Documentary highlights difficult adoption process

KENWOOD, OH (FOX19) - The difficulty families face in the adoption process, particularly adopting children form other countries, is the theme of a documentary being shown across the country.

The documentary is called "Stuck". The documentary tells the stories of four children and their adoptive families as they navigate the bureaucratic hurdles of the international adoption system.

The film's producer, Craig Juntunen, brought the film to Cincinnati for a showing at the Kenwood Theatre.

Juntunen is visiting over 60 cities across the U.S. with the goal of raising public awareness about the need to make the adoption process simpler and easier.

"Today there are ten-million children, approximately, living in institutions or orphanages all over the world and there are countless families that want to adopt those children, but can't," explains Juntunen.

Juntunen reasons they can't due to, what he calls, a broken and dysfunctional system where time and money can be prohibitive.

"The average international adoption today takes 33 months and costs 28-thousand dollars," said Juntunen.

Back in 2007, Juntunen and his wife adopted three children from Haiti. They have joined their father on a private tour bus as he criss-crosses the country.

"I think its pretty cool," said 11-year-old Espie. "I'm very proud of my dad  because he's making this effort so more kids can be in a family like us."

As former orphans, 11-year-old Espie, 12-year-old Amelek and 7-year-old Quinn say they know the importance of family.

"Every child must have a family," said Quinn."If they don't they'll feel left out on the family."

With thousands of families wanting to adopt, Juntunen says he hopes his documentary will provoke a public discussion about how to get children into those families.

"We're hoping foster care programs get energized, domestic care or domestic adoptions get revitalized, international is included proactively as one of the many solutions," said Juntunen.

This was a one night showing of "Stuck" on Sunday. However, the box office says they nearly sold out.

The tour bus's next stop is in Columbus where it is hoped "Stuck" will impress an audience in the Ohio capitol city.

While on tour, Juntunen is collecting signatures on a petition which he will deliver to congress and the president when he arrives in Washington D.C on May 17.

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