The documentary "Kids' R!ights: The Business of Adoption," which Cinema Libre Studios is releasing on DVD today and is adding to VOD on June 20 2014, nicely documents global mega flaws with adoption processes/policies. The spoiler alert is that red tape, outdated biases, and undue expenses are preventing adults who ache to provide children who need good homes that necessity from doing so.
Married filmmakers (and prospective adoptive parents) Michael Dudko and Olga Rudnieva begin the film with the tale of the failed effort of Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish, who are stone-cold sober as a matter of fact, (yeah, there are more of these coming) to adopt both an HIV-positive boy named Lev and Lev's brother from the filmmakers' native country of Ukraine. The second spoiler of this review is that the adoption plans of the couple do not include raising the children on Mars, which is frigid and does not have anyone to help care for the kids.
The very sad fact is that the denial is based on Sir Elton and David not being the men that Ukrainian officials think they are; oh not, not at all. This uber-wealthy and seemingly very stable and loving couple simply run afoul of Ukrainian policies against homosexuals and people who are not married within the meaning of the term under Ukrainian law.
It is particularly sad that Lev suffers a bad fate following the decision of Sir Elton and David to not devote most likely futile resistance regarding the denial of their application to adopt him.
"Kids" provides a broader perspective in noting that the United Kingdom in which Sir Elton and David live does not allow any racial mingling regarding adoptions.
The better news regarding all this is that Sir Elton and David are still standing and feel like little kids after their ordeal with the Ukrainian government. They have a child, who looks a great deal like Sir Elton, with a surrogate mother.
This story screams for sharing, courtesy of YouTube, the video from Sir Elton's 1983 hit "I'm Still Standing." It is amazing that this confection is so relevant to his experience in the Ukraine so many years later.
Further, this short that includes several scenes of hairless male dancers in full body paint and well-packed thongs arguably is the gayest video ever. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
"Kids" indirectly comments on this overall positive outcome for Sir Elton and David by pointing out a few times that adopting a child arguably does more good than bringing a new one, who will further strain the diminishing resources of our planet, into the world.
This portion of "Kids" goes on to document the nearly feral existence that most unadopted and neglected Ukrainian children live; almost universal drug use and prostitution are only the tip of the iceberg.
The segment on the Ukraine leads into a more detailed and nicely documented discussion on the importance of any child growing up in a loving and supportive home. This includes the value of having two parents, regardless of the mix of genders of those caregivers and the race of any member of the household.
Other themes include the massive paperwork, funds, and delays associated with adopting a child from any country. This message includes the sad truth that the possibility that an adoption may not result from all that leads to many well-qualified prospective parents reaching the same decision as Sir Elton and David to not undergo the ordeal. Meanwhile, the children who otherwise could lead be leading much better lives remain in the institutions that are incapable of doing much more than keeping them alive.
This information is effectively conveyed through interviews with prospective adoptors, experts in the field, adoption agency representatives, and literally the mouths of babes.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "K!ds" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.