The Idea for The Film

Co-producers Maureen Marovitch and David Finch have several acquaintances who adopted children from China. Chatting with one of these couples, they began to wonder about other abandoned girls in China who weren’t adopted internationally – what happened to those girls?

This lead to several weeks of research and the idea originally of doing a documentary on China’s “Ghost Girls”, abandoned girls who went ‘over-quota’ on the number of children they were allowed to have by adopting these girls. Wanting to keep a baby they found or were given but unable to pay the steep fines, many of these families kept the adopted baby without legally registering the child. And so these ‘ghost girls’ had no legal access to medical care, schooling and other rights. While the situation is fairly common, more research showed that the vast majority of these girls were eventually registered when their parents saved up enough to pay the exorbitant fines, or else managed creative to pass the child off like claiming it as belonging to a distant relative.  Very few girls remained unregistered past the start of school age. But the research did show that an untold number of girls, numbering at least in the hundreds of thousands had been given away informally and adopted within China. The impact of adoption on their lives and within China has remained untold, and they wanted to delve into that.


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