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'What Makes A Family' true story of lesbians Janine Ratcliffe and Joan Pearlman

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"What Makes A Family" is a fact-based movie based on lesbian couple Janine Ratcliffe and Joan Perlman. Most of the names were changed for the film.

The true story happened in Florida during the 1980s. Court documents show that Janine Ratcliffe and Joan Pearlman were a lesbian couple for eight years. The two decided to have a child by artificial insemination. Joan Pearlman carried the child but later died from sickness.

When Joan Perlman died, Pearlman's parents wanted custody of their dead daughter's child. Janine Ratcliffe had to fight to keep custody of the child that was born to them during their lesbian relationship.

After a long custody fight, the courts awarded sole custody to Janine Ratcliffe.

The baby is now a married adult. She and Janine Ratcliffe still live in the state of Florida.

The movie, starring Brooke Shields and Cherry Jones, still shows periodically on Lifetime.

*note: Joan Pearlman is also known as Joan Perlman.

This movie is similar to a new true story that was made into a documentary that aired on OWN called "Bridegroom" (read it here)

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