October Baby



Faith-based drama about adoption, abortion, forgiveness.
  • Review Date: March 23, 2012
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

For those in the pro-life community, October Baby has positive messages, though it promotes that message in an emotional way that may or may not be appropriate for all families. It also promotes forgiveness, acceptance, honest communication, and learning to trust again after betrayal. Characters find faith-based solutions to their problems.

Positive role models

Hannah is an intelligent, loving young woman who's troubled without knowing why. Viewers take a critical journey with her as she matures, confronts secrets and lies that have had a tumultuous effect on her life, and ultimately forgives those involved. While her friend Jason is supportive, caring, and unselfish, her adoptive parents (a very controlling father and a passive mother) make mistakes and show little respect for their daughter's intelligence or stability. But ultimately, they, too, benefit from introspection and faith.


One disturbing scene in which a medical nurse graphically describes a late-term abortion that had catastrophic results.


A clear effort is made to show that the teens involved aren't sexually active. But the story is propelled by an unwed teen pregnancy that led to a late-term abortion years earlier.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One young man suffers from a hangover and black eye after having had a drink called a "hand grenade." He remembers little except that he was picked up by police for disorderly conduct. The leading character takes prescription drugs for legitimate medical issues.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that October Baby isn't meant for young or sensitive kids. It focuses on very heavy issues that parents are likely to want to discuss with teens who watch: family deception, the would-be grim consequences of a failed late-term abortion, and a young woman's struggle with anger and depression. In a particularly disturbing scene, a witness recalls the graphic details of the abortion attempt. The filmmakers (brothers who wrote, directed, produced, shot, and edited the movie) bring a clear Christian point of view to the material; after a dizzying array of complications, everything is resolved through faith and a devotion to religious values. Despite October Baby's subject matter, there's no sexual activity; there's also no swearing or offensive language, no on-camera drinking or smoking, and no violent action.

What's the story?

When Hannah Lawson (a heartfelt performance by newcomer Rachel Hendrix) unexpectedly collapses, her doctor stuns the 19-year-old with the news that not only is she adopted, but her premature birth was caused by a failed late-term abortion procedure. Her continuing medical problems (epilepsy, asthma, hip impairments) are also asserted to be a result of that early birth. Hannah's parents apologize and try to rationalize their secrecy, but the girl is devastated. She prevails upon her best friend, Jason (the sincere and likeable Jason Burkey), to include her on a spring break road trip to New Orleans with his friends. She hopes that they can stop over in Mobile, Alabama -- the city in which she was born -- to find her birth mother. What follows is Hannah's discovery of more heartbreaking news that her parents kept from her, as well as a series of hurtful encounters -- with Jason's girlfriend, with the nurse who assisted in Hannah's delivery, and with the biological mother who didn't want her. Angry, confused, and frightened, Hannah has to come to terms with her real identity, her parents' betrayal, and a world turned upside-down.

Is it any good?


Earnest and well-meaning, OCTOBER BABY will most likely appeal to a Christian audience that already shares its guiding principles. A warm-hearted romance, good performances, and solid production values are marred by a slow pace, overly literal music choices, and illogical story elements. The plot relies heavily upon coincidence; the tragedies and lies pile up, and as they do, it becomes very hard to suspend disbelief. And the scene in which the delivery nurse (Jasmine Guy) describes the abortion attempt and Hannah's subsequent premature birth seems purposefully shocking (as well as unlikely) in order to drive home a particular point of view. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what different audiences might get out of October Baby. If you're religious, do movies like this one help reaffirm your beliefs or introduce new ones? If you're not religious, what can you learn from them?

  • What are some of the different attitudes in movies and television about teen pregnancy? Why do you think kids are interested in shows like Teen Mom?

  • Talk about honesty between parents and kids. When, if ever, is it OK for parents to lie or keep secrets from their children? Teens: If you've ever been caught lying, how did your parents deal with it?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 23, 2012
DVD release date:September 11, 2012
Cast:Jason Burkey, John Schneider, Rachel Hendrix
Directors:Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin
Studio:Provident Films
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Friendship
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature thematic material

This review of October Baby was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byBeeSpeaks December 1, 2012

Powerful message of love & forgiveness

This is a real tear-jerker. Have a box of tissue handy! A great film for young adults (not really appropriate for kids under 12) to watch with their parents. Geared toward college students on up. When the main character, Hannah Lawson learns that the reasons for her health challenges are related to the fact that she was born prematurely as the result of a failed abortion, she sets out on a journey to find her biological mother. Conflict arises between the girl and her adoptive parents, as she feels betrayed for not having been told the truth. The more facts she uncovers on her quest, the more grieved and confused Hannah becomes. With the support of her faithful friend, Jason, and a belated confession from her parents, the girl comes to grips with who she is and is able to communicate God's grace to the woman who tried to end her life so many years ago. If your life has been touched in any way by the issue of abortion, this is a must-see for you. Not at all the condemning kind of movie you might expect, this film shows the issue from all sides--the young woman with the crisis pregnancy, the clinic worker, the child and her adoptive parents. See how God can take a disastrous situation and make something beautiful of it. BTW--You also need to see the special feature with the film-makers discussing the movie. The actress who played the biological mother had a real-life experience that parallels what she portrayed. Making this movie actually aided in her healing!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bycrashtx1 April 10, 2012

Somewhat uneven but overall good message

The reviewer did a pretty good job. The plot was slow moving and overly complicated, and my wife and I were still trying to sort out some of the flow after the movie was over(so I guess they transferred two severely premature babies from Mobile to where the family lives? Not likely, but ok). Also, the story did not seem to be written or consulted by anyone with adoptive children. There was virtually no use of "birth parents" or "biological parents", just "real mom" and other harsh terms used by the uneducated(I understand the use of those terms in moments of anger by the lead, but this was a constant by all throughout the movie). The morality shown by the leading lady was very good. Not preachy, but she stuck with her values throughout the movie. The writers did know how to pull on(and out) the heartstrings, again, especially if you have been involved in adoption. I do disagree that the conversation with the nurse was purposefully shocking. The entire storyline was about a girl born premature as the result of a failed abortion. At some point what actually happened during the abortion needed to be said. I thought that was the most real and most powerful part of the movie. If people cannot handle the truth then they can go watch Hunger Games again. The part of the movie I struggled with the most was the angle that the girl had emotional issues as a result of the failed abortion and **SPOILER ALERT** loss of her sibling. That seem to be the explanation to her inner turmoil while having a beyond perfect life with truly loving parents.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old March 19, 2014

Well-made, heart warming, life changing.

Excellent film--moving and humorous--exceeded all expectations. A must see, like nothing you've ever seen before.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide