yvette and alana part dos

yvette and alana part dos

I have been working on other projects a lot the last few weeks, but on Friday I got an astounding call from my friend, Yvette.

A couple of months ago, I filmed with Alana and Yvette, who both contacted me after I posted my op-ed on donor issues. Yvette is an old friend, and it turns out she was adopted and had recently begun unraveling the complex tale of her birth. Alana is a donor kid who has written a screenplay and some terrific songs about her past. Yvette is also a musician so I thought it would be interesting to get their take on how their adoptive/donor conceived status affected them and their work.

When we sat down Yvette explained that her birth mother was a college student who had been impregnated by an Iranian exchange student. For many years, she had been trying to track down information about her birth parents and had managed to make phone contact with her birth mother, but her father proved to be more elusive. She had a picture but that was it- until two weeks ago.

Late one night, she got a Google alert on her father’s name. She followed the link and found that a man had responded to an old post from a half-sister (as an exchange student her father had been very busy and she has a half sister that’s three months older than her) who was seeking information about her father. The respondent said that he had information that might be useful. Yvette contacted him and found that he too was the son of the elusive Iranian and that he was on the hunt as well. Her new half-brother, G, has a twin brother. Their father was married to their mother for 6 years but divorced and dissappeared when the boys were one year olds. Pooling their resources and their know how Yvette, her half sister and two new half brothers (the poster has a twin) quickly made progress.

In addition to making progress on their shared search they also got to know each other a bit. One of Yvette’s new half brothers, G, was fairly aggressive and soon found that their father had re-married after leaving their family and that he has two younger daughters. Through contacting one of the daughters on facebook, he eventually reached their father and got him to agree to meet with him soon when he “travels for business”.

I filmed a performance that Yvette put together to deal with the new information. it’s posted below. It was a haunting and beautiful event and it became clear while watching it that while Yvette’s story has a lot to do with the documentary that I’m working on, it also deserves a more thorough treatment. Yvette is a wonderful storyteller and artist. Rather than make a straightforward documentary about her search we have discussed the idea of a documentary that tracks her efforts to put together a performance based on her work. As such, it will be part narrative of her life and part narrative of her struggle to take these complex and personal stories and weave them into a work of art that will define her life as an artist…

In the meantime, Alana is back from Iceland/Sweden and we are going to finish the script. Yvette, Alana, and I got to sit down with the camera as well this weekend.

This video is a work-in-progress performance of “Adoption Story”. This performance chronicles recent events in her search for her Iranian birth father. Also performing are Danny Tunick, Peter Zummo, and Sohrab Sadaat Ladjevardi.

  • Nancye Good
    Posted at 17:32h, 06 October Reply

    Hey guys,
    I really like this! Yvette is so vulnerable and strong at the same time…
    My mom dated an Iranian guy in college. Then his brother married a Haida princess. They had a huge traditional native american wedding in British Columbia that my parents attended. What was up with Iranian dudes in the ’60s?
    I love the timeliness of the clip, October 17th is in the FUTURE even.
    I’m always noticing family resemblances in my kids… how can any parent not experience that?

  • Alana
    Posted at 10:28h, 16 October Reply


    I used to be a feminist I used to be a freak

    Sold my sperm for bus fare I got £15 a week

    The jobs as good as yours she said your numbers on the pot

    Just abstain the night before and bring us every drop

    But don’t expect a helping hand cause we’re strictly DIY

    But there’s a piles of magazines next door you’re most welcome to try

    We freeze it in a cryostat and you sign your name right here

    It’s a brave new world out there she said for a genetic engineer

    Sperm donor

    Production and delivery became the weekly norm

    I’d hold the pot beneath my arm to keep the sample warm

    In the art of masturbation I truly excelled

    Until I broke the night before rule once too often got expelled

    And sometimes in my darker moments I imagine successes

    Kids grown up and questioning paternal second guesses

    Campaigning on the TV for genetic rights of access

    With Kilroy finger pointing stage-managing the masses

    Sperm Donor – money for old rope

    Sperm donor -its funny but its no joke

    Sperm donor – blood test dna

    Sperm donor – get away

    So if you’ve been affected by he issues in this song

    I don’t have any answers there is no right from wrong

    But should you track me down here then I’m certain come what may

    I could never be your father nor could I ever turn you away

    No matter where you got your genes or the colour of your hair

    There’s a place for you in this world we can never share

    And if I’m the one who gave you life by some proximity

    I just hope to god you haven’t turned out anything like me…

    Sperm donor- money for old rope

    Sperm donor- its funny but its no joke

    Sperm donot- blood test dna

    sperm donor – get away

    I used to be a feminist I used to be a freak…..

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