A Father for Brittany (1998) - full transcript

Keith and Kim Lussier are a childless couple who are given custody of a 3-month-old foster child, Brittany. However, tragedy strikes when Kim dies of cancer in the middle of the adoption process, leaving Keith to fight for Brittany's custody alone.

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(MultiCom Jingle)

(light jazzy music)

- Keith?

Keith, are you here?

(answering machine beeping)

- [Woman] Hi honey, it's Mom.

You and Keith must still
be at the doctor's office

but call me as soon as you get in, okay?

I hope it's good news.

- Down, send, hut!

(guys cheering)



Yup, that's all, thank you very much.

Let go of me now.

Yeah you always did like Jack Best.

Good job, man.

Nice job, pal.

(crowd chattering)

There, there, she's looking at me.

- [Keith] Her?

- [Jack] Don't point, man!

Yeah, she's looking at me, there.

- [Keith] I don't think
she's looking at you.

- Yeah, right there.

- [Waiter] Here we go, boys.

- [Both] Wings.



- [Waiter] Tuesday special.

- Excellent.

- Today's not Tuesday.

- All day, buddy, yeah.

- Today is Tuesday?

- Mhmm.

- We gotta go.

- What's the matter?
- Right now,

let's go.
- What?

We just got here, what's the matter?

Who you talking about?

Hey what's going on?

I got to see you next week, man.

- [Waiter] You got it.

(car revving)

- Oh boy.

Well, just be happy there's
no gun in the house.

There's always my couch, buddy.

- I may need it.

- Go get 'em!

(car revving)

(tense guitar music)

(floor creaking)

- Hi.

Honey, I...

I'm so sorry.

- You could have at
least called, you know.

- I know, I know, I just...

I thought it was Monday.

Really, I did.

(woman sighing)

So...

What happened, what'd this guy say?

- Same thing Dr. Salomon said,

that we should start
thinking about adoption.

- So then we'll just,

we'll adopt, right?

No big deal.

Like you said, I mean there's
a million kids out there

that need a home.

We'll get the best one.

I'm sorry.

- You taste like chicken wings.

- I like when you talk like that.

- Get away from me, I'm still mad at you.

- No you're not.

- Keith?

- [Keith] Yeah, babe?

- I wanna start looking now.

- Okay.

Now now?

- Yes, now now.

What's wrong?

- Nothing.

No, nothing, it just seems kind of sudden.

- No it's not, we've
been trying for a year.

- I know, well trying, that's different.

I'm real good at trying.

- You'd be a real good dad

too, Keith.
- Oh, I know, I know.

- I really want a baby, sweety.

You know that, and with
my job and maternity

leave now,
- I know.

Let's just wait for you to,

you know, come down off
the fertility pills, okay?

- It's not like this is some kind

of irrational decision, Keith.

- I know.

I know.

- So what do you think?

- Hey where's the pot roast?

(door creaking)

(somber piano music)

Are you asleep?

- No.

- Listen, I just had this flash

when I was down in the kitchen.

The pot roast was really good, by the way,

way better than my mom's.

Wanna know what it was?

It was of me

teaching a little kid
how to pitch a baseball.

- And how did that feel?

- It felt pretty good.

I gotta say, it kind of lit
me up there for a while.

- I'm glad.

- [Jack] No, was she pissed off?

- [Keith] Well, I did make
a good point back then.

- [Jack] Why didn't she beat you?

- [Keith] I got to work.

- You're kidding.

(laughing) Guess you're
not gonna do that again.

- [Keith] Guess I'm not.

- So what, you're gonna
actually look for a kid?

Who's already looking?

- She is.

We got a meeting with an
adoption agency next week.

- Wow.

How long does that usually take?

- Don't strain yourselves, girls.

Wouldn't want any excuses when
we kick your asses Saturday.

- [Jack] Well thanks for
your concern, sweetheart.

Yeah yes.

- [Man] Can I have an aisle search please?

- So you actually think you're ready

for this parenting thing huh?

- Yeah, I guess.

- Big change.

You remember Callis.

He got pretty snowed under.

- Take a look at his wife.

- What about Barney?

I mean one week he's painting
himself green and yellow

for the Packers home opener then nothing.

- Will you shut up?

You're starting to sound like my mom.

In the first place, Kim is gonna handle

all the kid stuff.

It's like she was born to be a mom.

And the second, it's not
gonna happen right away.

These things can take years sometimes.

- [Man] Hey, hey lady, look out!

- Oh dear, oh, oh.

- No, no.
- Well,

let's hope so for your sake.

- Oh, great.

Oh, great.

Dammit Keith, you better be on your way.

- Hey, you seen that new girl in dispatch?

- Oh, here's your problem.

Here's why you're leaking oil anyway.

Your drain plug is cross-threaded.

- Well you seen her?

- Who?
- Judy?

- Yeah, that's her.
(pager beeping)

- [Keith] That my beeper?

- It's Kim.

(oil squishing)

- Just a bit more tea for you.

And let's see.

- [Old Woman] Why don't
we just get started, okay?

- Okay, yeah, he's probably just tied up

in traffic, that's all.

- I see by your application
that you're a speech therapist

for the school district.

- Yes, that's right.

(tires screeching)
(car revving)

- I don't see any life
insurance listed here.

You're both gonna need some.

- Yeah, my husband's definitely gonna need

life insurance after today.

(car revving)

- Of course it's
important that the husband

be just as committed to the
adoption as the wife is.

- Mhmm.

- That's why we don't allow
single parent adoptions.

- Right.

(tires screeching)

- That must be him.

- Yes, it is, speak of the devil.

(door slamming)

- [Keith] Hi.

(water splashing)

(dishes clanking)

- Really not ready for
this, are you, Keith?

- Sure, I am.

I am.

- You've thought about it.

- Yeah, I thought about it.

- Well so where does having
a baby rank with say,

playing football and playing golf

and hanging out with the guys?

- It's above football and
hanging out with the guys

and just below golf.

Honey, come on, I'm kidding, I am kidding.

- I'm not kidding, Keith.

We're talking about having
a child here, you know,

being parents for the rest of our lives,

and I would really like to
know how you feel about it.

- I feel fine about it.

- You feel fine?

- [Keith] Yeah.

- So why'd you tell Edna
that this was my idea?

- [Jack] So when do you find out

if you totally screwed this thing up?

- [Keith] The approval's on Saturday.

- [Jack] The day of the game?

- Yeah.

The agency's still
checking us out, I guess,

driving Kim crazy.

She's already emotional as hell

coming off her pills.

Her stomach's not bothering her.

I'm beginning to wonder whether
the whole thing's worth it.

- Oh, do not tell her that.

- No kidding.

- You two getting along all right?

- Yeah, fine.

I mean, then she thinks I'm an
insensitive pig and all, but,

- Yeah, yeah, besides all that.

- You know I'll be fine
if we get approved.

I just hope I didn't blow it.

- Hey Loosh!

Saturday, man.

Or if you want to save
yourself the trouble,

you can forfeit right now.

(men laughing)

- That guy's an idiot.

- [Jack] We're gonna beat these guys.

(whistle blowing)

(players chattering)

- [Man] Get it on the next play!

- [Woman] Way to go, guys.

Come on, guys.

- All right, down, check, git!

- One speedball, two
speedball, three speedball,

four speedball, five speedball.

Ooh yes, ladies and
gentlemen, 14 zip, hah!

And the chump can't even
get it over the line.

- She beep?

- [Friend] No, man, I told
you I'd tell you right away.

- It's important, we're
supposed to find out today

about the kid.

- Yeah I know, you told
me a hundred times.

- Hey, Loosh!

Come on, we don't have time for this,

we're getting our asses kicked!

- [Crowd] Yeah, yeah!

- All right, guys,

I gotta see this idiot
two days a week at work,

so let's get something going right now.

Okay, Rick and John, you go long.

Keith, you do a button hook,

you'll blow right by 'em,
they won't see you okay?

On one, let's go.

- [Team] Break!

- [Man] On defense!

- You're dead meat, Loosh!

- Down set!

Hike!

(energetic music)

- Let go!

(pager beeping)

- Keith!

You're approved!

- [Man] Where they at, Keith?

- [Kim] It is, it's true.

- [Keith] You are the best, you know that?

- [Kim] I know.

- [Keith] (laughing) The
best girl I ever had.

- [Keith] The only girl
you ever had. (chuckling)

- [Keith] Can you imagine if
Mrs. Sawyer could see us now?

- Oh.

Keith Lussier, you come over here

and sit next to Kimberly.

She'll be a good influence on you.

- Yeah, right.

- Well here's to Mrs.
Sawyer, third period English.

- Here's to Kimberly Lussier.

The beautifulest, sexiest mother to be

in all of Wisconsin.

- Oh, don't stop there.

(bright music)

♪ Come on baby get the good time roll ♪

♪ Come on baby let me thrill your soul ♪

♪ Come on baby let the good time roll ♪

♪ Roll all night long ♪

♪ Come on baby yes this is me ♪

♪ This is something I just can't leave ♪

♪ Come on baby let the good time roll ♪

♪ Whoah all night long ♪

- Okay.

To our baby.

- Yes.
- Brittany Marie Lussier

who's out there somewhere right now.

And to my lovely wife

who's looking very fussed right now.

(guests laughing)

Muster your motherhood.

- To the new parents,
our precious Kim, sweety.

And of course the wonderful husband Keith.

This is going to be one
very lucky little baby

because let me tell you,
this is two great kids.

So here's to them.

Two real sweethearts, huh!

- Here's to the baby.

Here's to baby Brittany Lussier.

Here's to our son and
Kimberly's first child.

(guests chattering)

- Hah!
- This is so exciting!

♪ Cupid has come ♪

(guests chattering)

- So tell me again,

how many years was this supposed to take?

- Shut up.

- I'm gonna...

- You all right?

- Yeah, I'm good.

I need to get someone.

- She may not look like a grandmother

but didn't she sound like a grandmother?

(guests laughing)

- Excuse me.

Just one second.

- This it?

- Yeah.

- Wow, pretty cute kid.

Man, you're in there deep.

This is a legitimately cute kid, man.

Look at the cheeks on this thing.

- (knocking) Kim?

Kim, are you all right, honey?

- Yeah, it's okay mom.

It's just these stupid
hormones they had me on.

- [Mom] You shouldn't be
having any reactions to those

after all this time.

I want you to see a doctor.

- Mom, it's fine, really.

I'll be right out, okay?

- She's fine.

- Careful, careful, please.

- Amazing.

You're actually gonna be a father.

- Yeah, I know, weird huh?

- Oh god, oh god.

(groaning)

(tense music)

- [Kim] Watch the picture, Dad.

- [Bob] Well it was his idea.

- [Keith] No it wasn't my idea.

- [Kim] Please be careful.

- Jesus.

- [Keith] You got it, Bob?

Watch the picture.

- [Bob] Oh, it was his idea.

He wanted to put it down,

put it together downstairs.

- Keith?

Did any instructions come with this

changing table?
- Kim, where are the

instructions to the changing table?

- They're on the hall tabletop.

- Watch the ceiling, watch the ceiling.

Okay, where'd you want this, honey?

- Here by the window,
right under the window.

- I'll move out of the way.
- So this will have to go.

- I really think it belongs in the corner.

Who wants the baby in the direct sun?

- [Keith] Ma.

- This is the last move.

- Got it?
- Sure. (laughing)

- Here?

- [Kim] No, center it
to the left a little.

To the left, to the left.

Stop, oh back a little.

Okay, down.

Right.

- [Keith] Yeah?

- Yeah.
- This is great.

- You know, on second thought,

I think that I'm gonna...

Just kidding, it's perfect, it's perfect.

- I'll go see if Rob needs anything.

- I'll go with you.

Anybody want anything to eat?

- [Kim And Keith] No thanks.

- Thanks, Dad.

- You're welcome, ow.

(Kim laughing)

- (sighing) I think it looks great.

- Yup.

Just watch out for the sunburn.

- I mean I'm beginning to believe

this is true, you know?

There's gonna be a baby in here.

- Yup.

- Just wait till I get those curtains up,

those beautiful lace curtains.

There's gonna be enough shade.

No sunburn for baby Brittany.

- [Keith] Yeah.

- And Keith, I'm really glad
we went with teddy bears.

They are so cute.

I mean I can't believe
this mobile we found.

Look at all the teddy bears,

it matches the border and
the sheets that we got,

the changing table.

- Yeah, it's nice.

- Hey, families!
- Hi, Jack.

- [Jack] Where's my boy?

- [Donna] Upstairs!

- I told you about this
the other day, remember?

- Don't worry about it, he'll come around.

- Yeah?

- Yeah, I'm serious.

He's a hell of a lot better than I was

when I was his age.

- Oh, I doubt that.

- No, I'm serious.

Donna?

- [Donna] What?

- Tell her what kind of
prospective young father was I?

- [Donna] Terrible.

- There, you see?

I was into duck hunting in those days too.

I used to come home smelling like

wet dogs and cigars.

And then you came along.

And suddenly my golf
game started slipping,

the beer started tasting flat.

- Oh, that'll be the day, dad.

- Hey, I'm serious.

You know why, because suddenly,

I had this little girl

whose face would light up
when I walked into the room.

And now you're gonna
have a baby of your own.

Oh, baby.

(gentle music)

Listen, don't you worry about Keith.

He's got a good heart.

And when this baby gets a piece of it

he's gonna be a goner for her

just like I am for you.

- [Kim] Thank you, daddy.

(clubs whooshing)

(baby babbling and crying)

- Hey Captain, we gonna do this?

Hmm, good?

This one's for you, kid.

Oh yeah!

- Not bad, Jacko, not bad.

Okay I'm off a bit.
(pager beeping)

Be right back.

- [Jack] Aw, man.

(phone ringing)

- This is Keith.

Hi Bob, what's up?

The hospital, what happened?

(tense music)

Uh huh, well what did the doctors say?

I mean what are they saying?

Yeah, right away, of course.

I'm on my way.

(car revving)

All right, thanks a lot.

- [Jack] You sure you don't want me

to go in with you?

- [Keith] No, no, I'm fine, thanks.

- [Jack] All right, call me at home!

(tense music)

- [Announcer] Dr. Park to the ICU.

Dr. Park, ICU.

(people chattering)
(equipment beeping)

- Hi, baby.

- Hi.

- How you doing, sweety?

- I'm not really sure yet.

Is it cancer?

- The doctor said so.

- How bad is it?

- Well they're not really sure.

They want to operate right away.

Do a complete hysterectomy.

- You're going to be all right.

We'll be with you every step of the way.

- Guess we're not going to
the movies tonight, huh dad?

- Well, not tonight.

- Wow, a hysterectomy.

Unbelievable.

Oh well, it was lousy equipment anyway.

Thank god for adoption huh?

What?

- Nothing.

- Is there something wrong?

Is there a problem?

- No, the doctor just thinks
maybe we ought to just,

put it on hold for a minute,

just till we see what
we're dealing with here.

- No, but that means.

What, no Keith we can't,

we could lose Brittany.

- [Keith] I know.

- I mean she's practically here!

- I know honey,

let's just see what we're dealing with.

Okay, I'm sure you'll
be up on your feet soon.

(gentle somber music)

Hi, Edna.

It's Keith Lussier.

- Hi, Keith.

Look, I'm just on my way up

but tell Kim that we still don't know

when the baby's due in.

There's nothing wrong, though.

It's just the same old
bureaucratic runaround.

- No, no, I'm not really
calling about that.

It's about Kim.

- [Edna] Yeah?

- Boy, it's hard to just
come right out and say.

It turns out well,

it turns out that she has cancer.

- Oh no.

Oh my god, no.
- Yeah, yeah.

We're all kind of in shock here.

We still don't know how bad it is yet,

but listen, what I was wondering,

was well, you know, if
it's not too serious

and Kim gets back on her
feet fairly soon, see?

And she's really got
her heart set on this.

And I mean, we named her
Brittany and everything.

Now I know we're gonna have

to postpone this for a little while

but what I was wondering is if maybe

she could just stay in Korea
for a little while longer,

just till we see what we're up against.

- Keith, we can't do that.

But there are any number
of other children.

- I know, I know.

But see, after getting the
picture and everything,

I got it right here.

Kim made copies of it for
all our friends and stuff.

It's like she's already ours.

And now, after this, it's
gonna really devastate her

to have to give her up.

- [Edna] I'm really sorry but,

there's nothing we can do.

This is a baby girl,

we can't just put her back on the shelf.

- I know, I know.

- [Edna] But you call me just as soon

as Kim's out of the woods, okay?

Okay, Keith?

- Yeah.

Yeah, I will.

- [Edna] And I'm really sorry about this.

Tell Kim I'll be praying for her.

And Keith, you take care
of yourself too, okay?

- Okay.

- [Edna] We'll find you
a wonderful child, Keith,

I promise you.

Okay.

- Okay, thanks.

Bye.

(light music)

Nice and slow.

- Welcome home, dear.

- It'll just be a minute.

We'll be right down.

I don't know how we'll
get rid of everybody.

I don't know what she was thinking.

- No, no it's fine, it's fine.

I just need a minute to
get my breath is all.

All right, you go tell the others.

I'll be right there.

(gentle music)

(guests chattering)

- Look out, look out, these are hot.

Look out.
- Oh, here we go.

Wait, let me get another one.

- [Marge] Put something
under here, will you?

- Sorry I had to take all these.

- [Marge] There you go.

(guests chattering)

- You okay?
- Ah!

Here she is.
- I'm fine.

I'm great.

I have an announcement to make.

I just talked to Edna and guess what?

We're getting Brittany after all.

- [Keith] What, what?

- Yeah.

- Oh, Kim.

That's wonderful!

- [Kim] Yeah, I thought so.

- But how?

Now what happened?

- Did you tell her what the doctor said?

- Yes, I told her exactly what he said,

that they got 99% of the cancer

and they're confident that
I'll make a full recovery.

So.

There you go.
- Wow!

- [Marge] Grandbaby!

- We are!
- I'm so happy.

- There you go.

- [Donna] Wonderful.

- Let's leave it.

- Oh Keith, this is crazy.

- What?

- You heard what the doctor said.

This is a very aggressive kind of cancer

and they didn't even get all of it.

I mean who's gonna look
after this little baby

when she's having chemotherapy?

- Everybody's gonna help.

- Her family knew about his, didn't they?

- No.

- Nobody even thought
to talk to us about it.

- Marge!

- Look.

This is something that's
going to affect all of us.

Now Kim is in for a long, hard fight.

I don't think this is any time for them

to bring a little baby into the house.

Did you talk to Dr. Sorram about it?

- No, but he's very optimistic.

You heard him, she's young, she's strong.

- And she still has cancer.

- And they got 99% of it, mom.

- Meaning they didn't get all of it.

Look Keith, listen to me.

I'm not saying that Kim isn't gonna come

through this just fine.

But with chemotherapy and everything,

Keith, she's gonna get a lot worse

before she gets better.

And with a little baby to raise,

this is not fair to the child, Keith.

- What am I supposed to do,

go in there and tell
her she can't have it?

- Are you ready to start raising a baby?

Now I want you to think about that, Keith.

And then you go and talk to Kim.

- Marge, let's go.

Keith.

(somber guitar music)

(light music)

- Marge gave you an earful, huh?

- Well.

She's just concerned, is all.

- Come here.

Come here.

I'm gonna promise you something, okay?

- Yeah?

- I promise that this baby
is gonna be the best thing

that ever happened to us.

Okay?

- Okay.

- It's true.

And you're gonna be the
greatest, greatest dad.

- Can I still play a little golf?

- Absolutely not.

(Kim laughing)

(phone ringing)

- [Donna] Hello?

No, this is her mother.

Oh hi, Edna.

Any news?

(truck revving)

I shouldn't have let Bob do the shopping!

How are we ever gonna find what we need?

Now we need formula, we need wet wipes.

We need...

- All right just give me a second.

I want to get a shot.

- How many kids are we getting?

It's like Desert Storm in here.

- Mom, don't forget Little Piggy.

I'm gonna wait up for you guys, okay?

And call me as soon as
you get to the airport.

- Honey, we're not even
gonna be back till like

three in the morning.
- I don't care.

I'm gonna wait, okay?
- Whoa, whoa.

Hold it now, I wanna get a
before picture here, all right?

Everybody.

(camera clicking)

Haha, great!

- Good bye.

- Hurry home, Mr. Dad.

- Good bye.

See you.
- Drive carefully, huh?

Let me get a shot.

- Dad, stop it.

(camera clicking)

(clock ticking)

(Bob snoring)

- Okay, here.

(keys clinking)

Watch it, watch it.

Okay.

Come on.

Honey?

Honey?

Guess who's here?

(gentle music)

- Hi there.

Hi.

So pretty.

Look at you.

Daddy, look.

- I wanna see this kid.

Oh, baby I'm so happy for you.

Look at that hair on this kid!

I mean, kinda she takes
after her old man huh?

- Yeah.

- Take a picture, daddy.

Take a picture.
- Yeah yeah yeah.

- Look at you, baby girl.

Keith, look.

- Yeah, she's beautiful.

- Look at you sweet girl.
- Okay now.

- Here, Keith.

You come take her, okay?

- Oh, no, it's okay.
- Here we go, come on.

Keith, you get in.
- It'll be okay.

Really, come sit.

It's really okay.

Just be careful of her head.

Support it.

There we go.

- Hi.
- What do you think, mom?

- Smile.
- She's wonderful.

(camera clicking)

- Keith, smile.

Smile.

(gentle music)

That's it, that's it.

- [Keith] Kim, it's a trap.

They're trying to trick
us, I'm telling you.

- [Kim] Keith, will you relax?

- See, this is what they do.

They tell you at three o'clock

just to get you relaxed
and they come at two

just to get you off guard.

- She had a cancellation, sweetheart.

- Huh?

- She had a cancellation, honey.

- Yeah, right.

- Hello, pretty girl.

There we go, all this free stuff.

Ah, pretty lady, little baby girl.

Keith, could you come
here for a minute please?

- What?

- Could you finish dressing her, please?

- [Keith] Yeah, are you okay?

- Yeah, I'm fine.

Just, I'll be right back.

Here's her dress.

Excuse me, bye bye.

- Hello, baby.

Okay.

Oh boy.

Honey?

She's here!

Kim?

Okay, give me your arm.

(door knocking)

Hi.

Come on in.

(baby crying)

- Oh, sweety, it's okay.

It's okay, it's okay.

It's okay.

It's okay.

- Maybe she's hungry.

- No, no, no, I just fed her.

It's okay.
- Yeah.

How's she doing then?

- Hey, baby, you should try then.

- Oh, come here, baby girl.

Oh, oh baby!

Oh!

(baby shrieking)

- [Kim] Maybe you should try

the Sunday Speedway thing, you know?

- Huh?
- It's really fun.

- [Keith] Are you sure?

- [Kim] Yes, please, honey.

- Okay.

Vroom, Sunday ladies and gentlemen.

Heat it up to the dragsters

burning off the line, Brittany Lussier!

(hectic music)

(baby giggling)

(tires screeching)

Turn, turn!

Turn four, turn four!

Reverse!

(Edna laughing)

Good as new.
- Here's my girl.

Oh, I think Daddy and
Brittany came in first place.

Yes it is, yes it is.

What a good girl.

Yes, who's a pretty girl?

- Believe me, I see a
lot of adoptive fathers

who don't know how to get
down to a child's level.

- Well that's never been
a problem for Keith.

- Because the social
worker was a little worried

when you weren't there at the airport.

It's never happened before.

It's the first time an adoptive mother

wasn't there for her baby's arrival.

- Well you told me about
another woman who had cancer.

She must have been flat
on her back for a while.

- Yes she was, for a while.

So long.

- Oh, don't worry about that, honey.

I mean, who knows what
this other woman had?

- Edna told me she had uterine cancer.

- Well yeah well, so,

maybe they caught it a little sooner.

What's the matter?

I thought we did really great today.

- You had me scared
there for a while though.

- I know, I almost gave Britt whiplash

going through turn four.

Oh, what is it, hmm, hmm?

- Keith, would you quit?

I just, it's nothing,

I'm sure, it's just that I...

Today, I think I felt a lump, another.

Do you feel that?

- Right there?

- Yeah.

- It's probably just a
reaction to the chemo.

- Honey, chemo's supposed
to shrink tumors, you know?

- No baby, I don't think that's a tumor.

(somber music)

Look, we're gonna see
the doctor on Thursday.

We'll ask him about it
then, but don't worry.

- Yeah.

- Okay now, as you can see right here,

this dark spot.

This is where the tumor's grown back.

And we've also got one here.

Now, I want to remind you
again that just because

this particular kind of
chemo wasn't successful,

doesn't mean that another kind won't be.

- Okay, so what's next?

- Well, I'm afraid we're
gonna have to operate again

as soon as possible.
- Oh god.

- [Doctor] In fact, I'm
already getting recommendations

from some of the best oncologists.

Literally, the best in the world.

- [Donna] Oh, she can't go

through with that.
(Brittany crying)

She can't.

- [Bob] Well she's gonna
have to go through it.

- [Donna] She can't.

- [Bob] Come on now, come on.

You know it's the best thing.

The doctor says that we've got the best

of the best doctors coming in, right?

- [Donna] She can't go through this again.

She can't.

- [Bob] She's gonna have to go through.

(thunder rumbling)
(somber music)

- It's rain, yeah.

Your mommy's sick, you know that, baby?

Your mommy's sick.

- So you pinch the skin,

hold the needle at a 45 degree angle,

press in smoothly, depress the plunger,

pull it out.

It's that easy.

- Now can I give her one if she starts

being a pain in the ass?

(nurse chuckling)

(light music)

- Oh, it's okay.

Oh, daddy will be just a sec.

It's okay.

- Oh, what's the matter, Brittany?

Oh!

(Brittany crying)

Okay.

- (shrieking) Daddy.

(Brittany giggling)

Dada?

(Brittany giggling)

(Brittany shrieking and laughing)

- [Keith] Snowball, yeah?

Ow!

(Brittany laughing)

- And the baby bear looked around the room

and saw the three chairs.

And then Papa Bear says,

yeah, that's the Papa Bear.

And the Papa Bear said
in his great big voice,

"Somebody's been sitting in my chair."

And then the Mama Bear looked at her chair

and she said in a medium sized voice,

"Someone's been sitting
in my chair as well."

And then Baby Bear,

yeah, that's the one like you.

Baby Bear said in this
really small little voice,

"Someone's been sitting in my chair too

and it's broke all to piece!

Oh man, it's terrible!"

(gentle music)

No that's not for baby standing on.

Just turn the page.

Oh, that's Mama Bear telling Baby Bear

be quiet since Daddy Bear
was upstairs, you see that?

And then the three bears thought

they'd better search the house

so they quickly went upstairs!

See, see they're going to the stairs.

And then Papa Bear, one look at the bed

and he said in a great big voice,

"Somebody's been sleeping in my bed!"

Let's turn the page.

Mama bear looked at her bed

and she said in a medium sized voice

"Somebody's been sleeping
in my bed as well."

