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[tab title="Movie Review"]

Kids' Rights - DVD Review


3 stars

The documentary Kids’ Rights: The Business of Adoption jumps all over the place, in terms of its topics and locations. Filmmakers Olga Rudnieva and Michael Dudko, who want to adopt, travel to various countries to learn more about the process. They meet with lawyers, experts and parents who adopted. The system is broken, they find. Potential parents can spend thousands of dollars and years of their lives, yet still come up empty. Agencies turn people away for reasons like race or sexual orientation. Other times, couples get caught up in the vast amounts of red tape and paperwork. As a result, needy kids and their possible parents lose out.

That in itself could make up a whole documentary, but Kids’ Rights goes much further. We meet with Elton John and his life partner, who failed in their attempt to adopt a Ukrainian boy. We see runaway teens in their hideouts, kids roaming the streets of Nepal and factory workers making condoms. Olga talks about child abuse with author Dave Pelzer and STDs with a sex ed advocate. She goes to Beijing to learn about China’s one-child policy from an ambassador. The movie careens from one issue to the next so abruptly, you feel like the ball in a pinball machine.

The main argument is that adopting kids (especially from other countries) is too hard. But the issue is also complex, as shown by the film’s own anecdotes. One couple calls their adoption experience arduous but helpful. They had to take parenting classes and seminars that prepared them well. Although some rules were “stupid,” they describe the process in overall positive terms. Conversely, Olga talks to a lawyer specializing in child abuse cases. She discusses one case where a boy was taken out of foster care and placed with violent parents, who beat him to death. How could this happen? Who would give a child to such sick, evil people? Clearly, at least sometimes the process isn’t hard enough.

While the film can be dizzying, it’s also passionate about kids. Olga and Michael hike through the Himalayas, to reach a boarding school where they hope to adopt a child. They also talk to countless adoption agencies. “You’ll be awesome parents,” one interviewee tells them. The two are obviously kind and sincere, just unfocused. The many side issues they raise need their own movies. The filmmakers should have limited the scope of Kids’ Rights to enable deeper discussion of fewer topics. That said, the film is helpful to those looking for a broad overview of the state of adoption, especially the international kind. Kids’ Rights doesn’t go deep, but it definitely goes wide.


[tab title="Film Details"]

Kids' Rights - DVD ReviewMPAA Rating: Not rated.
90 mins
: Mike Dudko, Olga Rudnieva
Writer: Mike Dudko
Sir Elton John, David Furnish, Dave Pelzer, Paul R. Ehrlich, Jason De Parle
: Documentary
Festival Express... The longest party in rock-n-roll history.
Memorable Movie Quote: "To adopt a child you have to match an enormous amount of criteria, spend tens of thousands of dollars and many years - but to have a biological child - you just have to have sex."
Cinema Libre Studio
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 10, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 20, 2014
Synopsis: Having personally witnessed Sir Elton John's failed attempt to adopt a child, a young couple questions themselves if they are ready for kids and whether everyone should match a certain criteria to be either biological or adoptive parents. The search for the answer pushes them into an entire journey through Nepal, Ukraine, China, the United Kingdom and the USA where they face corruption of the adoption system and have to stand against billions of dollars behind it... They meeting people who managed to adopt and those who failed because of their skin color, weight, or habits... In the middle of their investigation, they reveal that the right to have kids can be easily taken away from people even in most civilized countries... no votes needed, the regulations are already in action! Should we just accept these regulations or should fight against them?


[tab title="DVD Review"]

Kids' Rights - DVD Review


DVD Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 20, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
: English
Discs: 1 DVD disc
Region Encoding: Region-free



  • None

Special Features:

  • Bonus interviews with Sir Elton John and David Furnish
  • Bonus interview with Bill Roedy, former MTV CEO
  • Trailer
  • Interactive Menus


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