The result was Closure, a feature-length documentary, and first film by Bryan.
Bryan now works full-time as a freelance video producer, with a particular interest in social justice based storytelling. His work is available to view on his website, bryantucker.com. Angela continues sharing her story and educating through leading workshops, giving keynote addresses and writing regularly on her blog at theadoptedlife.com.
Why is this project important?
- racial identity
- searching (or choosing not to search) for birth family
- reconnecting with foster families
- open relationships with biological families
- feelings around having little information about your biological family
- impacts of adoption in school settings
- friendships and sense of belonging
Gaining first-hand perspective from adoptees is a rarity and this project will help other young adoptees to know that they are not alone in their thoughts.
Why do we need to raise funds?
Our Kickstarter funding goal will allow us to create the first three (3) episodes of The Adopted Life. Our goal is to create the first three episodes in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and New York City. We are already in talks with non-profit organizations in each of these cities that have tentatively agreed to be non-financial sponsors of the episodes. As sponsors, they will recruit willing and consenting adoptees/foster youth, help secure a filming location and facilitate local project management. The Kickstarter donations will allow us to fund the production ourselves so that our sponsors can provide these other needed resources.
How will the Kickstarter funds be used?
We have estimated that the cost to produce each individual episode will be approximately $7,000. This amount will cover airfare, transportation, and lodging (2 nights) for Bryan & Angela, camera gear rental fees, location fees, producer/host fees, and editing. Creating three episodes amounts to approximately $21,000. The rest of the amount in our fundraising goal ($7,825) will cover one-time costs such as legal fees, logo/branding/artwork creation, music licensing, website hosting, creating/distributing Kickstarter rewards, and Kickstarter/Amazon Payments fees.
Why only 3 episodes?
We are hoping that three episodes is just the beginning! Three episodes will be a solid baseline for us to iron out the kinks, and make adjustments based on unexpected glitches and constructive feedback from you, our viewership. To be clear, we are not planning on limiting this series to only three episodes! Any funds raised above our Kickstarter goal will be funneled directly towards the creation of additional episodes, and overall marketing/outreach. Our long-term "dream" goal is to produce episodes of The Adopted Life in every major U.S. city.
Risks and challenges
Although the sponsors serve a non-financial role, they are key to the production of the episodes. The sponsors are responsible for recruiting transracial adopted and/or fostered youth, securing filming locations and coordinating schedules. We are confident in the relationships we have with agencies and non-profits across the country (largely through screening Closure), and we are excited to move forward with organizations that have already expressed interest in our project.
Another risk is parental involvement. It is key that adoptive parents trust the process and understand that their children's adoption story is theirs to tell, in the way that feels true to them. Our experience up until now has mostly been with adoptive parents who have been supportive of their adopted children owning their narrative and story, and we hope that this trend continues for the sake of this project and for the well-being of transracially adopted children everywhere.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)