An upcoming local documentary shares the benefits of open adoption.
Clark Wiens loves movies. As president of the board of directors at Circle Cinema, he helps bring films from around the world to local audiences. But in Wiens’ latest project, he will be sharing a film about a local family with audiences around the country. Wiens is producing a film about open adoption, which he says was inspired by one local family’s experience.
Wiens has practiced Pilates and yoga for 15 years with Kimberly Halve, a personal trainer, who adopted two sons with her husband, Lance. The Halves decided to choose open adoption, through which the birth mother maintains contact with the adoptive family, for son Max, now 8. After adopting Max, the Halves were looking for another open adoption when Wiens saw an opportunity to film a documentary about their experience.
“What came upon me was that here was an opportunity for a young girl to consider as another option,” Wiens says. “It provides alternative means to (a closed) adoption.”
So Wiens, the Halves and a film crew got together and started filming from the time of the birth of their second son, Zack, now 5. The crew has since filmed birthdays and family gathering with the Halves and their sons’ birth families. As of now, they have 20 hours of film, and they plan to continue filming through Zack’s pre-adolescent years, which Kimberly Halve says is the age when many adopted children struggle with “abandonment syndrome.”
Wiens says he and the Halves hope to donate the documentary to Planned Parenthoods across the country, starting in Tulsa. They hope the film will educate young mothers about open adoptions through the Halves’ experience.
“We want the documentary to show how open adoption can work and how healthy it is for everyone in the picture,” Kimberly Halve says. “In an open adoption, it just means that everybody’s got to have an open hand. Nobody can be stingy … then nobody feels like they’re missing out on what they want in the relationship.”