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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is one of those rare reality shows that parents and children can watch together without having to worry about strong language, violence, alcohol, and other iffy stuff. Because the series follows real people grappling with real feelings about their adoption experiences, things do get intense, emotionally speaking, and that might be a lot for younger kids to handle. But older teens, especially, could glean some useful take-aways from birth parents who admit that getting pregnant very young was a difficult experence that they weren't entirely ready for because they were largely still children themselves.
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What's the story?
In each episode of FIND MY FAMILY, host Tim Green (a former Atlanta Falcons linebacker) and co-host Lisa Joyner bring adopted children and their birth parents together, walking them through the deeply emotional process of reuniting after decades apart. (It's a process that Green and Joyner understand all too well -- both hosts were also adopted.) The show was inspired by a successful Australian series of the same name, which owes its format to the Dutch series Lost Without a Trace.
Is it any good?
Don't be surprised if you start tearing up five minutes into this show. After all, it's heavy, emotional stuff -- and it was dreamed up by the producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, another surefire tearjerker. The fact that both Green and Joyner come from adoptive families adds even more depth and sincerity to the experience, but you don't need to have a direct connection to the adoption process to appreciate what the featured families are going through. Their emotions are captured in such a raw, inspiring way that you can't help but be affected by their stories. So tune in ... but don't forget the tissues.
Talk to your kids about ...
Famlies can talk about how the show serves a positive social function by helping people pull off something they've been struggling to do on their own for years. What tools do the show's producers have at their disposal that ordinary people don't?
Do you think the show exploits the families' stories to any extent? What steps have the producers taken to show sensitivity to their subject?
What types of emotions are involved when long-lost family members who've never truly met before are finally reunited? Do you think the emotions you're seeing on the show are at all affected by the presence of cameras and the producers' attempts to set up "shots"?
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