Watching films on foster care and adoption can help you see things from a fresh viewpoint, get to know different kinds of families, and meet characters with whom you could identify. Even for children who have been adopted from foster care, these movies can be a method for them to process their experiences and open up about their emotions.
You may use this list to find Netflix movies on adoption and foster care that are appropriate for both adults and children, whether you’re looking for a tearjerker to watch on your own or something more kid-friendly.
Make sure to keep in mind that movies regarding adoption from the foster care system are going to be heavily dramatized for the screen, so it’s not going to be an accurate portrayal. Whenever possible, pre-screen any material you intend to show your children so that you can assess its age-appropriateness or potential for triggering past traumas. You can also discuss with them any inaccuracies, difficult topics, or sentiments that the material may elicit in advance.
This in mind, here are some of the best films on foster care and adoption:
1. Earth to Echo
With the loss of their neighborhood and the status quo on their minds, three friends (one of whom is in foster care) are confronted with the task of helping a small alien return to its home planet.
That kids can achieve anything; that they aren’t powerless, is Tuck’s message immediately before the end credits.” Foster children can be the strongest, bravest, most loyal, most forgiving, and most reliable of their peers, and their experiences can be turned outward into kindness to aid others in similar situations,” I see as an even more prominent message. This is a review of Adoption at the Movies
An orphanage is replaced by an over-the-top theatrical foster home in this version of the famous story. It might be comforting for children to see themselves reflected in the main character in a film about foster care or adoption.
…Annie’s upbeat attitude shines in the middle of inaccurate and unhelpful negative preconceptions of incompetent social workers and selfish foster parents…… Parents should consider screening this film before showing it to their children if they have children who have suffered from disrupted placements or who wish to be adopted or who long for absent birthparents.” — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
3. Kung Fu Panda 2
A panda raised by a crane is featured in the sequel to the original animated film, which was a big hit with children. A search to find Po’s birth parents takes place. Both birth and adoptive families’ love for their children is depicted in this film, which shows that love is increased rather than split.
Much greater attention is paid to adoption in the sequel.” Po had a flashback to a childhood trauma while defending a city from attackers. … Ping says, “I think it’s time I tell you something that I should have told you a long time ago.”‘” Then Mr. Ping mumbles, “You might have been adopted.” — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
4. Instant Family
This is one of those foster adoption films that everyone in the family can relate to—the decision to adopt through foster care, the formation of family relationships, and the complications and joys of this unique experience.
As a childless pair, Pete and Ellie have “enjoyed their time together.”…
With the help of her relatives, Ellie begins to consider about starting a family of her own. A five-year-old adoption would make it appear as if he had started having children at a suitable age, so Pete makes a lighthearted remark about being too old to have an infant. She begins searching for adoptive parents on AdoptUSKids, a website devoted to finding families for kids currently in the foster care system. Ellie’s heart is moved by some of the children’s stories. At a matching event, Pete and Ellie meet Lizzy, Juan, and Lita and begin the process of becoming foster-adoptive parents; they are finally certified as such. Throughout the course of the video, the audience is given a firsthand look at the California foster and adoption system. — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
5. The Tigger Movie
It’s not uncommon for people to find out that they don’t fit in with their chosen family and to mourn the loss of their biological family. A favorite children’s character like Tigger can help alleviate some of those overwhelming feelings.
“The adoption themes of loss and identity are significant in The Tigger Movie. The’most great thing about Tiggers is that I’m the only one,’ as Tigger has repeatedly sung. As it turns out, there’s a darker side to being “the only one.” In order to discover his family, Owl proposes that Tigger begin by tracing his family tree. When Tigger begins to pursue his family, he displays a wide range of desires, expectations, and concerns.” — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
Accurately portraying the life of an international adoptee, this novel has a lot of heart and honesty.
“LION depicts adoption search and reunion in a responsible, realistic, and healthy way. They have always been there for Saroo on his journey of acceptance of his past. They encourage him to look for his biological family and express their joy when he does. Her son’s adoptive parents are his family, and she is glad and knows that he is a part of their world, even though Saroo’s birth mother has always hoped that he would return. Finding his original mother fills in the blanks in Saroo’s life story, but it doesn’t take the place of his adoptive family as the central figure in his story. — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
7. The Ride
BMX champion John Buultjens, who was raised by an interracial foster family, shares the amazing story of how he overcome an abusive childhood via their love and life teachings. Adopted by a black family after being reared by a white supremacist family and spending time in juvenile incarceration, John is able to rebuild his life.
