Sheila Ganz

Sheila Ganz, Producer/Writer/Director/Editor of Unlocking the Heart of Adoption, is also a painter, sculptor, poet, playwright, teacher, and birthmother. In 1968, at twenty years of age, she was raped, became pregnant and unwillingly relinquished her newborn daughter for adoption. Twenty years later, after taking part in demonstrations for open adoption records and hearing many different adoption stories, she became an adoption reform advocate and began her first film. This educational documentary chronicles Ganz’s journey as a birthmother and compelling first-person stories of adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents in same race and transracial adoptions. Ganz has since testified at hearings before the California House and Senate Judiciary Committees on legislation pertaining to adult adoptee civil rights and birthmother rights. Sheila Ganz completed her studies at San Francisco State University, earning a BA in Sculpture in 1982 and an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts in 1985. Her site-specific sculptures have been exhibited at the Moscone Center, Golden Gate Park and Bernal Heights in San Franscico and the Paul F. Romberg Center in Tiburon, Ca. She has also written two full-length plays, “Pretend It Didn’t Happen” and “Leaving Joe.”