Olga had been working as the executive director of the Elena Pinchuk AntiAIDS Foundation, where she was in charge of launching and managing major projects for the Foundation. One project was Sir Elton John’s charitable concert devoted to HIV/AIDs in cooperation with the Elton John AIDS Foundation. A few years later, Sir Elton and his partner David Furnish returned to Ukraine to observe the progress being made in the fight against AIDS. They had never considered having children until they visited Makeevka Orphanage, which is dedicated to children born to HIV positive mothers, and met a young boy named Lev. They were prepared to adopt Lev and his older brother Artyom, but the Ukranian government said no, claiming that homosexuals have no rights to become parents.
At the same time, Olga lost her father to cancer, a very painful moment for her family. But through all that, she recalled her childhood and how blessed she was to have a great father and a loving and caring family. It felt wrong that Lev and Artyom were forced on a different path. Olga and I were considering adopting as well, but after personally witnessing Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s failure, we questioned whether we’d be good enough for parenthood.
Our research into the adoption process opened up a Pandora’s Box of bureaucracy and red tape. The system in place appears to be a complete mess – white people aren’t allowed to adopt black kids in the UK, some countries reject single parents, others gay couples, and some governments want to see proof of infertility – but at its core, the child’s well being was not even being considered! The adoption system is broken and works to build a barrier between children and potential parents. There are 123 million orphans in the world, but only 1 in 523 will be adopted in a year.
Our main inspiration for making the film is our strong desire to build a new society where children’s rights would be considered before anything else. By making this film we hope to fight against this injustice and draw the public’s attention to what children really need: parents.
- Michael Dudko, Director