'Blind Side' mom turns spotlight on foster care and adoption with new reality TV show

Leigh Anne Tuohy, the feisty mom made famous in the Academy Award-winning movie “The Blind Side,” will turn a spotlight on foster care and adoption in a new reality TV show premiering in June.
by Carla Hinton Published: May 27, 2013
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The feisty mom made famous in the Academy Award-winning movie “The Blind Side” will turn a spotlight on foster care and adoption in a new reality TV show.

Leigh Anne Tuohy, who was portrayed by Sandra Bullock in the 2009 hit film, will star in the GMC cable channel's first reality series called “Family Addition With Leigh Anne Tuohy.” The show, premiering June 7, will follow a different family each episode as it goes through the process of adding a new family member through foster care or adoption.

Officials with GMC, also known as the Gospel Music Channel, said the network will officially change its name to Uplifting Entertainment or UP in June.

Tuohy, of Memphis, Tenn., will bring to the families her expertise as someone whose family famously adopted a young stranger. She and her husband, Sean Tuohy, with their children Collins and Sean Jr., added then 16-year-old Michael Oher to their family circle in 2004, after meeting him near their children's private Christian school.

Their story, which was the focus of “The Blind Side,” propelled the Tuohys into the spotlight. With the guidance and support of his adopted family, Oher, who had been in several foster homes and experienced periods of homelessness, went on to become a National Football League player with the Baltimore Ravens in 2009.

On “Family Addition,” Tuohy will lead “Team Tuohy,” consisting of herself, her daughter Collins Tuohy and “Miss Sue” Mitchell, the teacher who tutored Oher. (Mitchell was portrayed in “The Blind Side” by Kathy Bates.)

Leigh Anne Tuohy, in a recent teleconference with the news media, said she envisions the show letting people see how important adoption and foster care are in today's society.

With her well-known sassy demeanor, she said her family had been approached about being part of numerous other reality TV shows, but they felt that “Family Addition” is a perfect fit.

“You name it, we've been offered it, and we've turned them all down because that's not who we are, but this show actually just enhances our platform and our message because there are great people trying to adopt kids,” Tuohy said. “They don't know how to get through the red tape. There could be one snafu keeping it from happening, and we are taking one family at a time and we are trying to make a difference.”

Local awareness

The show's premise should bring much-needed awareness about the issue of foster care/adoption, said several Oklahomans at the forefront of the faith-based and community foster care/adoption movement in the Oklahoma City metro area and the state.

“When the Tuohy family embraced their son, Michael Oher, they did not know their story would inspire thousands to consider fostering and adoption. A family like this, committed to doing the right thing because of their faith, is an exceptional family to have as a model,” said Robin Jones, former director of the state Office of Faith Based and Community Affairs.


by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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