REPRESENTATION OF ADOPTION ON FILM.
Updated: Jun 8, 2021
How often adoption is represented in movies and TV affects all adoptive families. The way adoption is seen by the general public determines how most people feel about the topic, especially those with no direct experience.
Horror movies that depict adopted children as evil or possessed by demons are obviously using the storyline to tell a very negative narrative. It's more comfortable for most parents to accept that an adoptive child could inherently be evil due to the fact that it wasn't their biological child and that has fueled the use of this narrative in horror movies for decades. Popular examples include: The Omen, Orphan.
Children's movies often depict adoptive parents as cruel and abusive. Sometimes the adoptive parents in this type of genre are direct or indirect family members. This storyline is intended to set up the main character for a happy ending but that happy ending rarely includes any reconciliation with the adoptive parents.
Popular examples include: Cinderella, Harry Potter.
There are rarely honest representations of adoption in the media. In general, I feel that the media needs to DO BETTER in their adaptation and usage of the adoption narrative.
The media uses this concept freely to add complex family stories and emotions to their programs but they don't think about how it affects our community when they exaggerate the negative or positive reality of adoption.
Personal Favorites: Big Daddy, The Blindside, Maleficent, The Secret Garden, This is Us.