A sweet bedtime story moment goes awry in a new ad from nonprofit Family Equality. Created out of TBWA/Chiat/Day New York, “Love, Lawyers & the Government" takes a humorous look into the not-so-funny complications LGBTQ+ parents must endure throughout the adoption process (it’s currently legal in 11 states for adoption and foster agencies to turn away qualified LGBTQ+ applicants). The film shows two fathers putting their adopted son to bed when he asks the dreaded question: “Where do babies come from?” After a moment of consideration, one father starts in with a classic response: “Well, when two daddies love each other very much…,” followed by a not-so-classic “first they talk to a lawyer about their options."
He then goes into a litany explaining the differences in legislation state-to-state, home visits, character references, and a FaceTime with the couple’s attorney (“there’s still explicit and implicit bias” she tells the child pragmatically) as the son listens sleepily. One dad acts out discrimination in a courtroom with action figures. Another queer couple FaceTimes in to tell the son their experience. The story ends 12-24 months later (“assuming all the paperwork goes through”) with the couple finally taking home their son.
“My friend Jodie told me that babies come from vaginas,” the son responds, in the spot's cute kicker.
The video is accompanied by a petition from Family Equality to support legislation to guarantee rights for LGBTQ+ parents-to-be.
The film debuted In time for Parents’ Day this past Sunday. It was directed by comedy pros Will Speck and Josh Gordon of Furlined, known for their work on films “Blades of Glory” and “Office Christmas Party.” Speck drew from personal experience as an adoptive parent in a same-sex relationship.
“Throughout the adoption process, people in the LGBTQ+ community face state-endorsed legal obstacles, colossal financial burdens, and discrimination that the majority of straight parents do not,” said Stacey Stevenson, Family Equality chief executive officer, in a statement. “It takes time, money, and energy for members of this community to become parents. But, most of all, it takes courage. It’s our hope that ‘Love, Lawyers & The Government’ will shed further light on the inequities of the journey to parenthood in America. It’s a monumental struggle for these parents-to-be. But it’s a struggle many are simply not aware of.”
Since publication, the video has received over 500,000 views on Family Equality’s Instagram and was shared on Jennifer Aniston’s Instagram story.