8. Secondhand Lions
Family films on foster care and adoption rarely portray kinship placements, which are common among foster children. That’s not to say Secondhand Lions doesn’t have its moments.
“Walter is accustomed to being misled. He’s grown accustomed to being left to his own devices for long periods of time. When his mother, Mae, gets into a new relationship, she leaves him to deal with it on his own. Walter is left with two great-uncles, Hub and Garth, after her death. Mae leaves Walter with his great-uncles even though he has never met them. When Walter learns from her that Hub and Garth are said to be very wealthy, he realizes that he needs to win them over so that he might inherit the money. The two grouchy old guys Walter is cared for by turn out to be gentler and more loving as time goes on. — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
9. Lilo and Stitch
You might not think of this movie when you think about adoption movies. Lilo is placed in a kinship placement after the death of her parents, but Stitch is also adopted into the family..
“Adoption and foster care have significant ties.” Stitch has relocated to a new town, where he’s living with a new family. People are concerned about his destructive tendencies, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to live with this family or any other. Foster parents may be frustrated, concerned, or perplexed by the actions of some children in their care. Both Nani and Lilo are experiencing the upsetting stress of being involved in child welfare proceedings. Most children who have been in foster care have seen this before. Lilo has also suffered a great deal of heartbreak (her parents have died.) There is no doubt in her mind about whom she has lost track of. She prays for a buddy in need. There are times she worries if she and her family are “broken.” Seeing Nani as a mother and a sister is a difficult task for her.” — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
10. The Blind Side
An older foster child who still needs the love and support of a permanent home is depicted in this video, which is based on a true tale.
“Michael, a 16-year-old boy who is silent and lost, has spent most of his life in and out of foster families.” To find his mother, he eventually quits each one, sometimes succeeding and other times failing. All he has to wear is the shirt on his back, plus an extra one. He spends his time at a laundry service. He gets into a private school by happenstance.
Where he has difficulty in the classroom. Where he first meets SJ, and later the entire Tuohy family, as well. Testing reveals that he has a 98 percent rating for Protective Instinct, the only metric in which he ranks highly. In both Michael’s history and his future, this shows to be the key.” — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
11. Angels in the Outfield
An older group of foster children are depicted as they wait for reunification or permanent placements in another Disney classic. Losses and disappointments are part of life for them.
Maggie Nelson’s short-term foster home includes two little boys, Roger and J.P. Our understanding of their predicament is limited. There is occasional contact between Roger’s father and his birth mother, who has since died. His father casually responds, “When the Angels win the pennant,” meaning “probably never,” when asked by his son when they will be a family again. As a result, Roger is unable to comprehend his father’s words, and he instead prays for supernatural intervention to save the last-place Angels.” — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
12. The Great Gilly Hopkins
A child in foster care’s new and old relationships and feelings might be difficult to manage. This film features a youngster who comes up with a solution to the problem.
Gilly Hopkins, an 11-year-old girl from Maryland, has shattered multiple foster homes throughout the state. He lives in a home with a foster mother who also cares for an autistic youngster, W.E. Mrs. Trotter, her elderly, blind neighbor, also takes care of Mr. Randolph. In spite of the fact that Gilly has no relationship with her mother, who lives in California, she is convinced that she will soon see her mother. Writing to her mother, Gilly complains about her foster home’s conditions. As a result of the letter, some unexpected things occurred.” — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.
13. Martian Child
Martian Child does a good job of illustrating how difficult it may be to create trust between a new parent and a new child. Love, patience and perseverance are required to form new families.
“David is a science fiction author who has been widowed. They pursued adoption together till her death two years ago since she had been adopted herself and he wanted to do the same. Resuming his efforts to adopt, David has resolved to do it once more. Dennis, a ten-year-old child who lives in a group home, is paired with him. Dennis’ peculiarities are well known. Dennis is hiding from the sun in an Amazon shipping carton when David first meets him. David’s knowledge of Dennis grows, and he begins to comprehend the underlying fears that motivate Dennis’ odd conduct. In the past, David has abandoned Dennis, and he must prove that he will not do so again. — The Adoption at the Movies reviewer.