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International Adoption Movement Founder to Visit Garden City

Two adoptive Garden City families appear in Craig Juntunen's documentary, "STUCK."

International Adoption Movement Founder to Visit Garden City
Craig Juntunen, author, filmmaker and founder of the International Adoption Movement, “Both Ends Burning,” will appear in Garden City at The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, to preview his award- winning full length documentary “STUCK” to local residents.

“STUCK” chronicles the worsening situation currently being faced by adoptive parents from around the world as they attempt to consummate an increasingly difficult and sometimes impossible process of bringing an adoptable child from overseas into their families.

Millions of orphans face a crushing wait, while a broken system keeps them from the one thing they most need, a family.

Narrated by Mariska Hargatay, the film, which has been characterized as a “different kind of love story,” exposes how the current system is damaging children as well as discouraging adoptions and focuses on the need to fight for the most fundamental human right of these children; to grow up in a family, not in an orphanage.

Two adoptive Garden City families, the Oellrichs and the Powers, appear in the film, which will premiere publicly in theaters throughout North America beginning in late February as a part of a 60-city bus tour hosted by Mr. Juntunen, which will roll across America to raise public awareness of this pressing issue and will culminate in late spring with an “Empty Stroller March” in Washington, D.C.

Immediately after the showing, Mr. Juntunen will discuss the latest developments regarding international adoptions and the adoption advocacy movement he founded, suggest ways attendees can get involved if they wish to help improve the plight of these innocent children and take questions.

Nearly three years in the making, “STUCK” debuted at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival and subsequently won The People’s Choice Award at The Heartland Film Festival last summer.

The film was also shown to members of Congress and their staffs inside the Capitol Building under the auspices of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), an adoptive parent who has become a “Both Ends Burning” champion to her colleagues and other policymakers.

Public distribution rights were recently acquired by the iconic Hollywood film company, Samuel Goldwyn films.

In addition to producing “STUCK” and founding “Both Ends Burning,” Mr. Juntunen’s efforts on behalf of orphans include a book by the same name detailing his family’s own story in adopting his three children from Haiti. He and his wife, Kathi, have since taken over and now run orphanages there. He is currently developing a screenplay to be called “Family of Five” based on his, his wife's and adoptive children’s experiences in becoming a family.

Lutheran Church of the Resurrection is located at 420 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, N.Y.

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