NEW YORK, May 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dad, known for popular memes and wildly popular comedic videos like AphukenbrakE that have helped the brand grow to 8 million social followers in 18 months, has debuted The Joe Toles Project, in an exploration into non-traditional parenting.
The show, which premieres May 12th, documents the life of Joe Toles, a single father who grew up in the foster care system and beginning at the age of 50, began adopting and fostering 8 children on his own, all 13 years and above.
Joe himself aged out of the foster care system and was never adopted. Thankfully he had people in his life he could go to for support, primarily his track coaches who unknowingly acted as father figures to him, which in turn saved his life. Because of his own experience in the foster care system, as well as his time working as a counselor within the system, he knew he wanted to adopt an older kid and provide a home and family for someone who otherwise would not have that level of support. At age 50 he adopted his first son Xavier who was 18.
According to the Adopt Us Kids foundation, only 5% of all children adopted in 2017 were 15-18 years old. Older teens have lower adoption rates and 15 to 17- year-olds spend approximately 50% more time waiting to be adopted than younger children.
The Joe Toles Project consists of seven episodes each featuring a different person in Joe's life who he has impacted or who has impacted him. From his 28 year old son Xavier to a high school track coach who acted as a mentor and father figure to Joe while he was growing up in foster care.
How the show came to be is almost as interesting as Joe's story itself. "He was my wife Sara Romeo-White's high school gym teacher," said Ben Stumpf, Head of Studio at The Dad. "She said 'you gotta talk to this guy'. So she and I directed that [first] mini doc, which is how we got the first episode."
Additionally, by the time The Dad was ready to shoot Joe on location -- the track where he competed as a kid, the high school where he used to teach/coach -- New York began issuing shelter in place orders that upended the story Ben, Sara, and Joe wanted to tell. Fortunately, after a series of phone calls and Zoom conferences, they realized the intimacy of conducting these interviews over Zoom coupled with B-Roll and archived photos from Joe, and his guests, The Dad felt confident that there was enough visual content to do justice for Joe's story.
"Relationships are the core of who I am and who I want to be.They have helped me to become comfortable in my own skin. Being able to share a view into how some people have impacted me is an honor and a pleasure. A look at people who are important to me will help to explain why I am who I am."
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The Dad is part of Some Spider Studios, the largest digital media company for parents, reaching 175 million people every month. Consisting of The Dad, Fatherly and Scary Mommy, Some Spider Studios' mission is to empower parents to raise great kids and lead more fulfilling adult lives.
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SOURCE Some Spider Studios