10 Best Child Adoption Movies of All Time

There’s no point in giving an introduction about child adoption and foster parenting, so I’d rather not. We come across several times in movies where the adopted child discovers the fact as a plot twist. Sometimes, we know it, the character doesn’t and vice versa. And of course, most of the time, it’s made clear from the very beginning. But the emotion of child adoption has been well-utilized by writers, hence, paving a way for many movies which have child adoption as their main theme. Through this article, I shall give you the best of the lot. You can watch most of these movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Here is the list of top movies about child adoption and foster care ever made. You can watch some of these best movies about adoption on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

10. Anne (1982)

Of all the love-it-or-hate-it movies, ‘Annie’ is perhaps the one which causes the sharpest divide between those it delights and those it disgusts. It’s a musical for a start, and musicals are the big love-or-hate genre that people get really worked up over. At its core, ‘Annie’ is a really sweet, charming movie. It’s a “Christmas movie”, what else do you expect? I recommend you not to watch it unless you’re up for the genre, but if you are, you won’t be disappointed.


9. Big Daddy (1999)

‘Big Daddy’ not only funny, it’s also touching and very interesting as we see Adam Sandler go from lazybones to model citizen. Well, maybe not the model citizen, but at least he compensates through the movie. I won’t say how for those of you who still haven’t seen it. But if you want a good comedy and haven’t seen an Adam Sandler film for a while, this will entertain you.


8. Madeline (1998)

Madeline is a clever movie about a brave and smart little girl and how she stands up to Pepito and Lord Covington. It can be syrupy and corny sometimes but it’s got some entertaining moments, too. It is an enjoyable one. Yes, there are a few things that don’t quite make sense, but it’s a film that manages to portray childhood adventure and innocence effectively. It is a charming and entertaining film that you can laugh at and enjoy.


7. The Blind Side (2009)

‘The Blind Side’ is an engaging film, a film you might just pass off as another ‘Good Will Hunting’ or ‘Finding Forester’ type movie. You would be right, but this is a refreshing movie if judged against that context. Despite negatives, it is a movie that should be liked by most audiences. I thoroughly enjoyed it against all odds. Try to shake off any expectations you have, and you should have a good watch.


6. Martian Child (2007)

‘Martian Child’ moves right along, you might say right out of the box, inasmuch as that’s where we first meet the boy Dennis, who thinks he’s been sent here from Mars. The story is very good and interesting. Based on an award-winning short story by David Gerrold. Despite being termed as sci-fi, there are no spaceships. No time travel, no green-skinned aliens. Just humans trying to figure out how to live with one another in something resembling harmony.


5. Almighty Aphrodite (1995)

At first, this seemed like another meandering Woody Allen movie about relationships, and I was just about to give up on it when Mira Sorvino arrived on the scene with her funny, intelligent portrait of a sweet, not very bright girl. Woody seems to have needed Mira’s character as much as the audience needed Mira, as the writing became much funnier once he had something different to write about. On the whole, the movie makes a good watch, just stick till the end.


4. White Oleander (2002)

White Oleander tells of a daughter of a mother who is put away for murder, so she is brought around to different foster homes. This film was well performed, however, the subject is depressing and that fact alone seemed to have prolonged the agony of watching it. The storyline is bleak. The youthful performances are very believable and the dramatic interchange of the players makes up for the grim story.


3. What Maisie Knew (2012)

The fact that James’ work translates so well into the upper class is stunning. Child as a trophy, as a projection screen, as a puppet. The basic assertion of the story is simple. A child will recognize love and gravitate to it, despite the conventions of society or manipulation of dysfunctional birth parents. This story reflects James’ insights into human nature and movies which truly reflect makers are always good to watch.


2. Matilda (1996)

Colorful and magical, ‘Matilda’ is a great story by the same writer as ‘Willy Wonka’. Matilda discovers the wonders of the imagination, and her magical life takes on a meaning of its own as she gains special powers. This gives her delightful revenge on both her neglectful parents and the evil school mistress o hateful and hiding a vile secret of her own, leading to a conclusion of justifiable revenge that will keep its audience, young or old, in stitches.


1. Lion (2016)

‘Lion’ is an incredible true story where an Indian boy, adopted by an Australian couple after separating from parents and his economically backward life, traces his old home and finds his biological family using his bleak memory. The film has the go-to Indian boy of Hollywood, Dev Patel, the legend Nicole Kidman and the starlet Rooney Mara. If this is not a recipe for an impacting movie experience, I don’t know what is. Just watch it if you haven’t already.