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PBS Greenlights "Adoption: An American Revolution"
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Boston/Los Angeles; January 15, 2005 -- ADOPTION: AN AMERICAN REVOLUTION, a two-hour documentary slated to air in 2006, will be the first television special to offer a journalistically expansive, insightful portrait of the many facets of adoption. Presenting stories of adoption from foster care, from private and public agencies and from abroad, the WGBH Boston production will be the centerpiece of a major educational effort that will include an ambitious Web site, innovative adoption-related materials for national distribution through public libraries and schools, and targeted publicity and marketing campaigns. Together, the project will supply valuable resources for those directly interested in adoption - and for anyone concerned about today's American family.

One hundred million Americans have an adoptee in their immediate families. Millions more know neighbors and friends who have adopted children. There are adoption family gatherings, adoption heritage camps, Web sites on international adoption and foster care adoption. Adoption is changing the face of the American family, creating a society that is more welcoming and more pluralistic than before. But all too often, the media have focused on the negative, presenting sensational stories that have nothing to do with the happy lives of 99 percent of adoptive families.

As show advisor Adam Pertman has said, "Adoption has operated in the shadows for so long that it's no wonder so many people have uninformed, ambivalent views about the institution and its participants. I can't think of another subject that has such a profound social impact and touches so many lives, yet receives so little public attention." Pertman is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, author of Adoption Nation (2000) and executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, which will partner with WGBH in preparing the project's educational materials.

"With WGBH Boston at the helm, this subject will receive the thoughtful, in-depth treatment that is the hallmark of social issues projects presented by PBS," said John F. Wilson, senior vice president, PBS Programming. "This project will enrich the national discussion of this important issue."

ADOPTION: AN AMERICAN REVOLUTION will present a rich tapestry of original stories, illuminating the joys, challenges, issues and impact of adoption. The one-night, two-hour broadcast will help viewers understand how adoption is changing American society and culture, and how it raises important new questions for all of us to consider.

ADOPTION: AN AMERICAN REVOLUTION will be produced for WGBH by award-winning producer Eric Stange, whose credits include "Murder at Harvard" for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and the upcoming PBS series THE WAR THAT MADE AMERICA. Executive producer is Judith Vecchione, producer/executive producer for many of PBS' signature series, including VIETNAM: A TELEVISION HISTORY, EYES ON THE PRIZE, FRONTLINE, NOVA and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Partial funding for ADOPTION has been provided by the Public Broadcasting Service and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

About WGBH WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of fully one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup, along with some of public television's best-known lifestyle shows and children's programs and many public radio favorites. WGBH is the number one producer of Web sites on, the most-visited dot-org on the Internet. WGBH is a pioneer in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who rely on captioning or video descriptions. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, Dupont-Columbia Awards, even two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH was honored with a special institutional Peabody Award for 50 years of excellence. For more information, visit

About PBS PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (, continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet, averaging more than 30 million unique visits and 380 million page views per month in 2004. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.


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Susan Barrett, WGBH Boston, 617/300-5302;

Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703/739-5129;