It’s common for people to imagine adoption in terms of married couples raising a baby that looks like one of their own, but this is just one type of adoption (and an increasingly rare one at that). There are other options, such as adopting embryos or raising a child in foster care and subsequently adopting him or her. Single-parent adoption, stepparent adoption, overseas adoption, and same-sex adoption are just a few of the adoption options available. There are a lot of adoption-themed movies out there, but not all of them are equal.
Films about adoption or foster care can be as diverse as the sorts of adoption they depict. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best adoption and foster care films, including those that are based on true situations.
Movies About Adoption and Foster Care
1. Anne of Green Gables (1985)
It’s true that this is a miniseries and not a single film, but given that it is one of the best adoption stories ever told, it needs to be included. For those who haven’t read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 novel of the same name, the story follows an orphan from Nova Scotia, Anne Shirley. In the settlement of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, she is adopted by a middle-aged brother and sister (Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert). A mix-up in the Cuthberts’ communication resulted in the arrival of Anne instead of the son they had intended. Even though everything works out in the end, the miniseries reveals that starting a new family isn’t always easy.
2. Lilo and Stitch (2002)
If you’re searching for a movie to show your kids about adoption, go no further than Disney’s Lilo and Stitch. Following the loss of their parents, a kinship placement forces Nani, an adult, to be the guardian of his six-year-old sister Lilo and her pet alien, Stitch. All of the characters are eventually adopted into the family, which is called “ohana,” which means “family.”
3. Three Identical Strangers (2018)
This is one of the most unusual adoptive reunion stories ever depicted in film. Did we mention it is true? Identical triplets are split up at birth and raised by three different households in the novel Three Identical Strangers. In 1980, at the age of 19, the brothers met each other in New York City by coincidence and reunited. This documentary begins with a look back at the three triplets’ past, but as the audience learns more about their adoption story, things grow a lot darker. After the kids have gone to sleep, this might be a good movie for you to watch!
4. Instant Family (2018)
Actors Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne star in this romantic comedy about a couple who decide to take in foster children. After interviewing a number of potential foster and adoptive parents, they decided to adopt a 15-year-old girl and her younger siblings, despite the fact that they were expecting a baby or younger child. As a result, they end up taking in all three children, completely upending their previously childless existence. Children are placed in foster care while their parents are in prison, but they are subsequently released and desire to reconcile with them. All that follows is an examination of this situation’s intricacies (and obviously has a happy ending).