- What day is it?

- It's Friday.

- What's the date?

- It's March the 6th, why?

Hmm?

- I love you so much, daddy.

(Bob sighing)

Daddy.

- What?

- I'm pretty much through fighting this.

I think I can let it all go now.

- Oh, Kimmy.

- Where's Keith?

- He went to get the baby.

- Oh, no.

- [Marge] Where's Brittany?

- She's with Aunt Tess.

How's she doing?

- She wants to see you.

- Hi, baby.

(gentle music)

I was gonna bring her, but...

- It's okay.

- [Keith] I just thought-

- You're right.

You're a good dad, Keith.

You've done great.

You take care of her now, okay?

- I love you so much.

- Don't cry.

You stay strong for her.

(somber music)

(light music)

(baby babbling)

(mobile clacking)

- In many ways, life
is like a river of time

sweeping us down through the years.

If we're lucky, we're swept along

through the sunlight and shadows

with someone we truly love.

So it was with Kim and Keith,

sweethearts since high school.

(Brittany giggling)

Keith, spontaneous, free-spirited,

and Kim, wise beyond her years.

Even in her darkest moments

when the rest of us were reduced to tears,

(Brittany babbling)

Even in her darkest moments,

when the rest of us were reduced to tears,

Kim stayed strong,

comforting us, insisting,

(Brittany babbling)

insisting that we stay positive,

that we really mustn't cry for her.

And although we all really must cry,

sometimes it's part of
the healing process,

I can see that little Brittany

has taken her mother's advice to heart.

(congregation chuckling)

(light music)

- [Woman] Gosh, I'm so sorry.

If there's anything we can do.

- So we're doing fine, especially Britt.

She's great.

She's happy and she's
almost standing on her own.

Listen, I just,

I just wanted to let you know how much,

how much Kim appreciated
everything that you did.

I know we got the finalization
coming up soon and everything

so give me a call when
you have the chance.

Okay, thanks, bye bye.

Come on, babe.

- [Donna] So what'd she say?

- I just left a message.

- Thank you for letting
us look after Brittany.

- Oh, it's the first time I've left her.

- Oh, she'll be fine.

Now you need some time to yourself.

- Okay now, there's a bottle in there

if she gets hungry, okay?

- Go, go.

- All right,

I've got my beeper, so
- Keith.

Relax.
- If you need me

I'm just a call away.

I'll be at my folks,
- Relax.

- And then down at the field.

My bag.
- The baby's gonna be fine.

Come on.

(Brittany babbling)

(gentle music)

(phone ringing)

- Bob?

Bob, can you get that?

Bob?

Hello?

No, no, I'm sorry he isn't.

Who shall I say is calling?

Oh, Edna.

This is Donna.

Sorry, Kim's mother?

Oh yes.

(breathing heavily)

I'll tell Keith it's you.

Bob?

Bob, come and take Brittany.

I need to call Keith

right away.
(Bob sobbing)

- [Robert] Your mom just thought

it'd make things easier on you.

- Right.

You know what I mean, right?

It's the only home that
Brittany's ever known.

I can't just move back here.

- She's worried about you, Keith.

Fair enough.

A thing like this can knock the pins out

from under anyone.

- Well I think I'm doing okay.

- Sure you are, you're doing just fine.

- It's not like I'm gonna
freak out or anything.

What's the point of that?

I just want to try and keep things

as normal as possible for Brittany.

It's all I care about.

- Do me a favor, okay?

- Mmm?

- You can let your guard down sometimes.

(phone ringing)

No good keeping it all bottled up inside.

- [Marge] Keith?

It's Donna on the phone.

- Hi, everything okay?

Oh well, that's just the
way she is sometimes.

Don't worry.

I'll call her back and
set it up for Friday.

Sure, sure, of course you can come.

No, no.

It's okay.
- So what did he say?

- Says he's doing fine.

- Everything okay?

- Yeah, fine.

Listen guys, I'm gonna head out.

- What was Donna calling about?

- Oh, Edna called.

We're gonna try and finalize
the adoption on Friday.

- Are the Mankowitzes going?

If they are, we should be going too.

We're your parents, after all.

- All right, let me call
you tomorrow, mom, okay?

Dad.

- [Robert] Bye, Keith.

(car revving)

(gentle somber music)

- [Marge] Anyway, you
could rent the house.

You don't have to sell it.

- Mom, I am not renting
the house, all right?

In the first place, I'm not
going back to work for a while.

And when I do, you can
come over to our house

and watch her there with
you know, Aunt Tess,

the Minks and everybody else.

- (chuckling) What are all gonna have

our own little schedules?

I can watch her most of the time.

That rent money might
come in pretty handy.

- Ma, I'm not renting the house.

Just let it go, will you?

(birds chirping)

- [Bob] Robert.

- Bob.

- We got here a little early.

Anticipating.

- [Donna] Look who's here!

- Nice house.

- Yeah, tell me about it.

- Donna.

- Hello.

Beautiful home.

- Yeah, it sure is.

(doorbell ringing)

- Hey cutie.

- Hello.
- Oh my goodness.

- [Keith] Oh, these are
my in-laws and my folks.

- How do you do?

I'm Edna Humphries.

Come on in.
- I'm Donna.

- Can I offer anybody anything?

Something to drink?

- No thanks.
- Keith, Mrs. Lussier?

- No thank you.

- No?

Well okay.

Well, let's get started.

First of all, Mrs. Sergeant,

she's the founder of our agency,

wanted to be here today but

there was a small emergency
at the head office

so she couldn't make it.

But she and I have talked
at great length and,

(Brittany babbling)

she certainly likes to read, doesn't she?

- Yeah.

Yeah, she hardly ever cries too,

she eats anything you put in front of her.

- I think she's the healthiest
baby I've ever seen.

- Yeah.

She's teething a bit now

so she's gets a little
fussy, but she's great.

- Keith is a wonderful father.

You should see him with her.

We can hardly get him out of the house.

Of course he has a
wonderful support system

if he would just let
Marge and me be grandmas

once in a while.

- So when is the adoption finalized?

- Well.

We have a problem.

We don't really allow
single parent adoptions.

- What do you mean?

- I went over and over
it with Mrs. Sergeant.

She won't even consider it.

- Wait, wait a minute, wait a minute.

- It has nothing to do with
you being a good parent,

I want you to understand that.

- Are you saying that you're
not gonna go through with this?

- I'm afraid so.

It's been the agency's
policy since the beginning.

No single parent adoption.

- No wait, there's got to
be something that we can do.

- There isn't.

- Well how's this gonna work?

What'll happen to Brittany?

- I'm afraid I'm gonna have to place her

with another family.

- Oh no you won't!
- What?!

- [Marge] I knew it.

I knew something was wrong!

- Mom, please.

- They want to take

this child, Keith!
- Mom please!

Dad, will you help me out please?

Edna, come on, there's
something we could do here.

