By Murray Nossel
Human Interest
59 min.
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Format: 16:9


Mark and Erik have been together for ten years, and they’ve decided it’s time to have kids. But they don’t want to adopt. Is there a woman out there willing to serve as a surrogate mother and help them realize their dream?

PATERNAL INSTINCT chronicles two years in the life of these New Yorkers on their journey to become fathers.
Mark, a computer engineer, and Erik, a land conservationist, choose to pursue parenthood through surrogacy, a process increasingly considered by gay couples as an alternative to adoption.

Placing a “NYC Gay Couple Seeks Surrogate” ad on the Internet, they begin the process of fulfilling their primordial desire to have biological children. Mark and Erik are delighted when they get a response from Wen, a married mother living in rural Maine. At an initial meeting in Boston, they work out the paperwork and payment, kicking off a two-year odyssey that will be filled with anxiety, disappointment and, ultimately, joy.

PATERNAL INSTINCT has been featured at a number of domestic and international film festivals, including the recent Miami Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, where it won the Jury Prize. It was directed by Murray Nossel, whose other credits include the Oscar®-nominated short film “Why Can’t We Be a Family Again?”

PATERNAL INSTINCT was produced by Murray Nossel and Craig Harwood; directed by Murray Nossel; edited by Susanne Rostock; director of photography, Edward Marritz; original music composed by Hahn Rowe. For CINEMAX Reel Life: consulting editor, Geoff Bartz; supervising producer, John Hoffman; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

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