Episode available within Canada only.

In 1968, Dorothy Steets, a young Catholic woman from New Jersey, is sexually assaulted and becomes pregnant. Unmarried mothers in postwar North-American society were harshly judged and faced enormous institutional pressures.  There was no listening to Dorothy’s desires or needs — she was immediately sent away to a maternity home in another town to allow the “illegitimate” pregnancy to come to term in hiding. When she gave birth, Catholic church services immediately gave the baby up for adoption, leaving a gaping hole in Dorothy’s heart. 

In January 2017, after 34 years of relentless lobbying, a law in New Jersey was passed allowing adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates, giving them access to the names of their birth parents. As a result of this new legislation, Joe Foley, Dorothy’s son, immediately sought out his birth certificate and uncovered the name of his birth mother. An hour later, he found himself chatting on Facebook with his biological sister, Lila.

Through the eyes of Kacim, Dorothy’s youngest son, I Think You’ve Been Looking For Me chronicles Dorothy and Joe’s emotional reunion, exposing a dark cultural and institutional era that has had a lasting impact on thousands of families. Through personal testimonies and conversations with their extended family, we see how mother and son both suffered as a result of this early separation — Dorothy with feelings of shame and detachment, while underlying separation anxiety clouded all of Joe’s relationships. 

As their new mother-son relationship evolves, Joe and Dorothy lead us through the joy and confusion in coming to terms with their new identities. Rather than focus on past errors of institutions and governments, they’re thankful to have found each other and looking forward to forming closer ties with their newly expanded families in the years to come. 

Credits (Click to expand)

director
Kacim Steets

producer
Frederic Bohbot

writer 
Stephane Lavoie
Kacim Steets

co-director
Stephane Lavoie

director of photography
Kacim Steets

editor
Kacim Steets
Carl Freed

composer
Adam Daudrich

line producer
Valerie Shamash

sound recordist
Stephane Lavoie
Julia Innes

additional camera
Bill Stone
Fabio de Felice
Stephane Lavoie
Frederic Bohbot
Cullen Foley

production assistant
Nicky Minaei

archive research
Terri Foxman


transcripts
Productions Sassonique

Recreations

casting
Tania Duguay Castillo

cast
Emily Maude Munro
Emilie Carboneau
Guillaume Rodrigue
Lauren Hartley
Sam Munroe
Max Wells

art director
Veronique Lamontagne

assistant art director
Joanie Primeau

assistant camera
Graham Guertin-Santerre

Make-up
Andie Wisdom Dawson

Key Grip
Ben Jackson

colour correction
TBD

sound editor
TBD

re-recording mixer
TBD

Legal
Dean Chenoy – Miller Thomson

archives
Steets Family
Classic Images

travel
Helen Grigoropoulos – Voyages SPS


Thank You
TBD

for CBC

general manager, programming
Sally Catto

executive director, unscripted content
Jennifer Dettman

senior director, documentary
Sandra Kleinfeld

executive in charge of production
Charlotte Engel

director of production, unscripted content
Alexandra Lane

director of finance, unscripted content
Julie Lawlor