- Keith, listen, I've been pleading

with Mrs. Sergeant all week long.

It's all my fault.

- What if we can convince,

what if we can prove to her

that Keith has all the
support in the world?

We can bring in Aunts, Uncles, anybody.

- Wont' do any good.

- [Bob] How do you know?

You don't know.

We could set up a schedule,

have everybody's times laid out.

- Or we could adopt Brittany.

Me and Bob.

- [Edna] No.

- This isn't over yet.
- But she belongs.

- [Bob] This isn't over yet.

We'll work it out.
- Bob.

- I'm afraid you're gonna have
to leave the baby with me.

- What, now, today?

- This doesn't make any sense.
- Yes.

- [Marge] What's she talking about?

- [Robert] You haven't
heard the last of us.

- What if I don't?

What if we just walk
out the door with her?

- You can't.

You have to understand,

this baby is not legally yours.

I'm sorry,

I am so sorry.
- Doesn't make any sense.

- I'm sorry.
- Let's not make a scene.

- [Donna] Is she saying

that they're going to take her away?

- [Bob] They're saying-

- [Edna] I'm sorry, I am so sorry.

- [Robert] This is crazy!

(somber music)

- It's gonna be okay,
it's gonna be all right.

Listen, Keith.

Soon as we get back,
we'll call our lawyer.

You know there's gotta be something

that we can do to fight this thing.

- [Robert] Let's go.

- [Bob] You know?

- [Robert] Let's go.

Let's go, Keith.

(tense music)

- Wait.

- [Robert] Keith.

(door knocking)

Keith?

(doorbell ringing)

- Edna!

I forgot Brittany's toy.

Edna!

Edna, Edna, she can't
sleep without Mr. Pig.

(door knocking)

Edna.

Edna!

(door knocking)

Edna.

Edna, she can't sleep without Mr. Pig.

(car starting)

- [Man] Is that the same problem?

- No.

- All right, have you
worked out their schedule?

- Not yet.

Do you want a high rate than..

- Yeah.

Keith, I gotta be honest with you.

This will be an uphill battle all the way.

First of all, this Edna
Humphries was right.

Your contract with the agency

specifically forbids any
single parent adoptions.

It also rules out adoptions

to anyone with a life-threatening disease.

- She got sick after we signed it.

- Okay, let's move on to the question,

what's in the best interest of the child?

A life with you, a single
guy on an hourly wage

or a home with a well-to-do couple

who already have another adopted child?

- Is that who they have lined up?

- No, that's where she's been placed.

The couple with the Volvo?

- They didn't waste any time.

- No, no, they didn't.

And that's not all.

We haven't even talked
about the court's usual bias

against single fathers.

Let's move on to the
question of your commitment.

- My commitment?

- Kim first contacted the agency.

She made all the appointments,

she filled out all the forms.

She wrote out all the checks.

So if I'm their lawyer, I'm gonna say

where was Mr. Lussier
during all this and why?

Why was he late to that first
rather crucial appointment?

Well, he was out playing golf or football,

or he was bowling.

- You know...

It's true, I didn't get it at first.

But then when Brit showed up,

I held her in my arms and...

So what are you saying?

Are you saying that it's hopeless,

I'm never gonna get Britt back?

- No, no.

I'm not saying that at all.

But what I am saying is that the deck

is stacked against you, Keith.

You better think long and hard about that

before you decide to go ahead with this.

- [Marge] So how much is
this lawyer going to cost?

- 2500 for the retainer.

- Ooh.

- And then it depends on how hard

the adoption agency fights us in court.

- Which is probably pretty hard.

- And all this is gonna
take place in Milwaukee?

- Yeah, that's where the
agency's home office is.

- That's a four hour commute.

- Well.

At some point I think that
I would probably end up

staying down there with Sam.

That's his name, Sam Turturro.

That's where his office is.

He's supposed to be one
of the best there is.

- Look, Keith, I don't want you
to misunderstand this, okay?

But you got to remember
that you got your whole life

ahead of you,

and right now you are in
a pretty emotional state.

- I'm not in an emotional
state, mom, I'm fine.

- You're fine?

You've just lost your wife.

Keith, your whole world has
been turned upside down.

- I promised Kim I'd
take care of Brittany.

- Well, the lawyer says
Brittany is in a good home

with good people.

- Who are not her parents, I am.

I'm the only father she's ever known, Ma.

- Keith, she's a baby.

And all I'm saying is that you need time

for all of this to sink in.

- But I don't have time!

- Well you should find some time!

They're not gonna save
your job for you forever.

And you're talking
about spending thousands

and thousands of dollars on something

that really, we cannot afford!

- I have money of my own,

and the Minkowitzes were gonna help.

- Oh yes, of course, the Minkowitzes.

- Marge.

- What are you all gonna
do, just waltz in there

and give all this money to a lawyer

who doesn't even know if he can win it?

- That's not the point, mom.

- It is the point!

He already told you.

The court is not on your side.

They very seldom ever reward custody

to a single father!

- You think that's fair?

- No I don't think it's fair,

but that's the way it is, Keith

and you're not going to change it.

- Let me ask you something, ma.

How much would you spend to get me back

when I was eight months old?

- That's not the same thing.

- It is exactly the same thing,

you just don't want to see it.

In fact now that I think about it,

I'm just doing the same
thing you're doing.

I'm just trying to get my kid back.

- I'm not...

That's ridiculous.

- No, it's not ridiculous!

I'll tell you what's ridiculous, mom.

I'm a grown man,

you're treating me like
I'm in high school.

Just let me finish!

I am Brittany's dad.

And like any good dad, I
don't care what it costs.

Now I am going down to Milwaukee

and I am gonna do whatever it takes

to get my kid back!

All I got to say about this.

Let's just finish our dinner.

- Well we'll help you any way we can, son.

Can I have the salt please, Marge?

(men chattering)

- [Sam] Relax, you'll be fine.

- The whole thing, it just seems kind of,

I don't know, sleazy.

- Look, Keith.

Our best chance of getting her back

is to put pressure on the agency
and touch people's hearts.

Listen to me, listen to me.

If we pull this off,

we're gonna get a lot more
exposure down the line.

All right, now straighten your tie.

And smile for the camera.

(reporters chattering)

- Sam, are you satisfied
with this judge's decision

to hold a full adoption hearing?

- Yes, we are.

We're delighted with the decision.

It's all we wanted all along
is the chance to plead our case

in open court,

and prove that it was in
Brittany's best interest

to be reunited with Keith here.

- [Reporter] Keith,
have you seen Brittany?

Have you had any contact with her?

- Rob, hurry, he's on!
- No I haven't

but I'm sure she's being
well taken care of.

- Rob?
- If you lose the case,

will you appeal?
- He's on.

- No I won't.

- Why not?

- Well from what I understand

an appeal can take up to a year more

and I just don't think that would be

the best thing for Brittany.

- And so the stage is
set for a custody battle

that seems to have captured

the public's imagination and heart.

