Outside Looking In: Transracial Adoption in America

Three families brought together and pushed apart by transracial adoption explore the implications of white parents adopting black children.

Film Signature Image
True Stories
Premiere Date
February 1, 2002
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
filmmaker Phil Bertelsen

Phil Bertelsen

Emmy and Peabody winner Phil Bertelsen directed Through the Fire, School of the Future, and episodes of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross and Finding Your Roots. He co-directed NBC’s Hope and Fury: MLK, the Movement and the Media and Netflix's Who Killed Malcolm X?, which helped exonerate two men convicted of Malcolm X’s murder. 


Katy Chevigny

Katy Chevigny is an award-winning filmmaker and co-founder of Big Mouth Productions. Most recently, she produced Dark Money, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and she directed one of the storylines in Kartemquin Films’ documentary series Hard Earned, winner of a 2016 Alfred I. DuPont Award, which explores the lives of five American Show more families struggling to get by in today's economy. She co-directed (with Ross Kauffman) the EmmyⓇ-nominated documentary E-TEAM, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Chevigny has produced and/or directed 12 critically acclaimed feature-length documentary films through Big Mouth, including Deadline, Election Day and also 1971 with Marilyn Ness. Her work has won multiple awards, been broadcast on networks including PBS, NBC, HBO, Netflix, Arte/ZDF and has played at festivals around the world. Show less

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The Film

Outside Looking In brings personal insight and a critical lens to transracial adoption, looking at three families facing the challenges of adopting children across racial lines. The film supplies a voice to those directly affected by adoption policies and explores larger topics facing our society: race, family, and identity.