Superman was adopted. Spiderman and Iron man were adopted. Margo, Agnes, and Edith from Despicable Me were also adopted. Outside of these fictional characters, approximately 5 million every day, average people are adopted. It is estimated that 135,000 children are adopted every single year in the United States. Most people are touched by adoption in some way.
Adoption across all forms of media is generally positioned in two ways for entertainment. In a positive light, the media tends to highlight all of the wonderful changes being made to the lives of the child or the family. For these types of movies, such as The Blind Side, there is a happy ending where everyone is changed for the better because of adoption. Movies that tend to show the more negative sides of adoption are those that highlight the struggles or the pain. In the movie Juno, the viewer can see the birth mother’s journey prior to placing her baby for adoption. In the movie Losing Isaiah, a broad spectrum of potential realities are shown because of the struggles and triumphs of the birth mother but also with the case worker, the interracial family, court cases, and in the end, the overturning of the adoption is incredibly heartbreaking to watch. Light-hearted movies that involve adoption bring a comedic relief surrounding adoption like Stuart Little or Big Daddy.
A popular movie across generations that brings to light foster care, orphanages, and adoption is Annie. Throughout the multiple versions of the movie and musicals, one thing is clear: the happiest part of the story is the ending where Annie is adopted. Did you know that Jamie Foxx himself, who played Will Stacks in the 2014 version of Annie, is adopted? His mother was adopted and then he was raised by her adoptive parents too.
People who are adopted have the same chances in life as anyone else. Want to become a billionaire tech entrepreneur? Steve Jobs is an adoptee who had a rough start to life but worked his way up to becoming one of the most well-known founders of Apple. Want to become the President? Ask Bill Clinton; it is possible. He is an adoptee who was raised by his grandmother and her husband. President Clinton didn’t change his name until he was in his teens. Singers Faith Hill and Sarah McLachlan were adopted as babies. Both followed their dreams with supportive families. Would their successful lives been the same without adoption? We will never know. Do you know of a child struggling in the foster care system, looking for meaning and direction in his life? Babe Ruth was sent to an orphanage at the age of 7. While in the orphanage, another boy taught him to play baseball, and he went on to play Major League Baseball for 22 years where he rose to fame, hitting home runs. Would the “greatest baseball player of all time” have had the same career without the struggles of the orphanage?
The world, especially with the resources we have at our fingertips now, is a very small place. Whether you are an adoptee or an adoptive parent or are seeking out information to place a baby for adoption or bring a child into your family via adoption, the media has a wide variety of resources. The adoptees who have overcome struggles to bring fame to their lives just go to show that if you work hard and want something bad enough, anyone can pursue their dreams.