Instant Family premieres this weekend amidst a flurry of conversations in the adoption and foster care community. The movie is based on the true story of a couple, played by Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, who decide to foster a sibling group of three.
Thanks to the generosity of Paramount Pictures a number of our staff and families were able to attend a pre-screening of the film this fall. Through a delicate balance, Instant Family succeeds at remaining a comedy while depicting some of the deeply emotional and challenging aspects of foster care and adoption. Tears flow as we learn about the devastating number of kids who need families, and watch five individuals struggle through the challenges of becoming a family. But amidst these truths are the humorous marital quips we expect from a family comedy, mixed with parodies of the people you may meet along your foster and adoption journey. The result: a film that leaves many audience members asking, what can I do to help?
Note: If you haven’t seen the film yet, and plan to watch it with your kids, we recommend reading reviews with spoilers to prepare yourself and your kids, like this one from Fostering Families Today and this one from Confessions of an Adoptive Parent.
You can foster or adopt
In Minnesota alone, there are 9,900 kids in foster care on any given day and 820 kids eligible for adoption from foster care immediately (Minnesota DHS). (Learn about the needs of kids in other states here.) Youth are waiting across the state for stable, caring foster families and loving, permanent adoptive families.
These families come in all shapes and sizes. We are happy to work with:
- single individuals as well as married or co-habitating couples.
- families with a variety of household incomes—fostering and adopting from Minnesota Foster Care is practically free. All you have to cover is background checks for all household members over the age of 13 (about $9 per person) and any updates to your home to meet licensing requirements.
- people of any race, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
- families from a wide range of ages—there are no age restrictions for the program.
- people who are renting or own their homes.
If you’re thinking about fostering or adopting but need more information, there are a few things you can do to learn more:
- Attend one of our Adoption & Foster Care Information Meetings. These are offered in-person and online a couple of times a month and will give you an overview of the programs and process. Find an event now >
- Watch our recorded webinars that cover some of the essential details of fostering and adopting. Both “Foster Care & Adoption: The Process and Tracks” and “7 Foster Care Adoption Myths, Debunked” can be viewed at any time. Watch the webinars now >
- Visit our waiting child photo listing to get to know some of the kids who are waiting for families right now. Get to know waiting kids now >
- Talk to one of our foster care and adoption information specialists. They are ready to answer any questions you may have. Contact us now >
If you know you want to foster or adopt, here’s how to get started:
- The first step in the foster care and adoption process is to attend a two-day training. Sign up for a class now >
- The second step in the foster care and adoption process is to attend an agency-specific training. Sign up for a class now >
We can’t wait to talk with you and help you consider fostering or adoption.
You can help us fill our Community Closet
We know that fostering or adopting may not be in the cards for everyone. But there are still ways you can help! One is to help us fill our Community Closet. Foster families often take in children with little information or time to prepare. Stipends help cover some costs, but families can face immediate needs upon opening their hearts and homes. That is where our Community Closet helps.
Generous donors provide new items for the closet to meet the expected needs of our foster families. Then when a foster family has a placement, their worker will “shop” the closet to grab a few essential items to make the initial transition easier. These items include: pajamas, school supplies, jackets, African American hair care items, diapers and more.
You can advocate for waiting Youth
Some of the kids waiting for families are considered “harder to place” because they are part of a sibling group, or have an identified need, or are teenagers. Our Child-Specific Recruiters build relationships with these youth—to truly get to know them, their personalities and what they want in an adoptive family. Then we advocate for these waiting kids. Often, this is through blogs and social media posts—this is where you can help!
Read our blogs about waiting kids and keep watch for posts about youth on our Facebook and Instagram pages. When you see posts, share them with your friends and family. A number of families have connected with our Child-Specific Recruiters after they saw a post about a waiting child on social media. It makes a big difference!