Conceiving Family follows (Director/Producer) Amy Bohigian and her partner, Jane Byers, as they adopt biracial 15 month-old twins, Franny and Theo. Their journey to becoming a family, like the other four same-sex couples, is laden with challenges, including confronting the Christian Fundamentalist foster parents who express fear that the children they’ve cared for since birth will now, “grow up to be gay” with parents who are “going to hell for their sins.” Required to live together for two weeks during the kids’ transition they confront their differences in the most surprising ways. Combining personal interviews, intimate footage, and family photos, Conceiving Family tells the collective story of what it takes to become an intentional family.
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CBC Radio One – interview with Paolo Peitropaolo
Curve Magazine – film review coming in June 2012
Washington DC’s Blade article
New England’s Bay Windows article
Vancouver Observer article
Nelson Star article
Art in the Kootenays article
Xtra! Magazine article
Instinct Magazine article
G Philly article
Women’s Forum website
The Nelson Daily article
Proud Parenting article
Curve Magazine – September 2012
Blog “See Theo Run” – January 2013
Festivals and Screenings
June 23, 2012 – Toronto BC, Female Eye Film Festival 4-6PM at the Carlton Cinema
April, 2012 – Kamloops BC, MCFD hosting
March 12, 2012 – Victoria BC through Movie Monday Film Society
March 11, 2012 – Vancouver BC, Women in Film Festival at the Vancity Theatre
February, 2012 – Victoria BC, Victoria Film Festival
January, 2012 – Nelson BC, encore screening at SelfDesgn High
November 2011 – Castlegar BC, at Selkirk College
November 2011 – Kelowna BC, MCFD hosted at Okanagon College
September 2011 – Nelson BC, hometown premiere at the Capitol Theatre
June, 2011 – Vancouver BC, AFABC hosted at The Cultch’s Historic Theater
*To host a screening, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
These are resources that are invaluable to any LGBT prospective family, family or friend of the family. AFABC has a comprehensive list of books, links to social groups and further resources on their website here: RESOURCE LIST AND LINKS
Intention of Film
I conceived of this film back in 2008 when my partner and I made our decision to start a family during a backpacking trip in the Rockies. We, like so many around us, wanted to have children and chose government adoption to begin this process.
We learned that there are thousands of children, from newborns to teens, in need of a permanent family, yet despite this, barriers still exist for gays and lesbians to adopt. At the same time, the number of gay and lesbian households choosing to have a family is rising exponentially. Now is the time to bridge the gap and open the doors for those children that need a loving home.
I was awarded a major project grant from the Victoria Foundation’s Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Fund, a fund established to support the creation of more life-long families through adoption. I partnered with Adoptive Families Association of BC, an leading organization for prospective adoptive families and adoptive families. It was my intention when I made this film that it would inspire new families by telling the essential and emerging stories of gay and lesbian adoptions.
I have come to understand what my film mentor once advised. Rather than set out to change the world through our films, let ourselves be changed by the films we can’t help but make.
Conceiving Family takes us inside the lives of five gay and lesbian couples who show the bravery, determination, and humor it takes to rise above the legal systems, societal prejudices, and personal fears inherent in starting a family through adoption.
Conceiving Family director/producer Amy Bohigian and her partner Jane Byers are an American/Canadian couple that adopt biracial 15 month-old twins, Franny and Theo. Their journey to becoming a family is laden with challenges, including confronting the Christian Fundamentalist foster parents who express fear that the children they’ve cared for since birth will now, “grow up to be gay” with parents who are “going to hell for their sins.” Required to live together for two weeks during the kids’ transition they confront their differences in the most surprising ways.
Long-term partners Jan and Lindsey found their twin baby girls at a Romanian orphanage, only to have one come close to dying shortly after arriving at her new home. Twenty years later, having fought in the courts to both be legitimized as legal parents, they find themselves as foster parents to a baby boy with whom they become so connected they chose to adopt him and his older sister to keep them together. This initiates a whole new round of parenting as they enter their sixties.
Daryl and Ian decorated the nursery and bought a minivan in preparation for their new baby’s arrival only to have the birth family reverse their decision because they had second thoughts about a same-sex couple. When their social worker calls again, they find themselves holding their breath and then, their four hour-old baby boy, Oliver, at the hospital nursery one week later.
Colleen and Tammy are seasoned foster parents, so when Kelly came to them as a sick baby they knew it would be heart wrenching to let her go. Despite their immediate connection to Kelly, they return to her native community to reunite her with her birth family. Here, Kelly’s birth mother laments her past mistakes having caused the baby harm during pregnancy and makes the difficult choice to support Colleen and Tammy as Kelly’s new adoptive parents.
Like most gay men looking to start a family, Jim and Ted researched surrogacy, but were daunted by the cost. When they saw the video of five year-old Damien at an adoption event, they became convinced they were going to be his parents. Jim must then confront his self-image as a ‘good Catholic boy’ and show his devoutly religious mom that his new family is as normal as it gets.
Combining personal interviews, home video archives, and on location footage, Conceiving Family tells the essential and intimate collective story of what it sometimes takes to become a family.
Conceiving Family Press Kit
Press Kit – Conceiving Family[8.2 MB ZIP file]