Since the story broke on a
Milwaukee television station

a week ago, Keith Lussier has been swamped

with letters of support,

and with requests to appear on talk shows

and newscasts all across the country.

There's even a petition being circulated

by other adoptive parents,

some of them clients of the
Good Home Adoption Agency itself

urging its founder Edith Sergeant

to let the little girl return to Lussier.

And on yet another front,

the case has also become
something of cause to live

for single fathers.

Especially when it was learned

that the Milwaukee based agency

had actually allowed some
single parent adoptions.

But in every one of those cases,

the parent was a mother.

- [Reporter] Keith,
how tough is this case?

- Oh, well.

Gosh, I don't know.

It's been tough.

I mean, since I lost Kim

I haven't really had a chance...

Anyway, it's pretty hard.

All I'm trying to do here
is get my daughter back.

- So you're gonna be making
the talk show circuit now?

- Oh, I don't know about that.

- [Sam] Just a few of them, maybe.

- So how long has it been
since you've been home?

- It's been a little while.

- I'm sorry that
everything is such a mess.

He hasn't had time.

Oh, excuse me, he did face all that.

(phone ringing)
- Bedroom is upstairs

for the baby.

I don't know where you wanna start.

(men chattering)

- Hello?

- Hi, Donna, it's me.

Did they get there all right?

- [Donna] Oh, yes, yes, they're here.

They're just starting now.

- Okay.

- Hold on a minute.

- Chuck.

What I wanna do is let's
start with a close up

of the high chair, okay?

And then we'll tilt up and
we'll pan around the room, okay?

- Sorry, I'm just trying to stay

out of the way here.

- I really appreciate it, Donna.

It shouldn't take them that long.

- Oh, that's okay.

We're glad to help.

So how's it going down there?

- Oh, it's kind of crazy, but you know,

the more support we get,

the better chance we have so,

- When are you coming home?

- Well, I'm not really sure, I mean,

I got the hearing coming
up and everything, so.

- Oh, we saw you on the news.

- Oh, I was nervous.

- [Donna] You looked very handsome.

- Thanks, you just speak as a mom.

- Yeah, yes I am.

I think it would be really good

if you could come home for a few days.

Or just,

just maybe in a day.

I'm sorry.

- Are you okay?

- I mean I know you're busy

and I don't mean to be a pest, but I just,

I just need to go through her things.

And you do too.

I mean, I know it's hard

but you can't keep avoiding it.

I don't mean, I don't mean...

I'm sorry, honey.

- Hey, buddy, how you holding up?

- Oh, fine, fine.

Listen, I'm sorry I
can't get home right now.

- Hey, listen, you do what you have to do.

Brittany comes first.

We're all behind you
on that, you know that.

Listen, there's an insurance guy

gonna be getting in touch
with you down there.

- Okay, what for?

- Excuse me folks.

We're about to start rolling.

- Okay, thanks.

Listen, don't worry about it.

It's just some paperwork.

I'll call you about it later, all right?

- [Keith] Okay.

- Give him my love.

- Did you hear?

- Yeah, yeah.

Send her my love too, all right?

Thanks, thanks a lot.

- You take care of yourself, huh?

- You too.

Bye.

(somber music)

- Brittany's high chair,
jars of baby food,

everything left just as it was.

So in this little house on
the outskirts of Madison,

far away from the reporters

and the need to appear calm and composed,

Keith Lussier mourns for his wife alone.

Sitting in this empty room
surrounded by old pictures

and photo albums,

all they can do now is try to get through

another day without her,

and fight for the little girl

that both of them thought was their own.

This is Paul Jacobs reporting.

(cars honking)

- The battle for Brittany
nears its climax today

here at Milwaukee's historic courthouse

in the courtroom of
Judge Harriot Richardson.

- [Reporter] A child would
have a mother and a father.

And that is the real issue here.

Lussier may be a good father,
- The court of public opinion

will carry over to the
Wisconsin Supreme Court.

- News today that this is the day

that Keith Lussier was waiting for

since his adopted daughter
was taken from him

two weeks ago.

Judge Richardson will very
shortly hear arguments

and decide whether baby Brittany

should be returned to her adoptive father.

One person very interested
in that decision

is Edith Sergeant, founder and president

of the Good Home Adoption Agency.

Mrs. Sergeant, what do you
think of Mr. Lussier's claims

that your agency mishandled
baby Brittany's case?

- There is nothing wrong with the way

we handled the situation.

We promised the child's biological mother

that her baby would have a
loving father and mother.

- But all accounts, Mr.
Lussier is a good father.

- That is not the issue.

The issue is what's best for the child,

not what's best for Mr. Lussier.

- Your honor, let's be
clear about something.

This child was placed
in this couple's home

on a temporary basis,

with a written understanding
that their eligibility

would be reviewed six
months down the line.

Now, what the agency
did not know at the time

because it had not been fully informed

was that Kimberly Lussier had
a life-threatening disease.

If it had known this,

the agency would never have place a child

with this couple in the first place.

Only after Mrs. Lussier's death

did the agency learn of this tragedy.

And as difficult as it was,

the agency ultimately made a decision

that was in the best
interest of the child.

Namely, to remove it from what
was now a house of mourning,

place it in a more stable home

where there was already
another adopted child.

Thank you, you honor.

I kept my remarks brief,

we are anxious to proceed.

- First of all, your honor,

not only did Mr. Lussier
fully inform the agency

about the severity of
his wife's condition,

but this was well in advance
of the baby's arrival.

In fact, Kim was undergoing chemotherapy

when Edna Humphries called her

to tell her when the baby was coming in.

Secondly, in regards to this
house of mourning suggestion

by Mr. Schiller,

nothing could be farther from the truth.

It was at Kim's insistence herself

that no one even cry around the baby

so as not to upset her.

"We've all got to stay
positive for Brittany",

Kim was always saying,

and that attitude continues
to this day with Mr. Lussier.

Thank you.

But it was a week later
after the operation

that Kim called you herself, didn't she?

Soon as she got home from the hospital.

- [Edna] Yes, she did.

- [Sam] And what did
she say, Mrs. Humphries?

- [Edna] She said that
the doctors had gotten

99% of the cancer

and that they were
confident the chemotherapy

would take care of the rest.

- [Sam] And did you believe her?

- [Edna] I wanted to believe her.

- Why?

- Why?

Because she was a lovely
young woman full of life.

And because they had named the baby

and the nursery was all set up.

- [Sam] And so, why was it
that she was calling you?

- She wanted to know if
they could still adopt

this particular child.

- And as you said, you knew
she had cancer at that time.

Did you ask to see any medical reports

or tell her you wanted
to talk to her doctors?

- No.

- [Sam] Well what did you tell her?

- I told her that...

That we would just keep this to ourselves

because I was sure she was gonna be fine.

- And?

- And...

That the baby was still theirs.

I wouldn't say a word to anyone.

