Market Value Film
Fifteen years ago, a young woman (Valerie Whitaker) was admitted to the emergency room for heroin overdose. As the doctors were preparing to perform a detox procedure, they learned that she was pregnant within her third trimester, prompting an emergency delivery. During Valerie’s recovery, a nurse (Audrey Stewart) overhears a conversation between Valerie and her boyfriend concerning the possibilities of selling their newborn child on the black market. Shortly after Valerie is discharged from the hospital, a concerned Audrey reaches out to her anonymously as someone who is interested in purchasing the child.
Fifteen years later, Valerie Whitaker, now several years sober and nationally recognized as an advocate for locating missing children, has died in search of the child she sold. However, even in her death, the Whitaker family continues the search, which leads to Chicago, where Audrey now resides with her wife (Carrie Stewart) and their adopted 15 year old son (Brian Stewart) – Valerie’s biological son. As the past begins to resurface, Audrey must share the ugly truth regarding the circumstances surrounding her sons adoption, putting all that she’s established, at risk.
“The idea for Market Value is derived from a news segment I was watching one evening about a same sex couple who was having difficulties adopting a child due to their sexual orientation. I don’t know if it was conveyed as lucidly, but it was safe to assume considering that the couple met all other adoption requirements. This wasn’t my first time hearing a story such as this. However, this particular segment caused me to consider how extremely arduous the adoption process must be for this couple. Beyond the normal requirements for legal adoption, they were clearly being challenged in their efforts to provide love and refuge to a child who had been neglected, which made absolutely no sense to me. Being a father of two, my first thought was, “what about the child?” Who’s considering what’s best for the child? So, I decided to write a story, not completely like the situation from the news segment, but one that would cause people to ask: what is most important when it comes to seeing that a child is well taken care of? And what price are you willing to pay to ensure their well-being?” – Wendell Etherly