You’ve probably heard the phrase “representation matters” in response to media lately – in the wake of a more aware society, or at least one attempting to be more aware, artists and creators are more clued in than ever to making sure that every community is able to see themselves as protagonists (and even heroes) in their own stories.
That’s exactly what the new film Instant Family is doing for the foster care (and adoption community), and according to those who have been there – like director Sean Anders – this movie gets almost everything right.
There are the classes people take before becoming certified foster parents – where they get uncomfortable together and bond over their desire to do good for children in need. There are the uncomfortable conversations once kids are placed, the awkward meeting with birth parents, the fears that you’ll never be good enough at your new job, and all of the overwhelming pieces that somehow come together to turn foster parents and kids into forever families.
According to a mom who reviewed the movie for Romper, reinforces the point:
“The result is a movie that allows foster families space to experience happy moments alongside the difficult moments, and one that I hope inspires other families to explore foster care.”
In the film, a childfree couple decides to expand their family via foster care and adoption, and end up with very full hands after accepting placement of three siblings into their care. At the end of the movie when their adoption is final, the new family takes a photo with the judge, a ritual that most families practice, according to that same mom at Romper.
“During the credits you see dozens of other family pictures on their own adoption days as they scrolled by I couldn’t help but look at every single one between sobs. They reminded me of my little family’s day in court and how grateful I am to the foster care system that gave me everything.”
It seems like the kind of movie that will make foster parents grateful to have their experience validated and double as a learning experience for those of us who are unfamiliar with the system.
With real foster parents giving it two thumbs up, I can’t wait to check it out!