Battle of the Baby
Bonnie (Lindsay Wagner - Nighthawks) and Craig Wilkerson (Chris Sarandon) are happily married and having both worked hard at their careers decide it is time to start a family. Unfortunately they are unable to conceive naturally or via IVF and so decide to head down the adoption root when they exhaust all their other options. And all goes well when the adoption agency calls to say there is a young baby who is ideal for them. The babies mother is unmarried teen Kimberly Downs (Nancy McKeon) who soon after giving up her baby begins to have second thoughts especially when the babies father re-enters her life and so decides to go to court to try and win her baby back even though she can't give her the same style of life which the Wilkerson's can.
So you've given your baby up for adoption because at the time it seemed the best thing to do but shortly after you begin to have second thoughts and decide that you want the child back. That is the simple concept which "This Child Is Mine" is built around which at the same time is stated to be a movie based on fact. And as such it effectively makes you take sides as you are torn between would a child be better with their natural parents or their better of adopted parents who can offer security.
Now whilst simple "The Child Is Mine" is also layered as it includes a look at how some family members in the adopted family treat the child differently because he is not a blood relative. And it also gives a brief glimpse at the bewilderment which the teen mother feels when she can't even hold her baby after having given birth to her, leaving her feeling slightly abandoned. But whilst these layers are clear to see to say that "This Child Is Mine" has great depth would be a lie and more often or not takes us on a typical sentimental journey as you would expect from a TV movie which deals with an emotional subject.
As for the acting well "This Child Is Mine" is a movie of two halves with the first half being the less impressive as it often borders on being cheesy and cloying. But the second half when the story really gets going as Kimberly struggles with having let her baby go and decides to try and get the adoption over thrown is when the acting gets good. Everyone from Nancy McKeon through to Lindsay Wagner find the emotion in their character and drop the cheese which filled the first half, although with the ending it serves up the cheese creeps back in.
What this all boils down to is "This Child Is Mine" is one of those movies which has a very good idea for a movie and does some good things with it. But between certain typical TV movie issues and a weak first half it never quite succeeds in being a riveting drama.