Asked & Answered: Books, Movies and TV Shows

All responses taken from our Facebook groups: Foster Parenting Toolbox and Kinship Parenting Group.

Representation in media is important for children of all ages. We asked current foster, kinship and adoptive parents what their favorite books, TV shows and movies are that depict foster care.

“My kids LOVE The Ride. It is a teen foster movie. Free Willy is good. Just watched It’s a Life Worth Living! So so so good. October Baby was a great one on reconnecting and how much a birth parent loves. I loved the Lion movie where they support him finding his birth mom. Some of those are definitely a reunification in the end sort of story. The Blind Side is great but for older/preteens?? We should definitely all get together and make a movie!! Think of the series that we could have!”

“The Fosters in the first couple of seasons, and This Is Us for transracial adoption and also later foster care.”

“Shazam!” (2019) was excellent! All the superheroes in that movie are foster kids of varying ages.

It covers the stages of grief; represents different ethnicities; different types of abuse; different coping skills; loving foster parents; and encourages embracing who you are in order to move forward.

It’s a goofy movie (and comic books!), but I felt that it represents foster kids very well, though some might say that it over-romanticizes some of foster care (not all places are as nice as this one).

Punky Brewster is another TV show that represented foster care in the 80s/90s. Might be a bit outdated.

The Secret Life of an American Teenager covers some heavy trauma-related and foster care stuff.

The Fosters and Army Wives feature foster care and adoption.

Anne of Green Gables is wonderfully popular and extremely positive with young girls. It’s also a series of books.”

“On the more recent side, there’s Resident Alien. The main female character gave her daughter up for adoption as a teen. Her daughter was adopted by a family in her same town, so she sees her periodically. This backstory is more about adoptive parents setting boundaries and bio parents struggling with those boundaries, while watching their child grow into a woman.”

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