We all know the power of representation in media, and adoption is a huge part of that! If you want to see families like yours on the screen, we have some television shows and movies that may interest you.
While the popular Disney movie may seem like an odd place to start, for younger children this can be a great movie for adoption themes! Tarzan is taken in by a pack of gorillas who make him a part of their family despite cultural and biological differences, making this a great option for transracial adoptions or multicultural families.
For families with older children looking for shows with adoption to enjoy, Grey’s Anatomy is a great option. One of the main characters placed a child for adoption when she was 16, and adoption is brought up several times throughout the show, including the main couple on the show adopting a little girl. This should come as no surprise, considering the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, is an adoptive mom herself!
While the fact that this show is a comedy means most things are treated lightly, it is a great show for representation of LGBT adoption, as well as the importance of learning about the heritage involved in an international or transracial adoption.
Another great option for younger kids, Stuart Little is a wonderful movie for families who already have a child and are adopting another child. In the movie, Stuart, a mouse, is adopted into a family with an older brother who struggles to accept him. However, Stuart remains positive and is accepted for who he is in the end.
As any fan of the hit sitcom knows, one of the most important storylines from the later seasons of Friends was Chandler and Monica’s struggle with fertility and subsequent decision to adopt. While not every aspect of adoption is handled as we might like — most notably the one scene where Joey inadvertently reveals to a child that he is adopted, a non-issue in most open adoptions nowadays — the adoption process is seen from start to finish.
Lilo and Stitch
Disney makes another appearance on the list with Lilo and Stitch, which coined the famous phrase “ohana means family”. The movie explores themes of unconditional love despite cultural differences and behavioral problems, which may hit home for many adopted children.
This Is Us
This Is Us explores adoption from both the adoptive parent and the adoptee’s point of view, delving into concepts of identity and belonging as well as the search for biological parents. It is worth noting that many themes in this show may be a bit heavy for even older children, so this may be one that parents should preview before watching as a family.