Family ties… Or the perils of covering emotional stories

I’m not interested in being a parent. Full disclosure. I’ve just… never felt the urge.

But speaking to Welsh filmmaker Amanda Rees, I could imagine adopting any number of kids who needed a home.

For the documentary Finding Mum and Dad which aired on Channel Four this week, Amanda spent time with Connor and Daniel, brothers who had been removed from their parents but were unable to find a permanent home.

She also dealt with seven-year-old Scott in her investigation into ‘adoption parties’, a method being employed to try to place children with a mum and dad of their own.


As heartbreaking as it must be to want children and not be able to have them, one look at these kids made me feel like there was an answer for everyone – a complete family just waited to be rounded off.

Amanda says that it was difficult because she felt involved in the lives of these little people.

“It was emotionally a real roller coaster. Lots of nights spent thinking about the big picture and considering very deeply what the children’s future would be, and what we could do in any way that could help.”

But when all is said and done, isn’t the journalist’s position just to report and watch?

It calls to mind the nature documentaries where we watch the lion rip apart the blameless gazelle and momentarily gulp back a cry at the inactivity of a sentient being in the face of a trauma so great and bloody that few could stand it.

In this case, I understood completely what Amanda meant. Even as a non-breeder, I’d be hard pushed to view this as purely a job without developing some attachment.

Read the piece here


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