Who's Your Daddy? (TV series)

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Who's Your Daddy?
Directed by Bryan O'Donnell
Presented by Finola Hughes
Starring TJ Myers
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Production company(s) 10 by 10 Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel Fox
Original airing January 3, 2005 (2005-01-03)

Who's Your Daddy? was a Fox television prime time 90-minute special hosted by actress Finola Hughes. It centered on a young woman, TJ Myers, being reunited with her biological father, who had not seen her since she was born. The first of six planned episodes aired in January 2005, but low ratings and strong controversy prompted Fox to shelve the remaining episodes indefinitely. They have since appeared on Fox Reality.

The show's premise was that an adult who had been put up for adoption as an infant was placed in a room with 25 men, one of whom was their biological father. If the contestant could correctly pick out who was their father, the contestant would win $100,000. If they chose incorrectly, the person that they incorrectly selected would get the $100,000, although the contestant would still be reunited with his or her father. This show drew controversy from adoption rights organizations, leading to one Fox affiliate (WRAZ in Raleigh, North Carolina) declining to air the series pilot, a 90-minute special.

The first adoption contestant was actress T. J. Myers. After the pilot finished fourth in the Nielsen ratings for its time slot, Fox decided not to broadcast the other five episodes that had been produced. However, the pilot aired as a 'special' and not as a 'series premiere' so technically the series was canceled before airing an episode.[1] United Press International reported that Myers "guessed which of eight men was her father. She guessed correctly and won $100,000."[2]

Despite the controversy, Myers has defended the show:

It was wonderful to meet my birth-family after searching and searching all those years. My adoptive family were totally supportive. I love them dearly. I feel, as most people do, that Fox made a huge mistake by not airing my amazing adoptive family and their viewpoints; I asked and asked them to. But, please know that I am very, very grateful to Fox and all the producers of the show for finding my birth parents.

'Closed records' can be a sad thing. I wrote to the Welfare Agency three different times, three different years, trying to find my birth family and each time the Welfare Agency said that there was no match. My birth father swears that he and his mother went to the Welfare agency themselves, when I was about two or three and had the Welfare agent put a letter in my records stating that he would like to see me, yet all three of the letters I wrote the Welfare Agency came back stating that neither parent had written that they wanted to see me. Each time I received a letter from the Welfare Agency saying that there was no match, it was like another stab in the heart, another time that my birth parents gave me away. It was a hurt, only an adopted child or a child who's parent left them would know. Yes, I am forever grateful to the amazing, amazing parents who adopted me, but I, like most adopted children find it hard to get over the people who gave you away -- the people who, in nature, should have wanted you the most.

Most people do not even know what 'closed records' mean. When a Welfare Agency 'closes' an adopted child’s records, (which the adoption agency would do at the time that the child was given away), it means that the adopted child has no access or information to the birth parents and vice versa. Only after the adopted child turns 18 can they write a letter to the Welfare Agency (that they were adopted from), stating that they would like to see their birth parents and the birth parent/s have to do the same, or the Welfare Agency will not 'open the records' or give out any information about the other party. Which can make it nearly impossible for the adopted child to find their parent/s, because they don't even have the names of their birth parents, let alone a phone number or address.

Not only did I write all those letters, I finally got brave enough to visit the Welfare Agency. I lived in Texas at the time, and was about 22. Didn’t have much money, but I booked a plane ticket from Texas to California and personally visited the Welfare Agency. There was still no match. I was again, heartbroken. It was neat to be in the city where I came into this world, but sad that the two people in the world, that I felt should have wanted me the most, didn’t even care enough to write a letter to the Welfare agency saying that they wanted to see me..." I guess I was feeling sorry for myself, but the feelings of hurt are real.

In addition to meeting her biological father, the show led Myers to meet her half-sisters she had been unaware of, and her birth mother.

Fox Executives confirmed that both the Myers and her birth father agreed to do the show for no money, and that they were only told about the money after all contracts were signed and each had completed background and psychological checks.

Myers has stated that her Mom and Dad (her adoptive parents) were supportive of search for her biological family. Her family stated that any adoptive parent that does not want their adoptive child to find their birth family should take a look at themselves and make sure there are no jealous feelings, or that they that they raised their child with the proper amount of love. Myers stated, "My Mommy is the one who adopted me when I was six weeks old, and always will be."

Myer's birth family was located on behalf of Fox television by International Locator, Inc. (Clearwater, FL), a company that specialized in helping adopted children find their biological parents.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Fox's 'Who's Your Daddy?' contestant T.J. Myers defends the show". UPI News Service. 01/07/2005.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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