By Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal
Tupelo will be the smallest stop on a 61-city tour promoting the documentary “Stuck,” that takes a look at the complicated bureaucracy involved with international adoption.
Directed by Craig Juntunen, the film seeks to raise awareness about international adoption by garnering over one million signatures on a petition pressuring global leaders into passing legislation that will smooth out the adoption process.
Originally a 60-city tour, president of Tupelo’s New Beginnings adoption agency Tom Velie convinced Jutunen to include Tupelo in the tour on the basis the church community would be very supportive and the showing would be a convenient stop between shows in Birmingham and Memphis.
“International adoption is down 50 percent from five years ago, due to a combination of bad things,” Velie said.
Velie said the Hague treaty on international adoption passed in 2007 was meant to bring more uniformity to the process, holding reputable agencies in reputable nations to an equal standard.
“The reality is that so many bureaucratic rules have been created that barriers have been built between countries. Unfair pressures have been put on countries like Vietnam and Nepal to conform to those demands knowing they don’t have the resources to meet them,” Velie said. “The result is there are about 10 million orphans who are caught in the process. They have their paperwork in order, they have homes waiting, but they can’t move forward.”
While children are caught in the middle, eager families find themselves stuck in the agonizing limbo of the process.
This very situation led Jutunen to film “Stuck,” when he and his wife attempted to adopt three Haitian children in 2010.
The documentary will be shown at the First Baptist Church in Tupelo at 5 today.