Paternal Instinct Movie 2002

“Paternal Instinct” is a 2002 documentary film directed by Murray Nossel and Oren Rudavsky. This heartwarming and thought-provoking documentary explores the unique and touching story of two gay men who became fathers through surrogacy, challenging societal norms and redefining the meaning of family.

The Story

“Paternal Instinct” follows the journey of two men, Mark and Erik, who decide to embark on the path to parenthood despite the challenges and prejudices they face as a same-sex couple. The film documents their emotional and legal struggles as they navigate the complexities of surrogacy, adoption, and the legal recognition of their family.

Themes of Love and Determination

At its core, “Paternal Instinct” is a testament to love, determination, and the power of the human spirit. Mark and Erik’s unwavering commitment to becoming fathers, despite societal barriers and legal obstacles, is a testament to the strength of parental instinct. The film explores the profound bond between parents and children and challenges conventional notions of what constitutes a family.

Personal Journeys

“Paternal Instinct” not only highlights the story of Mark and Erik but also features interviews with their surrogate mothers and the individuals involved in their journey. These personal narratives provide a comprehensive and empathetic view of the complexities of surrogacy and parenthood.

Cultural and Legal Context

The documentary also sheds light on the cultural and legal context of same-sex parenthood at the time of its making. It underscores the importance of legal recognition and equal rights for LGBTQ+ families and prompts viewers to consider issues of equality and social acceptance.

Direction and Storytelling

Murray Nossel and Oren Rudavsky’s direction and storytelling in “Paternal Instinct” offer a sensitive and humanistic portrayal of a groundbreaking family story. The film’s narrative is driven by the emotional journeys of its subjects, creating an intimate and compelling cinematic experience.


“Paternal Instinct” is a heartwarming and thought-provoking documentary that challenges societal norms and celebrates the universal themes of love, parenthood, and family. It invites viewers to empathize with the struggles and triumphs of Mark and Erik’s journey and prompts reflection on the broader issues of equality and acceptance. Whether you have a personal connection to LGBTQ+ issues or simply appreciate stories of determination and love, “Paternal Instinct” offers a moving and insightful exploration of parenthood in all its forms.

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