“Someone Else’s Child” is a true movie inspired by real events, according to Variety. It is inspired by the Jodie Paul Pope-Melvin Pope switched at birth case. The telefilm stars Lisa Hartman Black. The movie first aired as a CBS Sunday night movie in 1994. The real names were not used.
According to The Movies Based On True Stories Database, the movie is inspired by a woman whose child was switched at birth. The real events made news headlines in 1991 when two mothers battled over the custody of a seven-year-old boy named Melvin.
Court records show that in 1984 two babies were born at the same hospital at the same time. The babies were switched at birth. The mother’s biological child, Melvin, stayed at the hospital.
At the same time Cameron Pope was being raised by Jodie. The switch was brought to light when a blood test, given during a divorce proceeding, revealed that Jodie Pope was not Cameron’s real mother.
After the initial shock, Jodie Pope, also known as Jodie Paul, started the process of adopting Cameron and finding her biological son.
An investigation revealed that Jodie’s biological child, Melvin, had been adopted when he was just six months old. Adoption records were opened, and a letter was sent to Edith and Eugene Moore, Melvin Moore’s adoptive parents.
Jodie Pope and Edith Moore spoke by phone and arranged for Melvin to stay with Jodie during the Thanksgiving holiday. It was during that holiday visit that Melvin Moore began telling Jodie that the Moore’s were abusing him.
Based on that fact, Jodie refused to return Melvin to Edith and Eugene Moore in Kentucky and a custody battle ensued, according to Bangor Daily News.
The custody fight lasted for several years while Melvin remained in his real mother’s care. Jodie eventually won custody of Melvin.
According to Traciy Curry-Reyes, Melvin and Cameron did not get along as brothers. The relationship progressed gradually until they eventually did see one another as brothers.
Sadly, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Melvin Pope died of an aneurysm in 2005. He was married with a child at the time.
His brother, Cameron Pope, was recently released from prison and is trying to put his life back together.
The movie “Someone Else’s Child” can be seen on Lifetime.