Adoption Portrayed in a Positive Light

Adoption has been a part of my life since October 2002, when my husband and I adopted boy/girl twins and grew our family from three to five overnight. Just as I told my older daughter the story of her birth, I have told my twins their adoption story from the time that I held them in my arms.

Adoption Movies That Are PositiveCredit:

As my children have gotten older, their questions about their adoption plan have been answered in an age appropriate manner. While books about adoption have been a positive springboard to conversations, movies that have an adoption theme have also helped guide me.

Here are adoption movies that I love and can be used because they are positive.


It doesn’t matter who has played the Man of Steel, the central theme around his life is his adoption. His father, Jor-El, does what he has to do-send his son to Earth- in order to give him a chance at life. Birth parents go to an adoption agency to make an adoption plan. They know that because of their life circumstances that they are unable to take care of their child-no matter how much they love him. Just like Jor-eL, they are giving their child a chance at a better life.

Jonathan and Martha Kent adopt the baby boy they find and he in turn, adopts Earth as his home-the place where his super powers can help save lives. It is a great, feel good message.

The Man of Steel

Jor-El Says Good-bye to His Son


Little Orphan Annie was turned into the Broadway musical Annie in 1977, and was made into a movie in 1982. The story, which takes place during The Great Depression, has little Annie dreaming of the day when her parents come back and take her home again. While waiting, a billionaire named Daddy Warbucks has Annie come live with him and he eventually adopts her, as he finds out her parents were killed in an automobile accident years earlier.

This is a fun musical with a great score that keeps you humming long after the credits role. It has a very positive adoption message, especially for children who are adopted when they are older.

A family Film Everyone Should Own

Annie (Special Anniversary Edition)
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This is not only positive adoption movie, but the music will have all of you singing!

The Blind Side

This movie is based on the true story of NFL player Michael Oher and his relationship with the family who eventually adopts him, the Tuohy’s.  A tenth grader who bounced from one foster home to another, eventually found himself invited to stay at the Touhy house.  They treated him like a son/brother from the start, and helped him get his grades up enough to be admitted to college.  He became a Super Bowl winner, and the first one he hugged on the field was his mom, Leigh Anne Touhy. 

In her own words, she said that families do not have to match…and that is true. The Blind Side offers a wonderful, true story about transracial and older child adoption.

A Feel Good Movie for Everyone

This is an incredibly uplifting movie and should be a part of your family film library.

Disney's Hercules

Positive Adoption MoviesCredit:

The 1997 Disney film was one of my favorites long before my twins arrived. It is a story of a boy who went from being a klutz to being the hero. When the movie begins, Hercules’ birth is being celebrated by his parent,s the G-ds Zeus and Hera. The only G-d not celebrating is Hades, who wants to be rid of Hercules because one day he will ruler of heaven and earth.

Hades his minions kidnap the baby and give him a potion to make him mortal and strip him of his powers. They only give him part, and as a result he loses his immortality but retains his g-dlike strength.

He is found by Alcmena and Amphitryon, who had been praying for a child for years. They adopt him and raise him as their own son. Hercules’ childhood was filled with some stride, as he was too strong. He felt like he did not belong.

His parents eventually tell him the story of how they found him and he then speaks to Zeus, his birthfather. Zeus tells Hercules he can become immortal again if he does a heroic deed.

The move continues as Hercules goes on his quest. He does achieve immortality and returns to his birth family, but realizes that he belongs on Earth with his adoptive family and Megara, his love. [2]

While young children may not understand the message, adults do. Hercules has natural feelings of not belonging, and some adoptive children feel that way-mainly because the truth about their adoption has been hidden.

While he does achieve immortality again and can return to the home of the G-ds, Hercules chooses to be where he is loved and with what he knows, life as a mortal on earth. There are adopted children do find their birth families and when they do, they realize that while they share DNA, that's about it. Their real family is the one they grew up with.

A Disney Classic

Hercules (Gold Collection)
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The adoption theme is not obvious to younger children, but is a great springboard for conversations about it.

Despicable Me

I absolutely adore this movie for so many reasons, and one of them is because of the great conversation is created between my children and me. Gru is an evil villain who wants to steal the moon. In order to do so, he needs a ruse to get into Vector’s house and steal the shrink ray gun he needs to complete the heist.

After seeing three sisters get into Vector’s house by selling cookies, he goes to Miss Hattie’s Home for Girls and adopts the three of them. I had to pause the film at this point and talk to my kids about how no one just adopts a child. There is paperwork, social worker visits, fingerprints, and before you are allowed to adopt a child.

Later on in the movie, Dr. Nefario calls Miss Hattie’s and has the girls returned to the orphanage. I had to press the “pause” button again, as this was awful! Children are not returned once the paperwork is signed. This scene effected me more than my kids, because their reaction was “We know that, Mom. Press ‘play’.”

In the end, they become one happy family and we see their lives continue in the recently released Despicable Me 2.


A Family Favorite

Despicable Me (Single-Disc Edition)
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Gru, the minions and the girls make this an enjoyable family film.

While there are movies with adoption themes that should be avoided, these movies are family friendly and ones that are appropriate for families grown through adoption.