A 30-second television spot for Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown focuses on his role as an adoptive father while getting in some plugs for the O'Malley administration's record on adoption and foster care.

What the ad says: The ad shows Brown playing basketball with his son while the lieutenant governor says he never knew the impact adoption could have until Jonathan, now 13, came into his life.


The ad shifts to an image of a gospel choir in an African-American church while Brown talks of bringing his message about the joys of adoption into churches on Sundays.

"Adoption and foster care can transform lives," Brown says. "Every child deserves a loving, caring home. And it's our responsibility to make sure that that happens."

While Brown does not discuss policy in the spot, the ad flashes statistical claims about the state's progress on adoptions and foster care since Gov. Martin O'Malley and Brown took office in 2007. According to the ad, there are 43 percent fewer children in foster care in Maryland than at the beginning of the administration and 17,000 children have been adopted during that period.

The ad is positive and makes no mention of Brown's Democratic primary opponents, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur.

The facts: Brown adopted Jonathan along with his then-wife, Patricia Arzuaga, in 2000. They also have a daughter, Rebecca. The couple divorced in 2009. Brown married Karmen Walker in 2012 and became stepfather of her son, Anthony.

The statistical claims are consistent with figures provided by the Department of Human Resources, though spokesman Brian Schleter clarified that the adoption figure includes children returned to their families after foster care and new legal guardianships.

Analysis: The ad is all about presenting Brown as a likable family man and loving father. It's the ad of a front-runner: You couldn't tell from it whether Brown is a Democrat or a Republican, much less his position on issues.