*Spoiler alert: Massive spoilers for Finding My Daughter ahead*
Lifetime’s “Hateful & Grateful” series is ending with the thriller Finding My Daughter. The movie follows the story of Ashley (Cristina Rosato) trying to reunite with her 18-year-old biological daughter Brittany (Megan Best), who she gave up for adoption years before.
But Ashley’s excitement is short-lived when Brittany goes missing the day before Ashley arrives back to her hometown. She recruits the help of two old friends, one of whom happens to be an old boyfriend and Brittany’s birth father, but things soon take a dark turn.
With all the dramatic twists, we couldn't help but wonder whether Finding My Daughter is based on a true story.
What is 'Finding My Daughter' about?
Finding My Daughter begins with teenage Ashley in labor. After she gives birth, Ashley’s mother forces her to give the child up for adoption, which she does before running away to Chicago to start a new life.
Years later, Ashely is contacted by Brittany, her now-18-year-old biological daughter who’s trying to find the woman who gave birth to her. The two decide to meet and agree that Ashley will drive back to her hometown, where Brittany still lives.
But before Ashley arrives back in town, Brittany and her friend Emma (Abbey Thickson) pull up to a cabin in the woods, where Brittany is hoping to meet Ashley. Audiences quickly learn that Ashley has been communicating with an imposter and soon the two teens are shown locked in a shed.
Back in town, Ashley runs into Scott (Kyle Cassie) and his brother Jake (Jesse Hutch). Jake is Ashley’s ex-boyfriend from years ago who also happens to be the town’s police officer charged with looking for missing Brittany and Emma.
Ashley invites herself to help with the investigation.
After an ill-advised hook-up between Ashley and Jake, they have a fight and Ashley turns to Scott for comfort. In a twist, she realizes that Scott is the real kidnapper, but before she’s able to do anything, Scott abducts her and puts her in the same shed as her daughter Brittany.
After unsuccessfully trying to talk sense into Scott, Ashley and Brittany try to escape by breaking out of the shed and running through the woods. They are followed by Scott, who thankfully is being followed by Jake.
Jake manages to save the women, and at the end, while standing at the ambulance, Ashley introduces Jake to his long-lost daughter. The new family of three then move into a house together.
Is Lifetime's 'Finding My Daughter' based on a true story?
No, Finding My Daughter is a completely fictional story that’s not based in reality at all. The plot that unfolds during the movie was created purely for entertainment purposes, and was written by screenwriter Natasha Baron.
While the movie’s creators have never made the claim that Finding My Daughter was a true story, many people believe that it is because of the kidnapping storyline and Lifetime's propensity for ripped-from-headlines movies.
Unfortunately, the kidnapping of underage children is far too common today and teenage girls are in the highest demographic of being kidnapping victims.
Another detail that rings true-to-life is the fact that Brittany is kidnapped by someone she knows. A large percentage of kidnapping cases happen when an acquaintance, close family friend or even a family member kidnaps the victim. This was also the case in Finding My Daughter when Ashley recruits her old friend Scott to help her track down Brittany, only to find out that it was Scott who kidnapped Brittany in the first place.
It also seems highly improbable that a birth mother, the daughter she gave up for adoption, and her ex-boyfriend from when she was 16 would reunite and then start living together, but crazier things have happened.
Overall, it seems that Finding My Daughter isn’t based on a true story but parts of the movie are loosely drawn from real-world events.