Film poster for "Unadopted" with baby pictures on black background.
Film poster for "Unadopted" with baby pictures on black background.
22-year-old Noel Anaya investigates why the foster care system never found him a “forever family”


Regular price $559.00


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online | STRONGLY RECOMMENDED - Video Librarian | "A terrific film" - Noel King, NPR

Adoption Studies • Foster Care • Children, Youth & Families • Mental Health

Date of Completion: 2020 | Run Time: 33 minutes ​| Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide (Coming Soon) | Directors: Paula Neudorf & Arianna LaPenne Producers: Noel Anaya & Bob Calo

Of the 440,000 kids in foster care in the U.S., more than a quarter is over age 12. Adoption rates for these older kids are abysmally low. What happens when you're “too old” to get adopted? After 20 years in foster care, Noel Anaya was never adopted. He was determined to investigate what went wrong, and finds the answers in his first documentary film. UNADOPTED starts with Anaya untangling his own unique story, which leads him to a wider examination that reveals the social welfare system’s silent but pervasive systemic bias against families of color, and teenagers aka “older youth". While most young adults look to their parents for answers about identity and upbringing, Anaya turns to court records, social workers, and most importantly, three California teens who reveal the critical decisions they’re currently making to secure a “forever family”or not.

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Jessica Brangiel, Electronic Resources Management Librarian, Swarthmore College
"Unadopted packs a punch yet leaves the viewer somewhat hopeful due to the filmmakers decision to showcase the positive outcomes for kids who have successfully survived the system either through emancipation or in one rare case adoption at age sixteen. This film will resonate with students from high school through college and would complement course work in children/family/youth studies. It is equally valuable to adult viewers inspiring the desire to get involved to change this broken system."

Video Librarian
Strongly Recommended "Filmmaker Noel Anaya takes a hard look at America’s broken foster care system in the thoughtful documentary Unadopted [...] [T]he most compelling material concerns Anaya himself, as he unravels his life story and gets some answers as to why he ended up in foster care to begin with. The answers, steeped in outrageous cultural and racial biases that separated Anaya from his Latina, non-English-speaking mother, when he was a small boy, will leave one brooding over our treatment of vulnerable minorities."

NPR | Noel King, host of Morning Edition & Up First
"A terrific film"

School Library Journal | Recommended DVDs for Elementary, Middle School, and High School Classrooms
Noel is a thoughtful and prepared interviewer at the heart of a film that doesn’t offer neat answers. Experiences of children of color in foster care are specifically addressed."

National Review
"These programs tug at our heartstrings with the tragic details of the child-welfare system they present. But if you watch closely, you see that they also reveal important policy errors in the system and that they give the public a window into just how things have gone so wrong."

Read Producer & Subject Noel Anaya's interview with Medium

Read Producer & Subject Noel Anaya's article on awareness in Amara

Noel Anaya is a public speaker who focuses most of his energy to create awareness for people in the community. He uses multimedia as a medium to produce quality storytelling primarily about foster care and his own life. His Story “After 20 Years, Young Man Leaves Foster Care On His Own Terms,” as seen on NPR, won an Edward Murrow award, a Third Coast Festival award and an NYF Radio Award Noel plans to receive a BA in Media Communications and wishes to continue telling stories on social topics.