With TLC Specials Facing Scrutiny, Duggar Family Appears In Film On Adoption

The Duggar family has been the center of controversy for their political stances and their actions on those stances; for the way they’ve raised their large family, with gender roles that include women as submissive to men; and most recently, for the string of revelations about eldest son Josh Duggar. Now, they’re part of a documentary that praises the family for taking a role in another family’s adoption process.

It might be a positive public relations move in a moment when the family is facing some of their harshest scrutiny yet. Whether that was part of the intent is harder to tell — the production on the short film began before the Duggar family’s dark secret — that Josh had molested five young girls, including four of his sisters — was revealed. However, the family certainly already knew that the molestation had happened, and reportedly knew that the information would be made public.

Still, the timeline of the film suggests that it was planned well before the Duggar family could have known that an open records request would uncover the crimes, and any fear of prosecution for said crimes must have passed with the statute of limitations.

The film in question is a straight-to-internet documentary called The 5 Day Adoption, and centers on a couple, Todd and Barbara McCoskey, who say they felt called to fill a role as adoptive parents for a particular child. However, when they responded to the call for adoptive parents, they learned that they needed to be in Arkansas in 48 hours to start the process.

The McCoskeys credit “… a network of brothers and sisters around the country and even the Duggar Family [sic] from TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting and Jill & Jessa: Counting On…” for being there to make the process possible.

Though the Duggar family has grown to its large size — 19 kids, and a good start on grandkids — through Michelle’s own pregnancies, and those of her daughters and daughter-in-law, rather than via adoption, it’s clear that the family supports adoption — Jessa Seewald told People magazine in May that she hoped to adopt children, as well as carry pregnancies and birth babies herself.

The couple rushed to Arkansas, uncertain of how they’d handle logistics with a place to stay, rental car, and other needs in such short order — and the Duggar family stepped in, with Jessa and Jinger picking them up at the airport, and making it possible for them to reach their destination and complete the adoption process.

Duggar family helped couple adopt [Image via 5 Day Adoption]The film’s description declares that it’s about having the courage to step out in faith — the story of their decision to move forward with the adoption despite a number of hurdles, ranging from distance and lack of transportation to medical concerns. However, a hefty portion of the film is devoted specifically to the role of the Duggar daughters and parents in the adoption, even including some of the “talking head” segments so common in TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting episodes.

Duggar family in 5 Day Adoption [Image via 5 Day Adoption]These portions look very much as though they could easily appear in the now-canceled (but rumored for a comeback) reality show.

Notably, the Duggars haven’t been promoting the film on their social media pages. That may be yet to come, since the DVD won’t be available until December 14, and the film is currently available only to stream online.

However, the producers did vaguely allude to the series of scandals surrounding Josh Duggar, back in July, on the production blog.

“And yes, the Duggar’s [sic] are staying in our film!”

Of course, the Duggars were already facing PR problems before the news about Josh broke; petitions circulated to have their show removed because of Michelle’s part in fighting legislation that would have protected transgender individuals in their state, and the family’s political actions regarding LGBT rights have long been a subject of contention.

Whether it’s a film about faith or a thinly-veiled commercial for the Duggar family, it’s certainly a near-hour that elevates the family to hero status, and released at a point when their fame and careers are on the line.

[Image via 5 Day Adoption]