A while ago, I was going through my old emails and found the contents of a post I wrote a lifetime ago. In my former life, I was on the road to parenthood through adoption from the foster care system. I learned a lot on this journey, and one of the resources that I was trying to develop for myself and others was a list of movies about foster care and adoption.
Here's a list of movies I found after searching foster/adopt forums and blogs. Most of these came from an anonymous foster care licensing specialist and I'm not sure if they all deal directly with foster care or if some just touch on issues that may come up. I'm also including comments on some of my favorites.
Dramas: 1. Angels in the Outfield -- Didn't realize that the version we loved in our youth was a re-make. We went ahead and watched the original too...still think the new one is better. More depth and Christopher Lloyd...love it! 2. Antwone Fisher -- I like that this is a story about an adult reflecting on and dealing with his experience in foster care. It was really good at showing long-term effects of abandonment and abuse. 3. A Beautiful Mind 4. I am Sam -- Amazing movie! Really helped me work through how I feel about openness in foster/adoption. 5. Losing Isaiah -- In the Netflix queue, but I'm putting it off because I have the feeling it will keep me up all night thinking. 6. The Lost Child 7. Secondhand Lions 8. White Oleander -- Very disturbing...lost some sleep after watching this one. 9. Juno 10. Evelyn (2002) 11. Gracie’s Choice 12. Nell 13. The Lost Child (2000) 14. What about Bob (boundary issues) 15. America (2009) 16. Sybil (1976) 17. The Lost & Found Family (2009) 18. Foster Child (2007) 19. Saving Sarah Cain (2007) 20. The House of Love (2004) 21. Switching Parents (1992) 22. Who'll Save Our Children? (1978)
23. Martian Child -- This is my favorite adoption movie.
Cartoons/Family Movies: 1. An American Tail 2. The Land Before Time 3. Lion King 4. Lilo and Stitch -- Some people had problems with showing this one to their kids, but I liked it. It has a good message...family means no one is forgotten or left behind. 5. Oliver and Company 6. Ice Age 7. Annie 8. Snow Dogs 9. Scooter Kidz (2001) 10. Hotel for Dogs 11. Meet the Robinsons -- Another favorite adoption movie.
12. Free Willy
The Country Bears -- I only put this one in here to say it was horrible. Maybe there is something redemptive in the end, but I've sat through really bad movies before and I could not finish watching this.
Documentaries: 1. Taken In: The Lives of America's Foster Children (1998) 2. Someplace to Call Home: Surviving the Foster Care System 3. The Boys of St. Vincent 4. I Know My First Name Is Steven, also released as The Missing Years, (1989) 5. Just Ask My Children, 2001
6. My Flesh and Blood
7. Aging Out -- I was fighting back tears with this one. Aging out is such a problem...I'm really interested in finding out what different groups are doing to support these young adults as they transition out of the system.