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Published Thursday May 21st, 2009 at 2:24am

Original Article by Angela Krueger

Films about Adoptees, Birthmothers, Fostering and Adoption Issues

Many movie storylines contain characters that have experienced a major loss, made life-changing decisions and go through life not feeling “normal”. These themes are particularly prevalent in adoption movies aimed at adult and older teen audiences.

Adoption Crossroads has an extensive list of movie titles about adoption reunions, relinquishment, open adoption, birth sibling relationships and abandonment issues. Here are some classics and more recent movies that will appeal to adult adoptees, adoptive parents, foster parents and birthparents, categorized by their main adoption theme.

Movies about the Lives of Adoptees and Adoptive Families

Aside from the heartwrenching stories of adoptees finding their identity and adoptive families coming together, this movie list also has films from the comedy and action genres.

  • Anne of Green Gables (1985)
  • Ca-bau-kan (2002)
  • Fakin’ Da Funk (1997)
  • Mommie Dearest (1981)
  • Second Best (1994)
  • Superman (1978)
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1983)
  • The Truman Show (1998)

Spanning three decades, many of these adoption themed movies are big screen classics and are worth watching again from an adoption point of view.

Movies about BirthmothersFocused on the challenges, heartbreak and emotional decisions tied to making an adoption plan, these movies attempt to break the stereotypes of birthmothers.
  • A Child Lost Forever (1995)
  • Juno (2008)
  • The Baby Maker (1970)

Adoption themed movies about the experience of birthmothers help validate these women and bring them into the eye of the general public.

Movies about Foster Children

The telling of a foster child’s story is often tied to other aspects of adoption and is the case for these two dramas. Antwone Fisher (2002) is a movie based on an autobiography that reveals the issues foster kids may have as adults. White Oleander (2002) shows the relationship between a child and her birthmother as she grows up through the foster care system.

Movies about Adoption Reunions

From fairy tales and thrillers to comedies and surprising discoveries, these movies are about birthmothers searching for their relinquished children and adoptees looking for their birth family.

  • August Rush (2007)
  • Catfish and Black Bean Sauce (1999)
  • Deep in My Heart (1991)
  • Flirting with Disaster (1995)
  • High Tide (1987)
  • Jack Be Nimble (1993)
  • Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
  • My Own Private Idaho (1992)
  • Secrets and Lies (1996)
  • Tell Me My Name (1977)
  • The Italian (2005)
  • The Other Mother (1995)
  • Twins (1988)

Often tying into other adoption themes such as abandonment, cultural differences and finding one’s identity, movies about the reunion of birth family members shed light on the complexities of relationships in the adoption constellation.

Movies about Complex Adoption Issues

Highlighting transracial adoptions, custody battles and situations where the adoption does not work out, these movies are based on issues that are unique to adoption.

  • Immediate Family (1989)
  • Losing Isaiah (1995)
  • The Lost Child (2000)

Sometimes causing controversy in the adoption world, movies dealing with difficult adoption related issues give insight into the pain and loss experienced in every adoption situation.

It is worth checking out a site such as The Internet Movie Database for plot summaries and reviews of movies before making a selection. As with many aspects of adoption, there are differing views on how the film industry portrays birthparents, adoptive families, foster parents and adoptees, and how adoption themes are presented. The key is to find an adoption themed movie that helps create a greater understanding of personal adoption issues.