(cameras clicking)
(reporters chattering)

- [Reporter] Does this make
your case for you, Sam?

Is it all welcome?

- No, no, no, not by a long shot.

We still have the whole
single parent debate to go

and what's best for the child now.

We're not calling this one over

until Judge Richardson renders her verdict

and hopefully Baby Brittany
is returned to her father.

- [Reporter] And when do
you expect the verdict?

Do you expect the verdict today?

- Well we still have an awful
lot of testimony to go, so.

- [Reporter] Keith, are you
taking the stand this afternoon?

- I believe so, yes.

- Is that your signature at the bottom

of the contract, Mr. Lussier?

- Yes.

- Would you please read stipulation nine?

- No couple with a known
life-threatening health condition

shall be approved.

But the point is we didn't know.

- I'll ask the questions, Mr. Lussier.

Yeah, one that's been bothering me

since the beginning is this.

Why did you leave this
child with a stranger

in the first place?

- Objection, your honor.

Edna Humphries was not a stranger.

- She was to the child, Mr. Turturro.

Overruled.

- I mean, you maintain
that she was absolutely

like your very own daughter.

- [Keith] Yes.

- And yet you left her
in Madison that day,

a child crying as you walked away.

So tell me, Mr. Lussier.

What kind of a parent would
leave their child like that

regardless of the circumstances?

- Edna said that she was going to have

to call the police.

- Because the child wasn't legally yours

which is exactly why
you left her, isn't it?

You recognized that fact.

- No, that's not true.

- Then why?

Why would you leave a crying child

in someone else's arms?

- I left her because...

I left her because sometimes

even though it breaks your heart

you have to do what's right for the kid.

Of course I wanted to take
Brittany away with me that day

and then never let her go

but then at the same time Edna had said

that they were gonna call the police

and get a court order and...

You know, I had this image,
this picture in my head.

It's crazy, but of us just
racing down the highway

in this chase.

And the police pulling us
over, and Brittany crying,

and the trip was just taken away.

So yeah, I left her with Edna.

But I promised her that
I would be back for her

and that's what this is
all about, Mr. Schiller.

I'm just trying to keep the promise I made

to my daughter.

I'm just trying to get my daughter back.

- Excuse me, gentlemen.

Sorry to interrupt.

I'm Elliot Carver with
Superior Mutual Insurance.

I know you're busy,

but if I could have just a few minutes

with Mr. Lussier here-

- About what?

- About his wife's life insurance.

- It's all right, Sam.

You already talked with my
father-in-law, didn't you?

- [Elliot] That's right.

- About what exactly?

I'm sorry, but is there
some kind of problem here?

- Well that's what I'm
supposed to find out.

The adoption agency is obviously claiming

that Keith and his wife knew she was ill

before the adoption.

Which means they concealed
this on their information.

- We didn't know.

- You know, I think we're gonna have

to talk about this another time.

- No, no, no, don't misunderstand me.

I believe you, I really do.

That's what I've written in my report.

In fact, off the record,

I want to tell you how
much I admire your wife

hanging on until the activation date.

- What do you mean?

- Well, for the six months, I mean.

You didn't know?

- Know what?

- Mr. Lussier, the policy you bought

didn't come into effect until six months

after the date of signing.

That was on March the 6th.

Kim had it marked on the calendar

according to her father.

She held on until the night before

and then went back to the
hospital the following day

knowing that by then
you and your little girl

would be provided for.

(rain pattering)
(light music)

(gentle somber music)

(thunder rumbling)

- It's good to see you, Keith.

- It's weird.

It's like I don't even
believe it yet, you know?

Sometimes, the phone rings.

And then oh, it's Kim!

Or I'll be driving down the street

and I'll see something

and I think, I can't wait to get home.

I guess I feel like

that if I get Brittany back

I'll be getting part of Kim too.

I miss her so bad. (sobbing)

(thunder rumbling)

(reporters chattering)

- And so this is it, decision day.

At nine o'clock this
morning in department 14

at Milwaukee's historic courthouse,

Judge Harriot Richardson
will render a decision

that will affect a little
girl's life forever.

(crowd chattering)

- [Bailiff] All rise.

Milwaukee County Circuit
Court, Children's Division.

Department 14 is now in session.

The Honorable Judge Harriot
Richardson presiding.

You may be seated.

- All right.

I am prepared to enter findings of fact

and conclusions of law.

In the matter of Keith Lussier

versus the Good Home Adoption Agency.

But first of all, I'd
like to make an aside.

The Adoption Act does not,

and I repeat, does not determine

what is in the child's best interest.

In truth, we have no way of knowing

what the future holds for anyone,

much less a child.

What truly is in their best interest?

And so we are left with
a more reasonable basis

for deciding whether or not an
adoption should be approved.

And that is, is it or was it benefiting

the needs and welfare
of the subject child?

It is with this in mind I
make the following ruling.

In the case of Lussier versus
the Good Home Adoption Agency,

I find that the refusal of the agency

to consent to this adoption

was based primarily on the fact

that this had become a
single parent adoption

due to the untimely death of Mrs. Lussier.

I further find that by
the time of her death,

the child had become an integral member

of the Lussier home and extended family.

And because of this,
it would have been best

for her to have remained with that family.

I therefore find that the agency's

married couple requirement,
though well-intentioned,

is inapplicable in this particular case.

The Good Home Adoption
Agency is therefore ordered

to return physical custody
of the child in question

to Mr. Keith Lussier with all due haste.

(uplifting music)
(Bob cheering)

(crowd applauding)

- Oh!

(crowd chattering)

(light music)

- [Edna] Keith!

- (sighing) Hi.

- Welcome.

Oh.

Come on in, she's in the living room.

She's in here.

- Maybe you should go first.

She might not remember me.

- Oh, she'll remember you.

- Oh.

(gentle music)

Brittany.

Hi, Brit.

Hi.

- Oh!

- Yeah.

I got something for you.

I got Mr. Pig!

Come on Britt, come on.

Let's go home.

That's my girl.

(Brittany crying)

(whooshing) Here we go.

Up, Brittany, up!

I missed you so much.

(Brittany babbling)

Let's go home.

Let's get Mr. Pig and go yeah! (chuckling)

Come on.

Ready to go home?

You wanna go home?

Let's go home.

You look so beautiful,
you've gotten so big.

Yeah, you got so big!

Got your pig, Mr. Pig.

(bright music)

♪ Come on baby let the good time roll ♪

♪ Come on baby let me thrill your soul ♪

♪ Come on baby let the good time roll ♪

♪ Roll all night long ♪

♪ Come on baby yes this is it ♪

♪ This is something I just can't miss ♪

♪ Come on baby let the good time roll ♪

♪ Roll all night long ♪

♪ Feels so good ♪

♪ When you're home ♪

♪ Come on baby ♪

♪ Ride me all night long ♪

♪ Come on baby let the good time roll ♪

♪ Roll all night long ♪

(light music)

(MultiCom Jingle)