FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              CONTACT:   John Ireland

June 13, 2007                                                                                                        (213) 840-3593

“Finding Family: Gay Adoption in the U.S.”

Premieres at Frameline Film Festival,

Profiles Gay Adoptive Families

On June 16, 2007 at 1:45 pm at the Roxie Film Center (3117 16th St., San Francisco, CA  91403), “Finding Family: Gay Adoption in the U.S.” by filmmaker John Ireland, will have its world premiere as part of Frameline31, the 31st Annual San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the longest running, largest and most widely recognized LGBT film exhibition event in the world.


The ten-minute documentary profiles gay and lesbian parents, adoption professionals, and a grown son who was raised by two mothers.  The film offers an overview of the differing laws affecting gays and lesbians as they build their families.

The debate over gay marriage is shifting to its natural consequence: gay parenting. Marriage equality for gays and lesbians would automatically provide adoption equality, allowing gay and lesbian parents to best protect and provide for their children.  As the states struggle to legislate the underlying institution of marriage, families led by gay and lesbian parents are left woefully vulnerable.

All over the country, gays and lesbians are raising children—8-10 million children—according to the most recent U.S. Census.  Yet, only eight states explicitly allow two men or two women to adopt.  Eight states expressly prohibit it.  In the vast majority of states, 34 of them, it’s up to the judge, the agency, and individual social worker.  In more conservative regions lacking specific case law or precedent, adoptions by gay couples are routinely denied.

Ireland speaks with social workers from across the country who assess prospective parents and place children; a researcher with the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute who is conducting a study of parenting styles of gay and lesbian parents, one of the first to be based on a large national sample; gay adoptive parents; and the grown son of two lesbians, who raised him in the 1980s and 1990s.

The film’s website ( and its companion site ( provide "drill-down" detail of laws and policies—both precedent and trending—on a state-by-state basis, designed as a resource for prospective gay parents, as well as for parents wishing to inventory their own efforts to protect their families.

Appearing in the documentary:

Congressman Robin Hayes (R-NC)

Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO)

Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC)

Susan Griffith, LBSW (Program Director, Adoption Services Agency, Austin, TX)

Jennifer Surrat, LCSW (Social Worker, Richmond, VA)

Joan Clark, M.Ed (Executive Director, Adoption Nonprofit, Holliston, MA)

Scott Ryan, Ph.D., MSW (Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Tallahassee, FL)

John Levesque, M.Ed, Board Member, North American Council On Adoptable Children, Portland ME

John Ireland, Filmmaker and adoptive father (West Hollywood, CA)

David (Adoptive Father, Los Angeles, CA)

Sharon & Maggie (Adoptive Mothers, Sylmar, CA)

Fiona (Adoptive Mother, Los Angels, CA)

Liam (Raised By A Lesbian Couple, Seattle, WA)


John Ireland works as a freelance journalist and filmmaker, based in Los Angeles.  “I am fascinated by ‘democracy in action,’” he says.  “In my work, I get to meet people who have passion for life... who choose to live life on their own terms.  It’s where these lives and the rest of society intersect where I find the story.”  He has focused on the gay rights movement, the electoral process, and the effects of linguistics and semantics on everyday exchanges that connect us to one another.

As a journalist, Ireland has been published in numerous periodicals including Newsweek, In These Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Baltimore Sun, and the Advocate.  Ireland has a B.S. in Languages & Linguistics, with a focus on Political Science from Georgetown University.


The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival celebrates its 31st anniversary this year with Frameline31, 11 days of the best queer cinema from home and abroad. Cinematic stories of love, lust, friends, family, good deeds and bad behavior span countries and communities, revealing a stunning diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender aesthetics and experiences. Festival favorites such as André Téchiné, Jamie Babbit and Eytan Fox return with new features, icons such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Alexis Arquette are profiled in hard-hitting documentaries.

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Press Release

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