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Switching Parents

All 12-year-old Gregory Kingsley has known is a life of abuse at the hands of his parents. So he makes legal history by becoming the first minor to file a case on his own behalf to be ‘divorced’ from his biological parents.

THE TRUE STORY OF THE 12-YEAR-OLD BOY WHO MADE LEGAL HISTORY BY DIVORCING HIS PARENTS.

By the time he reached the age of 12, all Gregory Kingsley had known was a life of abuse and neglect at the hands of his parents. His father, Ralph (ROBERT JOY, Just Ask My Children, Sex Traffic), a violent drunk, beat him. His mother, Rachel (KATHLEEN YORK, Love Can Build a Bridge, The West Wing), although she tried to be a good parent, neglected him through her drinking and drug-taking.

Shunted between hellish spells with his parents, foster homes, care agencies and the courts, Gregory seemed doomed to a life of misery, until he met George Russ (BILL SMITROVICH, The Practice) and his wife, Elizabeth, a couple who fostered him and who might finally be able to provide him with the loving and stable home he had always needed.

The true and heart-rending story of what Gregory did next is told in SWITCHING PARENTS, which features an impressively assured performance from JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (Mysterious Skin, 3rd Rock from the Sun, 10 Things I Hate About You) as Gregory and proves that, when it comes to the need for happiness and security, kids can have the same rights as adults.

Desperate for a new life with the Russ family, Gregory’s landmark decision made him a celebrity when he became the first minor in American legal history to file a case on his own behalf to be ‘divorced’ from his biological parents.

But the case proved as controversial as it was unique: while the Russ family saw it as a vital necessity to give Gregory the love and care he craved, others viewed it as rich foster parents using their wealth and influence to bully a poor mother into giving up the rights to her child.

But, most of all, SWITCHING PARENTS looks at the emotional pressure put on Gregory himself as he was torn between his undoubted loyalty to his mother and his own need for a better life.

SWITCHING PARENTS is written by SHARON ELIZABETH DOYLE (Seeds of Deception, Stolen Babies) and produced and directed by triple-Emmy Award® nominee LINDA OTTO (Not in My Family, The Ryan White Story).

Certificate: PG Length: 88 mins approx
Cast: Smitrovich, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kathleen York, Robert Joy