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Louis Theroux's Altered States

  • Season 1
  • 3 episodes
  • Documentary
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Episode 3: Take My Baby

Summary

The documentary-maker explores how adoption is a big business in California, meeting agencies, facilitators and lawyers matching babies to parents, with the adoption process often costing as much as $50,000. He meets families that have spent vast sums on children they are unable to conceive themselves, and women preparing to give up their babies, hearing the stories of poverty, addiction and abuse that have inspired their decision. He also discovers how the adoption process is open to abuse, and reflects on what happens when a mother has a post-birth change of heart.

Review

This week Louis Theroux casts a concerned eye over America’s “open adoption” business, in which private agencies connect would-be parents with pregnant mothers who are prepared to give up their babies.

It’s hard to think of a tougher decision a prospective mother could make, and in the case of 20-year-old Jessica it has huge ramifications for her own parents: “I’m losing my grandchild,” says Jessica’s mum. “When he’s born it’ll be like a death in the family for me.”

As ever, Theroux delicately probes the pain on all sides like a surgeon parting deep tissue, but he also finds a tale of how the process can prove a happy one, as ten-year-old Isaiah meets his birth mother for the first time.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

Streaming

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterLouis Theroux

Crew

rolename
DirectorWesley Pollitt
Series producerArron Fellows

All episodes

  • Episode 3

    Take My Baby

    Summary

    The documentary-maker explores how adoption is a big business in California, meeting agencies, facilitators and lawyers matching babies to parents, with the adoption process often costing as much as $50,000. He meets families that have spent vast sums on children they are unable to conceive themselves, and women preparing to give up their babies, hearing the stories of poverty, addiction and abuse that have inspired their decision. He also discovers how the adoption process is open to abuse, and reflects on what happens when a mother has a post-birth change of heart.

    Review

    This week Louis Theroux casts a concerned eye over America’s “open adoption” business, in which private agencies connect would-be parents with pregnant mothers who are prepared to give up their babies.

    It’s hard to think of a tougher decision a prospective mother could make, and in the case of 20-year-old Jessica it has huge ramifications for her own parents: “I’m losing my grandchild,” says Jessica’s mum. “When he’s born it’ll be like a death in the family for me.”

    As ever, Theroux delicately probes the pain on all sides like a surgeon parting deep tissue, but he also finds a tale of how the process can prove a happy one, as ten-year-old Isaiah meets his birth mother for the first time.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

    Streaming

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterLouis Theroux

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorWesley Pollitt
    Series producerArron Fellows

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