Following the controversy of Play School‘s lesbian mums segment, the ABC is screening a documentary on one man’s international adoption journey.
Unfortunately, He’s Having A Baby is unlikely to help the wider community warm to the idea of gay and lesbian families.
Hollywood talent agent Jeff Danis is 50, financially successful, and wants a son. He decides to adopt an overseas child, even if it means breaking up with his partner of 20 years, Don Pike.
It’s hard to watch Danis discuss his first adoption agency meeting. A Cambodian kid would be quickest, he says, but while the Guatemalan and Chinese kids he was shown pictures of were cute, the Cambodian baby was not that cute.
His obvious anxiety at the possibility of not having a cute enough baby is infuriating. Danis is then sent pictures of two baby brothers from Vietnam, which he can put on hold if he likes. He asks his workmates which of the two boys, whose names he repeatedly, comically mispronounces, is cuter.
He also asks his friends which Hollywood celebrity the baby most resembles, before settling on the Asian guy from Anna And The King. He rings up to put one of the brothers on hold, asking if the parents have definitely abandoned him, and if he can change his name.
Danis and Pike’s trip to Vietnam follows, and the scenes of babies in their Vietnam orphanage is moving. The couple adopt their beautiful son, rename him Joe, and everyone lives happily ever after.
With so few images of gay and lesbian families on television, it’s hard to feel good about He’s Having A Baby, especially given the current debate on international adoption in Australia. While it’s clear the men will give Joe a rich life, they seem to have no interest in his culture, his past, or even his personality. And the adoption process reduces children to the same status as everything else a rich enough person can buy.
The documentary also features interviews with some of Danis’s clients, including Linda Blair and Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills 90210‘s Andrea Zucherman).
He’s Having A Baby screens on ABC TV at 9:35pm on Wednesday 16 June.