What Makes a Family
Two gay women have a daughter through artificial insemination. When one of them dies, the parents of the dead partner try to take the child. Based on the true story of Janine Radcliffe.
Janine Nielssen first comes to terms with her own sexuality when she meets Sandy Cataldi, an out-of-the-closet lesbian. They fall in love and exchange marriage vows, although the state of Florida does not legally recognize their union. Sandy becomes pregnant by artificial insemination and gives birth to a daughter, Heather. The couple raise the baby together and lead a happy family life until Sandy is diagnosed with lupus and dies when Heather is only five years old.
A heartbroken Janine is even more devastated when she discovers that Sandy's parents, Evelyn and Frank, to whom she was very close, have successfully gained legal custody of Heather under a state law that gives blood relatives prior claim. Grief-stricken without Sandy, and now separated from her daughter, Janine goes into an emotional collapse. Following her release from a psychiatric hospital, she picks up the pieces of her life with one resolve in mind. Enlisting a leading attorney, Terry Harrison, to fight her case, Janine appeals to the courts one more time to get her daughter back.