Adoptions on the Silver Screen

Celebrity adoptions don’t stop with the lives of the actors. It continues into the characters they portray when they are on set as well. Each story paints a different angle, revealing the complexity of what adoption is and what it looks like.

Because stigmas still surround adoption, it’s important for everyone to become more educated on the subject. That adoption isn’t something to be afraid of, and it isn’t a bad word. What better way to teach then through entertainment? People respond to stories with gripping messages, and through characters they can relate to.

Adoptions on the Silver Screen

Movies have an undeniable influence on our culture and society. They can relay both good and bad stories, and evoke any emotion it calls for. Political agendas can even be spread through the art form of acting and a well-engineered script. Film makers are clever in how they use their creativity and artistic license. Nevertheless, the silver screen has captured the hearts and minds of millions for generations.

One of the countless topics movies have approached? You guessed it: adoption. Thanks to the gift of adoption and the magic of the silver screen, we have timeless classics forever recorded. Many line our shelves or are stored in our Netflix queues at this very moment.

Movies Featuring Adoption

Can you guess who the adoptee is in each of these selections? What about the adoptive parents and birth parents?

Adoptions on the Silver ScreenAnne of Green Gables – the beloved classic by L.M. Montgomery. It first began as a novel, but then took to the screen in 1985 as a TV mini-series on CBC, PBS and The Disney Channel. Two years later, in 1987, producer and director Kevin Sullivan reunited the cast and filmed Anne of Avonlea, which is loosely based on the sequels Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, and Anne of the Windy Poplars. As a whole, the movies run 13 hours and show how Anne Shirley went from orphan to a cherished member of the Cuthbert household on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Lilo and Stitch – this cute Disney creation was released in June 2002. It tells the story of Stitch, also known as Experiment 626. Having been exiled by the Grand Councilwoman, Stitch is desperate to be accepted and loved. He crash lands on the Hawaiian Islands, and is later adopted as by the independent native Lilo at an animal shelter. As Stitch adjusts to island life, he learns the importance of loyalty, friendship and ‘ohana’ (family).

Ironman – the biological lineage of billionaire Tony Stark — aka Iron Man — is a bit disguised in the Ironman movies. However, Marvel Comics revealed in 2013 that Stark was adopted as a baby by Howard and Maria Stark. The biological child of the Stark couple, presumably, was genetically modified to have superpowers. The origin of Stark’s biological parents is unknown.

Adoptions on the Silver ScreenThe Secret Garden – another book to movie classic. First created by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden tells the story of young Mary Lennox, who lost her parents to tragedy. Burnett’s original work, as well of as early movie editions and a Broadway musical, stated that Lennox’s parents died during a cholera epidemic. Their death fits the historical cholera outbreak between 1817 and 1820 in India. However, the 1993 film remake changed their deaths to be from an earthquake and fire. Lennox is sent to live with her uncle in his dark and lonely manor in America. Feeling lost, alone and neglected, young Lennox explores the mysterious building and surrounding gardens to pass the time. She soon discovers that there is more to the manor than meets the eye. It’s an endearing story of learning how to cope with grief and the restoration of a family.

Bonus Content

The above list is not complete by any means. There are countless other movies that feature stories of adoption. On Netflix, specifically, there is: The Fosters, the Despicable Me franchise, Switched at Birth and many more. A current show making news is This is Us.

Touched by Adoption

How many of those are in your personal movie library? Did you realize what they were about, or in the very least featured, adoption? What about them captures your attention? Whether we realize it or not, stories of adoption in movies touch our lives and hearts in unexplainable, deep ways.

Adoption Choices of Colorado

For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Rachel RobertsonRachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.

In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.

When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.




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Guida, John. “How Movies Can Change Our Minds.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Feb. 2015,

“Lilo & Stitch.” Disney Movies,

“The Secret Garden.” IMDb,, 13 Aug. 1993,

Williams, Derek. “Top 7 Fictional Characters Who Were Adopted – Adoption Books.” Adoption Books | Children, Kids, Adoptive Parents, Toddlers, Adoption Books | Children, Kids, Adoptive Parents, Toddlers, 24 Apr. 2019,

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