Hope turns to despair in Lifetime’s ‘The Hillsdale Adoption Scam’

For life The Hillsdale Adoption Scam tells the harrowing story of a woman who is targeted by con artists as she clings to the hope of expanding her family.

Keshia Knight Pulliam leads the cast as Bethany, a business owner, wife, and mother whose adopted son is returned to his biological mother. Bethany and her husband have a biological daughter, but they weren’t able to have any more children.

After sharing her story in an online chat room, Bethany unexpectedly meets a pregnant woman named Georgia (Danika Frederick), who scams Bethany by claiming she plans to put her baby up for adoption.

“When you’re in that space where you really want a child and you’re struggling to have one, you want to find the silver lining in whatever’s going on,” Pulliam said at a recent conference. press Zoom.

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Unfortunately, that hope turns into a dangerous game of deception when Bethany welcomes Georgia into her life and home.

The film also stars Michael Strickland, David Tomlinson and Lauren Cochrane. For Danika Frederick, playing trickster Georgia brought a fun challenge.

“I don’t date a lot of bad guys and that was very interesting,” Frederick said at the press conference.

“I think one of the things that I find so fascinating about playing the bad guy, or the villain, is that you have to justify what drives them to do what they do,” he said. she adds. “You have to find the emotion, but dissociate yourself from it a bit, because I’m not crazy. But you have to find that within yourself and do it right and those choices come from the pain and the hurt, and just being able to really lean into that.

In real life, Frederick has no children. She admitted wearing a pregnancy pillow for her role in the film was a bit “weird”.

“I kind of found myself touching it like instinctively.” she says. “It was very cool. Very strange.”

Pulliam and husband Brad James are expecting their first child together. THE Cosby Show alum is already a mother to daughter Ella, 5, from a previous marriage. The couple revealed in a March 11 Instagram post that they would be welcoming a baby boy.

The team behind The Hillsdale Adoption Scam decided not to include Pulliam’s actual pregnancy in the script, which led to some creative filming.

“I was very pregnant while we were doing this. So while they’re accenting Danika in a fake belly, they’re trying to hide my real belly,” Pulliam said with a laugh.

Inspired by real adoption scams, the film is produced by The Cartel for Lifetime. Stan Spry, Eric Woods, Samantha DeGagne and Devan Towers serve as executive producers and producers for Anthony Fankhauser. Asia Youngman is directing from a screenplay written by Justin D. James.

The Hillsdale Adoption Scam premieres Saturday, March 18 at 8/7c on Lifetime and airs the following day.

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