Let me preface this by saying I do not watch Lifetime movies, so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into with watching A Deadly Adoption. I was halfway hoping that it would be a satire cracking jokes at the dramatization of Lifetime movies, especially with the stars of the movie being two of the best comedians of the Saturday Night Live cast. However, I had to accept it wasn’t happening.
The opening scene brings us to Robert & Sarah’s (Will Ferrell & Kristen Wiig) home, celebrating their daughter’s first birthday. A pregnant Sarah, standing at the dock, desperately wants to take the boat on the water and Robert is hesitant. Then dramatically (of course) out of nowhere, the wood railing she was leaning on snaps and she flips backwards into the water. Cue dramatic running and diving into the water to save her. Fast forward four years later and Robert & Sarah are planning to adopt due to losing their baby.
Now, at this point you’ve come to the realization that there will be no jokes and Ferrell and Wiig are seriously, serious. So once you get past that, you are pulled into questioning, “why is it A Deadly Adoption?” Cue the beautiful birth mother, Bridget, who wants to meet Sarah & Robert immediately. She claims to be staying at a shelter, which obviously isn’t true given the fact she is so well put together, pristine and in a beautiful sundress. Nonetheless, this prompts Sarah & Robert to invite Bridget to stay with them during her pregnancy. This being a Lifetime movie, instantly I thought, “bad decision!”
That was one of the many things wrong with this movie. The overall portrayal of adoption and birth mothers was completely off base. For one, we saw no preparation on the part of Robert & Sarah as far as joining an adoption agency or going through any type of process. It basically cut right to a social worker bringing over an expectant mother to meet. It was far fetched from the reality we know to be “matching” in an adoption process, and the time it takes to get to that point. In contrast to how we prepare our clients here at IAC, A Deadly Adoption had no regard for the training and education involved in planning to adopt.
The media is laced with false examples of what adoption is and what it looks like, and A Deadly Adoption was the icing on the cake. We’re constantly fed a false, negative image of birthmothers and this movie further sullied this image by portraying a young woman with obvious bad intentions. By no means is this representative of birthmothers. For one, the vast majority of birth mothers aren’t homeless or mentally ill. Instead, it would have been nice to see a pregnant woman genuinely interested in placing out of love for her child.
Lifetime didn’t do a great job at representing birthmothers, but they did a great job at creating the typical “lifetime villain.” The plot was essentially the worst and most unlikely way an adoption could go, and really had little to do with adoption at all. It was less of a focus on actual adoption and more centered on a family and an unsound woman with something obviously up her sleeve.
Overall, the story line actually pulls you in because you want to know what Bridget is up to. Once you’ve accepted the fact that they’re going all the way with this, you laugh at the dramatics, you tolerate Ferrell’s attempts at emotion, you get pulled into the twists and turns, and you laugh again at the ridiculous happy ending. All is well at the end of a Lifetime movie, and Will Ferrell & Kristen Wiig can hopefully go back to what they do best: making comedies.