Birthmother’s Betrayal (2020 Lifetime)

Birthmother’s Betrayal (2020 Lifetime)

Stars: Tanya ClarkeMatthew PohlkampAria Pullman

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

After 16-year-old Tara finds her birth mother Grace on a DNA website, her dedicated adoptive mother Amy struggles to protect her daughter as the wildly unpredictable birthmother crashes into their lives with erratic love for Tara and toxic hatred toward Amy. But is Grace really who she says she is? As Tara grows closer to hot and cold Grace, Amy begins to wonder if Grace has either a severe mental disorder or is there another secret buried, as Grace seems hell-bent on eliminating Amy and reclaiming Tara.

Thoughts

A beautiful brunette woman sits in her car outside of a suburban home with a butcher knife in the passenger seat. (As one does!) Inside, single mother, Amy, is finalizing the adoption papers for her new baby Tara. The adoption agent warns Amy not to contact the birth mother for any reason. Tara was in danger and removed for her safety. The brunette woman follows Tara but is pulled over and arrested for murder. 

Seventeen years later, still in the suburbs, Amy and Tina are shopping for bikinis. Amy is very protective and buys her a one-piece instead. Amy is dating a new hunky man named David, who helps set up for Tina’s sweet sixteen party. 

At the pool party, Tara is stung by a wasp and has an allergic reaction. Her protective mother is there in seconds with an EpiPen. She is rushed into the hospital when she passes out. The doctors ask about her family history, but Amy knows nothing. (For such an overbearing mother, you’d think she would have thought about this before now.) 

Jenny, Tara’s rebel friend, is also adopted. She was able to meet her birth mom and encourages Tara to do the same. They use a website called “DNAndME” to find Tara’s match. Her name is Grace Culver. Tara immediately sends her a message on the site. Then they start video chatting. Amy doesn’t know about the website or the search because she previously forbid Tara from looking into it. (Remember the brunette lady is DANGEROUS!) 

Grace starts stalking Tara almost immediately. She tracks down one of Tara’s swim meets and finds her school. While Grace is surveying the school, a fellow jailmate approaches her car. They get into an argument, and Grace (or the Black Widow.) uses her car door to knock the jailmate into the street, killing her. Grace IS dangerous. Amy was right!

Tara meets up with Grace. Amy is worried because she doesn’t know where her daughter is. She calls Jenny, who spills the beans instantly. When Amy calls Tara, Tara lies and says she made everything up because she is jealous. Amy promises to make it right and contacts the adoption agency.

Grace spends more time with Tara. She acts very cool and convinces Tara to continue to lie. They even do a driving lesson and buy bikinis, which Amy would never let Tara do. Tara off handheld mentions her mother calling the adoption agency. Grace knows what she has to do next. (Kill the adoption agent and steal back her file, of course!)

When Amy learns of the murder, she is less worried about the agent and more focused on what the file said. Amy calls Grace and asks her to consider meeting her daughter. Grace says she needs time to think about it, but she already met Tara. Then she goes to look at the grave of Tara’s father who died too young… probably because she killed him. 

At the meeting, Amy brings along David. Amy worries that she won’t be as interesting as Grace, and if by interesting, she means murderous, she is right. The two mothers talk, and the meet up goes very well. Amy will allow Tara to meet her birth mother. (Even though she already has.) Tara and Grace pretend not to have met before as Amy watches them meet for “the first time.” Grace has a dizzy spell and has to spend the night. 

When she is not feeling well, Grace is kind of a bitch to Tara. Grace leaves the house in the middle of the night, but her dizzy spells cause her to faint before even leaving the front porch. AS SHE IS PASSED OUT, HER TWIN SISTER WALKS UP?!?!? The twin steals some house keys and puts drugs in a coffee mug. 

The next morning, Grace wakes up and is disoriented. Tara and Amy find her and think her being passed out on the porch is hilarious. Tara is beginning to realizes that Grace as two different personalities because she is two different people. Amy isn’t realizing much of anything because the drugs in her coffee hinder her. On her way to work, she crashes her car and is subjected to a sobriety test. Grace films the whole thing from a distance and posts it on social media anonymously. Tara is the laughing stock of the school 

Amy gets called into the principal’s office and is surprised to see Grace. At first, Amy is nice, but when Grace recommends Tara stay with her, Grace demands that she leave. (Why Grace would even be allowed in the principal’s office is beyond me.)

Tara begins to set boundaries with Grace, who calls her mom a stalker. Amy sets boundaries too and asks her daughter not to see Grace anymore. Tara flips out on her mother and says she is sixteen and can do what she wants. Then she storms off in typical teenage fashion. 

Amy goes to Grace’s house and asks her to stop spending unauthorized time with her daughter. Grace is confused again and says she hasn’t. When Amy talks about the principal’s office, that is when Grace realizes that it is her twin sister Corina is impersonating her. Grace thought that Corina was in Costa Rica since getting out of jail. Grace and her boyfriend got pregnant, and Corina was jealous. Corina convinced Grace to let her help raise the baby, but Paul didn’t like that plan. She killed Corina’s boyfriend/Tara’s husband while they were arguing about the baby.

Corina breaks into Tara’s house, packs her a bag, and tells Tara that she wants to take her to Costa Rica FOREVER! Tara says she won’t leave her mom. To prove her point, Corina holds up a mirror and says that hey are blood-related. Amy pulls up and stops Corina. They have a human tug-of-war over Tara. Corina gets away, but the police are called.

Grace gets knocked unconscious and tied up by Corina. Then Corina force-feeds Grace Iron, to send her into a murderous rage? I’m not following. 

Then Corina, pretending to be Grace, calls Amy and Tara and invites them over for a dinner/slumber party. David gets there first and is hit in the face with a shovel. Then Corina attempts to hit Amy in a parking lot, ensuring the parking lot security cameras capture her “as Grace.” She picks up Tara from School and tells her that Amy is running late.

The REAL Grace unties herself and grabs a pair of scissors that are conveniently right next to her. Tara sees Grace with the scissors and thinks she is Corina. Amy does too and wrestles the scissors from her. Tara and Amy (and anyone watching the movie) are confused with the fight sequence. At the end of it, all you need to know is Amy, Tara, and Grace are safe. Corina gets knocks in the face with a shovel. They all leave Corina there to rescue David from the shed with a head wound. Corina is arrested and taken into custody. 

Amy and David are getting married and are off to Hawaii. They leave Tara with Grace, who promises to take good care of Tara. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Jenny, Doctor, 

Reel One Entertainement

“Based on a true story” and created a controversy.

“The upcoming Lifetime movie Birthmother’s Betrayal portrays birthmothers as dangerous and unbalanced women who are mentally unbalanced and unpredictable, and who pose untold risks to both adoptees and adoptive mothers,” the petition states. “This sensationalist horror entertainment does a vast disservice to the tens of thousands of adoptees and adoptive families nationwide who enjoy positive, safe, lifelong open adoption relationships.”

Read more at Bustle. 

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Overall rating

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*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime

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