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Film “The Commitment” Inspired by Meeting with Adoption Social Worker

 

In “The Commitment” Mary Niederkorn (right) portrays a social worker named Susan who helps a gay couple named Robert (Albert M. Chan) (center) and Ethan (Jason Lane Fenton) try to adopt an infant. Photo courtesy of Albert M. Chan.

Actor and director Albert M. Chan said the positive interaction he and his husband had with an adoption social worker inspired him to make the 20-minute film “The Commitment,” which is now playing in film festivals around the nation.

“In real life, from my personal experiences working with a social worker named Erin MacDonald, social workers just make the whole process a lot smoother,” said Chan, who has appeared on “30 Rock,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” and the 2009 film “Ghost of Girlfriends Past.”

In “The Commitment” an interracial gay couple named Robert (portrayed by Chan) and Ethan (Jason Lane Fenton) attempt to adopt a baby from an expectant Asian mother named Victoria (Kerri Patterson).

A social worker named Susan (Mary Niederkorn) helps the two parties navigate through touchy but often funny discussions about race, sexuality, and baby names. And when something unexpected happens, the social worker gives Robert and Ethan the hope and encouragement they need to continue their relationship and quest to become parents.

Albert M. Chan. Photo courtesy of IMDB.com.

The film is based on the process Chan and his husband Richard Possemato went through to adopt their son Andrew, who is now 18 months old. The couple, who live in the Boston area, went through an intensive home study.

Then the day they were supposed to meet a prospective birth mother the woman changed her mind and backed out.

“There is a lot in the movie that is based on what actually happened although of course it is dramatized,” Chan said. “We did end up adopting – we had four more matches and on the fifth match it was successful.”

“The Commitment” won audience favorite at the 2012 Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the 2013 Desperado LGBT Film Festival in Phoenix. Actress Patterson also snagged the best supporting actress prize at the Summer 2012 Asians on Film Festival.

“I knew it would find an audience in the LGBT circuit,” Chan said. “I think the story is more universal and I hope it will find its way into mainstream and Asian film festivals and it’s starting to do so.”

Social workers help create new families through adoption. To learn more visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Adoptions and Foster Care website. Social workers are also committed to equal treatment for all, including members of the LGBT community. To find out more go to NASW’s Diversity and Equity website.

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2 Comments

  1. This film is great and coming our way to DisOrient Asian American Film Festival!! This film is so important.

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