What did you want to accomplish by making this film?
We wanted to share the unique story of our family -a tri-racial, gay parented, adoptive family so that LGBT people can see the possibility of building their own families using the foster care system.
What was the inspiration for this film?
It seems the more gains the LGBT community achieves, the louder the dissenting voices become. Anti-gay initiatives have been popping up in several states aimed to legalize discrimination against same sex couples. Now more than ever we have to tell stories about families like ours to combat ignorance. By putting our family on film, we cease to be nameless, faceless people easy to discriminate against, easy to dismiss. Further, while there is more and more representation of LGBT parents in media, these families tend to be mostly white, a lot involve surrogacy, and the same-sex parents of these families are largely asexual. Our family is diverse. My husband and I have an authentic relationship. We felt our story is unique and has yet to be seen in any media.
What did you learn while making this film?
We learned it takes a whole lot of money and an even larger amount of wonderful, hard-working people to put something like this together. We are forever grateful for everyone who helped create Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy. We also learned that Zion has the acting bug.
What has been going on in your lives since you filmed?
Our son has turned ten and is currently in the fourth grade. I’m on an ABC Family show called Switched at Birth and on Lifetime’s Devious Maids. My husband is currently developing future projects for his production company Thought Moment Media.
When and where did you film?
We filmed both at our home and at the Renberg Theatre at The Village @ Ed Gould Plaza, part of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, on July 20, 2013.
How long did I take to finish?
We started pre-production in February 2013 and finished the film in March 2015.
How did you finance the film?
Most of the funds, about 60%, came as the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. Additional capital came as a mix of private gifts and private investments.
Is foster and/or adoption by gay or lesbian parents legal in all states?
Like marriage equality, laws are changing very rapidly when it comes to foster and adoption by LGBT people. At press time, no state except Nebraska restricts fostering by LGBT parents. We would recommend contacting Raise a Child (raiseachild.us) to inquire about the current laws in your area. The good news is laws and attitudes are changing every day for the better!
What is the fostering process like?
Like bringing any new child into your home there is an adjustment period. This can include fatigue, emotional stress, and general anxieties. Different things will need to be addressed depending on the child’s age and previous experiences. Luckily, more and more LGBT people are fostering and adopting children, building support groups where they live.
How many kids in the U.S. need homes?
There are roughly 400,000 kids in the foster system nationwide. 100,000 of these children are available to be put in an adoptive home immediately.
What are common misconceptions about foster children?
People assume that kids that have been in foster care are damaged, have too many issues, or are unadoptable. While there may be many things you have to process from previous trauma to abandonment you will come to realize that when given love, time, and room to express and process their emotions, foster children are resilient individuals capable of overcoming extraordinary odds, able to attach, and become a wonderful addition to any family.
Where can LGBT people go if they want more information on foster/adoption?
We had a wonderful experience with Raise A Child, and we recommend them as your first place for research: raiseachild.us