Adopting a new narrative when it comes to adoption

This is the second short film from Sreejith Sreekumar

Writer and producer of Adoption Sreejith Sreekumar
Writer and producer of Adoption Sreejith Sreekumar

BELFAST writer Sreejith Sreekumar is aiming to change the narrative around the adoption process in his new short film, Adoption.

Tackling themes of love, loss, resilience and the redefinition of family, the film follows protagonist Angela (Natasha Lockhart) who, after struggling with infertility, decides to adopt a child called Love (Ariella Neilly).

Sreejith explains that he purposefully chose the name Love in order to highlight that family and parenthood is not confined to genetic bonds. Through Angela and Love’s relationship the film explores the nuances of forming a family in this special way.

The short, which was shot over six days, highlights an important issue, as underlined by a major report into children’s social care services in Northern Ireland.

The report, published last year, revealed that almost 4,000 children were on waiting lists for social care, with many waiting over a year. Earlier this month, report author Professor Ray Jones expressed his frustration that little progress seemed to have been made since he submitted his findings.

Additionally Barnardo’s NI has said the recruitment of new foster carers is being hampered by a number of misconceptions.

Into this context, Sreejith hopes the film will help to create a more positive narrative surrounding children in care and spark more conversations about the benefits of fostering and adoption, encouraging others to embrace it not just as an alternative but as a choice when it comes their own family.

Adoption has been entered into 25 festivals

Adoption is Sreejith’s second short film. His previous work, Shivarathri, was on a very different theme, being a fantasy fictional film based on the lead character’s perspective of the night of Shivarathri.

Released in 2021, it won acclaim in India, capturing 16 awards at Indian film festivals.

However, Sreejith believes Adoption will appeal to audiences universally because of its emotional depth and relatability - similar to films like The Silent Child and Irish Goodbye, which he says are two of his personal favourites.

“Adoption is not just about finding a home for a child, but also about creating a family where love knows no boundaries,” says Sreejith, who hopes it will shine a light on the need for foster and adoptive parents, both in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

Helping bring the story of Adoption to screen are director Ronak Kapoor and cinematographer Sam Houston.

Adoption has been entered into 25 film festivals, including the Foyle Film Festival, the British International Film Festival and the International New York Film Festival.