Films Like ‘The Boss Baby’ Can Be Painful for Adoptees and Foster Kids



We enjoyed this thought-provoking essay from the New York Times on the issues surrounding how adoption and foster care are presented in typical kids’ movies.

While media seems to do a better job now than ever in acknowledging that the old stereotype of “2.5-child nuclear family,” doesn’t fit everyone’s family, it does seem that messages surrounding adoption, adoptees, and foster care are not quite as evolved. In fact, the “parentless child — one whose mother or father has been killed, kidnapped, lost or just left” is often the driving character or story line in movies. And those movies are targeted at our children.

We adoptive and foster parents have all been there. It’s that great quandry of deciphering messages of culture balanced against our child’s ability to take in and process those messages, and our resulting strategies that will help them process that which they’ve seen against their own stories and pre-existing messages or insecurities. Tools like Adoption At The Movies and ChicagoNow exist specifically to help us navigate the minefield of culture’s messages and can help us articulate our thoughts in ways that turn the movies into opportunities to process those messages together in light of each child’s own experiences.

But the author poses another valid thought, saying “Admittedly, we parents can wax more indignant about this stuff than the kids ever would.” Striking the right balance for our family is an ongoing effort. Being vigilant and current with our kids is hard work and we don’t always do it expertly. But we do it because we know that adoptive/foster parenting often requires some additional layers or sensitivity to our kids’ hearts as they grow and learn how to reconcile their individual stories with the messages that are all around them about family, adoption, and identity.

Sitting through a Chipmunks movie, of course, is a lot to ask of parents, adoptive or otherwise, and you hate to admit you have done it. But at least you weren’t sandbagged by some antediluvian notion of how family is supposed to work.

I’m no expert. Arguably, anyone incapable of operating a remote control shouldn’t be entrusted with children. But I have some. They possess a variety of origin stories and, some might even say, issues. And it would be nice if, when they watched a movie, they always felt at home.

Photo Credit: Dreamworks Animation, via Associated Press

10/04/2017 | by News | Categories: Adoption, Adoption News, Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑

Content created by Creating a Family. And remember, there are no guarantees in adoption or infertility treatment. The information provided or referenced on this website should be used only as part of an overall plan to help educate you about the joys and challenges of adopting a child or dealing with infertility. Although the following seems obvious, our attorney insists that we tell you specifically that the information provided on this site may not be appropriate or applicable to you, and despite our best efforts, it may contain errors or important omissions. You should rely only upon the professionals you employ to assist you directly with your individual circumstances. CREATING A FAMILY DOES NOT WARRANT THE INFORMATION OR MATERIALS contained or referenced on this website. CREATING A FAMILY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ERRORS or omissions in this information and materials and PROVIDES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, implied, express or statutory. IN NO EVENT WILL CREATING A FAMILY BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, including without limitation direct or indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of or in connection with the use of the information or materials, EVEN IF CREATING A FAMILY OR ITS AGENTS ARE NEGLIGENT AND/OR ARE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.