La Jolla couple a voice for adoption

Screenplay, memoir, Web site document experience

By Kirsten Adams


For many couples, adoption seems like a mysterious world of exorbitant fees, attorneys, agents and massive piles of paperwork in triplicate.

Meet Patrick and Jeanie Scott, who overcame those hurdles eight years ago during the adoption of their daughter, Madison, and recently began a quest to share that journey with other couples undergoing the same experiences.

“When you are an adoptive parent, all you ever hear about is children who are reunited with their birth parents,” Jeanie said. “Very seldom is there anything about their lives with their adoptive parents.”

After writing a memoir and a screenplay documenting their journey, the Scotts launched a Web site,

, to publicize the manuscript and raise funds to produce the screenplay.

Only four weeks after its inception, however, the Web site had become a project in its own right, with forums for questions, support and shared understandings and links to attorneys, adoption agencies and psychologists specializing in adoptive children and parents.

“I look at this like a little adoption mall,” Patrick said.

The screenplay is based on the Scotts’ adoption experiences and was co-written by acclaimed screenwriter Michael Berlin, who is also an adoptive father. In July, the Scotts hope to hire an independent producer to begin filming the project.

Douglas Glenn-Clark, a Los Angeles writer who helped produce the manuscript and Web site, said the candid and emotionally truthful nature of the story gives it the potential to have a deep and lasting impact on the world of adoption.

“The unique drama of Pat and Jeanie may be their willingness to be changed but not broken by circumstances beyond their control,” Glenn-Clark wrote. “It is a genuinely uplifting story.”

Perhaps the most extraordinary change came for Patrick, who initially found himself against the idea of adopting a child. Like many men, he said he found it hard to imagine the idea of raising a child who was not his own.

The change of heart came after a conversation with a business associate who had adopted a child.

“I told her that adopted families weren’t ‘real’ families, and she pulled out a picture of her five kids and asked me which one was adopted. She told me, ‘Are you saying that since this isn’t a real family I should just throw this away?’ and boom, I realized she was right,” Patrick said. “Madison is our child in every sense of the imagination.”

Now, with an active online adoption community and a forthcoming film and memoir, the Scotts say they look forward to continuing to share their experiences and offer support and encouragement for other couples traveling the long, hard road of adoption.

“When we tried to adopt, we had no idea the legal journey you have to undergo,” Patrick said. “We’re just a normal couple, and at the end of the day, we got the best thing we could’ve gotten: our daughter.”