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Who Are the DeBolts? [And Where Did They Get 19 Kids?] (1977)

Dorothy and Bob DeBolt's tale of the struggles and joys involved in their 19 adopted children, many of who are physically disabled war orphans.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Kim Atwood ...
Marty Atwood ...
Mike Atwood ...
Mimi Atwood ...
Noel Atwood ...
Stephanie Atwood ...
Anh DeBolt ...
Bob DeBolt ...
Dat DeBolt ...
Dorothy DeBolt ...
J.R. DeBolt ...
Karen DeBolt ...
Ly' DeBolt ...
Mary DeBolt ...
Melanie DeBolt ...


Dorothy and Bob DeBolt's tale of the struggles and joys involved in their 19 adopted children, many of who are physically disabled war orphans.

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Release Date:

10 September 1977 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Who Are the DeBolts? [And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?]  »

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Followed by Stepping Out: The Debolts Grow Up (1980) See more »


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User Reviews

21 September 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a super-inspiring film made about a very unusual family, the DeBolts. Mr. and Mrs. DeBolt had, as of the making of this film, nineteen kids--most of which were handicapped orphans from around the world and were considered pretty much unadoptable. However, the DeBolts seemed to like the challenge of melding all these kids into an enormous family. Most of the film simply shows the family going through their days. What I particularly liked is that although this appeared to be a close family, the parents were certain NOT to do too much for the kids--encouraging them to do things for themselves regardless of their disabilities.

The film is pretty well made and interesting. It is also a bit sticky sweet, but inspiring as well. Apparently the Academy was quite impressed by the documentary, because it was awarded the Oscar for this category in 1978. Well worth seeing.

By the way, it would be very interesting if a follow-up film was made about the family more than three decades later. The 'kids' are all now independent adults with their own children and I am sure their stories would be worth hearing.

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