A foster family with a difference | DW Documentary

A foster family with a difference | DW Documentary

Alina is being raised by two foster mothers. She now wants to adopt their surname as a sign that she belongs to the family. At the same time she seeks contact with her birth father. Neither task is simple.

Alina is now a teenager. She’s lived with her foster family since she was a baby. Having two foster mothers rather than one mother and one father is still uncommon in Germany, but it is now legal. Same-sex couples have been able to foster children for more than 30 years. Alina is doing well. She does sports and is an ambitious recorder player. But even with all the care and support, she still has one or two unfulfilled wishes. A report by Almut Röhrl.

#documentary #dwdocumentary #fosterfamily #samesexparents #adoption
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Video Transcript

Foreign the whole class knows I’m a foster child and I’m okay with that because I’m not the only foster child there are other foster children too Elena lives with her foster mothers Karena and Melanie and their children in Stuttgart in southern Germany Elena knows what she wants the same surname to

Properly belong like the others and on the other hand contact with their biological father but that’s not so easy Alina is 14 and quite independent she’s already tried out a few Hobbies but she’s really taken to rowing her specialty is the single skull I think we can carry it down now is there room down there Thank you foreign I often like being alone just being free of all those thoughts school and so on just focusing on one thing sometimes there’s too much going on in my head on your marks get set go but Selena feels good in her foster family Lunch is ready today yummy how was the carnival party today

What did you do there same-sex couples have been able to take and foster children in Germany for more than 30 years there are no exact figures in such Foster families in Germany estimates put the percentage in the low single figures Melanie has two of her own children who are younger than Elena

Endurance they were conceived with the help of a sperm donation from a friend that’s one way for same-sex couples in Germany to have children Elena came to Melanie and Karena at the age of 14 months so when I was little four weeks or so I fell on my head

I was still with my birth mother um someone noticed something a bruise on my head so I was taken to hospital and it turned out it was a skull fracture and then the court decided it might be better if I went to another family this is com Ment my parents Melanie and Karina I call them Mommy and Mama and I have siblings Family are coming for coffee and cake you can see the angles are here and Grandpa and Grandma visit often hello my chance Mommy just baked it foreign I have something for you because we’re not actually celebrating Dominic’s birthday today is a completely different celebration so the name change don’t know let’s have a look wait oh fun from the state capital that’s it I knew it yes from today my name is Engel um

Really yeah yes I think so here it says [Applause] thank you finally welcome to the family now I get to take my parents and siblings last name and it’s angle that’s really cool it’s been a long wait in Germany the name changing process is complex and bureaucratic you have to convince the

Authorities that the change is really necessary only about one in five applications is approved the mothers also have a gift for Elena Melanie and I have a plan we’re all going to take a nice family trip from the 6th to the 8th of April we’re going to Hamburg wow

And there’s this great miniature World we’re definitely going there we’ll take the trainer for that Elena plucks up the courage for something else exciting she wants to contact her birth parents so right now we’re calling my birth father I spoke with him on the phone for the first time last year before Christmas

And it went really well I’ve never seen him in person not even by video I only have pictures of him so I’ve never seen him It’s important for me to be in contact with him because for 12 13 years I didn’t hear anything from him okay okay I live here in a really really great family but I would also like to know more about my biological parents yeah what they do in everything yeah

Sometimes it’s stressful sometimes it’s lovely sometimes well yeah not available should I try again yeah try again Foreign no I’m not disappointed I just find it okay I can understand I’ve been sick too but he could at least send a WhatsApp he doesn’t have WhatsApp Elena is torn she wants a relationship with her birth parents but they’re not reliable sometimes I wonder what it would be like

If I had grown up with my birth family without any problems just having a father and a mother But I’m also okay with the situation as it is I want to start a new song with you today a new piece of music you might know it green sleeves sleeves recorder lessons with Katya Fisher I’m not happy yet again My dream is to be on a big stage playing in front of a big crowd they’re off to Hamburg the celebration trip for Alina’s name change I can tell we’re up north maybe it’s just a bit of a shower oh Dreadful weather here the sun shining let’s go

Yeah don’t stress now the weather’s nice we have stress family has a lot planned they’re visiting the world’s largest model Railway system Albert Philharmonic Hall in miniature somewhere she dreams of playing one day they’ve arranged another call with Alina’s father Benjamin for you so it’s not available

Should we try again later yes we’ll try again later Elena is disappointed Doesn’t change her big dream On a great big Open Stage to be there I’d love to be on this really really big stage in Hamburg and play the recorder there This dream is already pretty close at least in terms of location the mothers are up to something his way up to the big hole this leads up to the concert hall the big one we just saw would you be happy if you could play there now oh my God here comes the artist

Oh my God that’s crazy and indeed Alina is allowed into the Great Hall of the elb philharmoni a concert just for her family Foreign Not so windy out here one dream has come true but in terms of Alina’s father he did contact her once in the meantime continues to be unreliable

Video “A foster family with a difference | DW Documentary” was uploaded on 06/05/2023 by DW Documentary Youtube channel.