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About the Film

If you are hired to bear a baby for someone else and something goes wrong, who’s in charge? Angel For Hire explores the implications of signing away one’s bodily rights to bear a stranger’s child. As Angel, a surrogate mother, nears the end of her pregnancy, a complication emerges. Angel faces the possibility of a contract-mandated cesarean section against her wishes.

Also unfolding in Angel For Hire is the story of a pioneering Michigan-based attorney, Noel Keane. Keane wrote the first surrogacy contract in 1976, a time when the concept of a ‘surrogate mother’ seemed outrageous. That contract launched Keane’s controversial career as the most visible middle man in surrogate parenting, an industry that to this day relies primarily on contracts for regulation.

View the full film credits

Made possible by grants from: Berkeley Film Foundation, Margaret and Will Hearst, and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Winner of the Gobind Behari Lal Award for Excellence in Reporting on a Science or Health Related Story at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism

About Us

Nina Goodby is a freelance documentary storyteller, producer, and editor living in Oakland, California. She recently helped produce Forensics on Trial, an hour-long film for PBS Frontline, and worked as the assistant editor on American Jerusalem, a historical independent documentary about Jews in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously, she worked as an Associate Producer of the Jazz Loft Radio documentary series at WNYC in New York. Nina graduated in 2011 from the documentary program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Mary Flynn is a Berkeley-based multimedia journalist hailing from the “highly underrated” state of Wisconsin and a recent graduate of the documentary program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. In a previous life, Mary spent 8 years in the Army National Guard, serving two year-long deployments working in public affairs. She set aside her combat boots to pursue a career in professional storytelling through TV, film, print and radio. She favors those stories that deal with women’s issues, the military, and health. During her free time, Mary can be found reading or hiking, she enjoys combining geocaching with beer sampling, and she likes to laugh in general. Click here to see her portfolio website.


  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. Missoula, MT – February 17-26, 2012. Screening Monday February 20th, 2012.
  • Wildwood Film Festival. Appleton, WI – March 3, 3:00 pm.
  • Taos Shortz Film Festival. Taos, NM – March 1-4, 2012. Screening 10:00 am, Sunday, March 4th, 2012.
  • Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival. Portland, OR – March 8-11th, 2012. Screening 3:00 pm, Saturday, March 10th, 2012. Upstairs theatre.
  • Women’s Film Festival. Brattleboro, VT – March 9 – 18th, 2012.  Screening at 2:00 pm, March 10th, Latchis Theatre.
  • SF DocFest. San Francisco CA – 2:45pm October 16, 2011, 7:15pm October 20, 2011 and 9:30pm October 25th, 2011 at The Roxie Theater in the Mission District. Our film is one of three short films featured in the “Your Legal Shorts” screening, and tickets can be purchased online here.

Support the Film

In order to accurately portray the historical elements of our film, we brought in archival materials from family, friends and the reporters who covered Noel Keane and the surrogacy controversy as it exploded in the headlines in the 1980s.

Securing the rights and licensing for such footage, especially from major networks, becomes costly very quickly. Big networks require significant funds to buy rights before we can show it to audiences outside of our immediate families. It is this footage that brings Noel Keane and the background of contracted surrogacy to life onscreen, tying the history inextricably to modern-day complications encountered by Angel and her Intended Parents.

Below you can buy a copy of the film or make a donation to help us offset our production costs. Thank you so much for your support!