What People Are Saying

Blog Appearances
People are Talking – about the film! Check the blogs listed below to read what others are saying. If you blog about the film, or come across a blog that has addressed the film, please email us to let us know to feature it here.  Send email to: [email protected]   Thanks!

Birth Mother, First Mother Forum – December 19, 2010
ADOPTED: for the life of me illustrates how sealed records hurt.

Family Preservation Advocate – October 26, 2010
Blog entry: Two great pieces of news about Jean Strauss’s feature film Adopted: For the Life of Me.

i, cartographer: navigating the present and the future without a past – October 21, 2010
Blog entry about the film and how to provide support to help promote the efforts of adoption reform.


Reunions Magazine – Fall 2010
Featuring article and review of ADOPTED: for the life of me


Independent Adoption Center; Pleasant Hill, California

For the Life of Me: The Secrets of Closed Adoption Last a Lifetime
By Ann Wrixon    | Published 05/13/2010

“ADOPTED: For the Life of Me” is the most powerful movie I have ever seen about adoption. However, the drama of this film is not around adoption per se, but rather about secrets, the secrets of closed adoptions. What makes this film so tremendously powerful is that all of the protagonists are elderly adoptees. We watch as each of these men and women who are in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s struggle to find out who they are. To identify whom their birth parents are, to find out the reasons for their adoption, and to secure medical information, not only for themselves, but also for their children and grandchildren.

Although much of the movie focuses on the fight to open adoption records, it is the individual stories of the elderly adoptees that are such compelling testament to the importance of open adoption. I could not help but weep as an 88-year-old woman explains her fruitless 25-year search for her birth family. Doesn’t she deserve to know the most basic information about her background? If nothing else, this film will convince you that both closed records and closed adoptions are unfair to adoptees, and that the pain of these arrangements never goes away not even if you live to be 100 years old.

IAC rarely recommends films, but we do recommend this one.


ADOPTED: For the Life of Me is a strong film that clarifies just how lifelong
adoption issues really are,  The right to know one’s history is powerfully
portrayed and the case for access is made compassionately on behalf of the
adopted individuals currently being denied that fundamental knowledge. This
film will be very useful in educating the community about why these issues
are so important and the kinds of changes in legislation and policy
necessary to right a longtime wrong.

Beth Hall, Director, Pact, An Adoption Alliance
Author of “InsideTransracial Adoption”
Adoptive parent



ADOPTED: for the life of me is an outstanding piece of work which Jean Strauss has given to adult adoptees across the country. It addresses and reinforces the fact that – in the words Thomas Jefferson first declared in the Declaration of Independence that “all are created equally” – is just not the case for adult adoptees in most of the United States!



Filmmaker Jean Strauss to display adoption documentary film Monday
The Daily Torreador – Texas Tech University | Published October 15, 2010

“Adopted: For the Life of Me” follows eight people through the struggles of figuring out the details of their adoption and where they came from. Strauss documented up to two years of their lives, making it a “pretty powerful piece,” she said.

Strauss said she wanted to make the film to show people what it’s like to step into someone’s shoes and be told they have no right to know the name of the woman who gave birth to them.

After being approached by an elderly woman who wanted to find out the name of her birth mother, Strauss began this project.

As an adoptee herself who has been reunited with her birth family for more than 20 years, she said finding your birth family doesn’t take away from the family who raised you and took care of you, but has actually made her family closer. 

“I’m a big fan of adoption; I’m not a big fan of secrets that are part of adoption,” Strauss said. “Creating secrets becomes very disempowering because I think when there are secrets about yourself, it can be very limiting,”

Exploring different states’ adoption privacy laws, the film examines the sometimes-limited options adoptees have for finding out who their birth parents are.

In the documentary, two women are featured who were born in Kansas City. Because half of the city is in Kansas and the other is in Missouri, the privacy laws for adoption are different depending on which side of the road you’re on. These women, 65 and 75 years old, can’t get information on their birth parents without the permission of their deceased adoptive parents or birth parents.

After English professor John Poch met Strauss at a party, and they bonded over their love of poetry, Poch said he knew he wanted to be a part of Strauss’s vision. He asked her to come and show the film.

“Jean has made a movie that is going to be a major force in changing adoption records laws that really need to be changed,” he said. “Any student who enjoys film and storytelling will enjoy the film. The way the story is revealed due to Jean’s amazing gift is profound.”

“Jean Strauss’s Adopted: For the Life of Me is a film of superb literary achievement.  Her clear and careful  lens captures a remarkable story, penetrating to the heart of the matter.  The matter is, ultimately, the poetry of each human life, the essential words and even the silence around them speaking to who we all are and who we might be. This film goes far beyond the subject matter of adoption, and it is a must-see for those who love a well-told story and any who care about basic human rights.”

John Poch, English Professor, Texas Tech