Adoption, Adoption Books & Movies

5 TV Shows That Feature Adoption Storylines

Adoption looks different for everyone. Each story is unique, and contains its own original people, challenges, and feelings. However, there are certain experiences that almost anyone whose life has been touched by adoption can relate too. Today there is an increasing number of television shows that portray these experiences in detail. Check out these five shows that include adoption and the role that it plays in the characters’ lives.

  1. “This Is Us”

The show follows the hectic lives of the members of the Pearson family. The story begins when parents Rebecca and Jack discover that they will be having triplets. Joy turns to devastation, however, when one of the triplets does not survive the birth. As Jack and Rebecca wrestle with their emotions, they encounter a child who had been born and abandoned that day, leading them to believe that he was meant to be a part of their family. The show touches on many different sides of adoption, such as the feelings of each sibling, communication between birth parents and bio parents, transracial adoption, and so much more. While the challenges of adoption are a big part of the storyline, the show also emphasizes that adoption allowed the Pearson family to turn our just how they were supposed to.


  1. “Jessie”

“Jessie” tells the story of a happy-go-lucky nanny who takes care of a family of four kids— 3 of which are adopted from different countries. While most episodes focus on the crazy situations that Jessie and the kids get themselves into, a few episodes revolve around adoption and the way that it affects each child’s life. One of these episodes is titled “Gotcha Day” and includes the topics of adoption anniversaries, a child’s understanding of their own backstory, and feelings about their own adoption that children may have a hard time understanding.


  1. “Doc McStuffins”

The children’s show “Doc McStuffins” contains an especially detailed adoption storyline. Over the course of five episodes, the show portrays the McStuffins family as they begin the adoption process. Each episode focusses on a different aspect of the process, such as the waiting period, the feelings of the older siblings, and other fears that a family may have during the adoption process. This is a great show to check out if you are considering growing your family through adoption.


  1. “Grey’s Anatomy”

Although it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the show, adoption plays a big role in “Grey’s Anatomy”. Throughout its fifteen seasons so far, the show has touched many different parts of adoption. The various storylines have included birth mothers, transracial adoption, becoming a legal parent of your significant other’s child, foster parenting, and relationships between an adoptee and their birth family. If you’re wondering why adoption plays such a strong role in the show, it likely has to do with the fact that Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, is an adoptive mother herself!


  1. “Modern Family”

“Modern Family” is known for tackling the topic of the “blended family” head on. The show is filled with multiple different storylines, tied together by the fact that all of the main characters are a part of the same big family. Adoption plays a role when husbands Cameron and Mitchell adopt Lily, a young girl from Vietnam. Their story line includes many different topics, including LGBTQ adoption, cross-cultural adoption, and heritage.


For more information on these shows check out the following pages:

This is Us


Doc McStuffins

Grey’s Anatomy

Modern Family

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