After spending the weekend watching some pretty awesome documentary films at Columbia, Missouri’s True/False Film Fest, I have documentaries on my mind, which led me to search for compelling documentaries on the subject of adoption. Next on my list of films to watch is “Stuck,” a work by  Craig Juntunen. Juntunen founded Both Ends Burning Foundation, an organization that promotes adoption. Juntunen professes that purpose of the film is to get the word out about the troubled international adoption system.

The majority of Americans believe that inter-country adoption is on the rise when, in fact, the numbers have dramatically dropped. The film points to possible explanations for decline, such as the U.S. State Department, UNICEF, a United Nations agency designed to help children, and the Hague Treaty. The Hague Treaty was begun by the United Nations. The goal of the Hauge Treaty is to make certain that every child adopted cross nationally is a legitimate orphan in need of a family. However, the treaty places such strict requirements on its signers that many children who need a home are left in orphanages.
“Stuck” follows the lives of five orphaned children. One such child is in the process of being adopted by Nick and Lori Leroy, who first adopted a child from Vietnam when he was only seven months old. But, Vietnam shut down inter-country adoptions before the adoption was complete, halting the process for the Leroys. The film follows the Leroys’ fight for their son, recounting their four year struggle.

Documentary film has had a lot of success in bringing awareness to important issues that are otherwise overlooked. Although I haven’t seen “Stuck,” I will. If you’ve seen the film, please share your thoughts.

Tana Benner
Tana Benner is an adoption attorney with Columbia Family Law Group. Her practice is focused in the area of family law and she has particular interests in adoption and helping children and victims of domestic violence.