For those of us deep in the reality of adoption, we have a clear understanding that adoption is complex in a multitude of ways. It changes over time, throughout the lives of those impacted. Members of the triad don’t fit a specific stereotype, and their personal storylines don’t follow a prescribed narrative.
It is often surprising to some that adoption stories have appeared frequently in many films throughout the 100+ years of film history. Filmmakers don’t always get it right, but when they do, films can offer an opportunity for members of the adoption triad to see themselves, to start meaningful conversations, and create an understanding of the complexities of adoption for all involved.
Summer is a great time to delve into a good film, and our staff have a few top picks for films that have strong adoption themes:
A Girl Like Her (2011) – reveals the hidden history of women who became pregnant in the US in the 1950s and 60s when “nice girls” didn’t get pregnant. They were banished to maternity homes or homes of relatives where they could give birth and surrender their babies for adoption. Documentary. Purchase at: http://www.annfessler.com/documentary-film/a-girl-like-her/
Closure (2013) – Angela, an adoptee who is black, was raised by a white couple in a large multiracial family in Washington state. She undertakes a journey to find her birth parents and chronicles her progress through film. Documentary. Available on Amazon.
Instant Family (2018) – A young couple must learn the ropes of instant parenthood when they bring home three foster siblings. Inspired by a true story. Comedy/Drama. Available on Amazon.
Lion (2016) – A five-year-old boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. Surviving many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia, he sets out to find his family. Drama. Available on Amazon.
Philomena (2013) – A woman whose child was taken never stops searching for her son. Fifty years later she journeys with a grumpy reporter to America to find him. Comedy/Drama. Available on Amazon.
Three Identical Strangers (2018) – A reunion of identical triplets, separated at birth and adopted by three different families of different economic backgrounds. The film unearths an unimaginable twisted secret. Documentary. Available on Amazon.
What are your favorite movies with adoption themes? Discuss with us on Facebook on the Adoption Network Cleveland page.
*Amazon is listed as one streaming site where movies are available. Movies may be available on any number of streaming services, and individuals should make the best decision on where to view for themselves.