Foster care adoption front and center in new Mark Wahlberg movie

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — November is National Adoption Awareness Month.

This Friday, moviegoers around the country will see a humorous and touching glimpse into the world of foster care adoption. “Instant Family” stars Mark Wahlberg. 

“Instant Family” was directed and written by Sean Anders, the filmmaker behind the hit comedies like “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “Horrible Bosses 2.” It brings a story to theaters based on his real life, taking a look at the foster care adoption system.

“Nearly 50 percent of children in foster care that are waiting to be adopted are age 8 and older,” said Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption helped bring some impactful meaning to the film after paramount pictures and Anders reach out to them. 

The national non-profit organization focuses exclusively on foster care adoption. 

“It is really looking at particularly those older youth that may fall through the cracks and age out of the foster care system and leave the system at age 18 without an adoptive family that we focus on here at the foundation,” said Soronen.

In the film, Wahlberg and his wife, played by Rose Byrne, become parents of three children -including a 15-year-old girl. 

A 2017 report released from the United States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families says that more than 442,000 children are in foster care, with that number increasing every year. 

“We know that part of that reason is what we are hearing about every day across the nation is the opioid and heroin epidemic,” said Soronen.

If you are unable to foster or adopt you can still help by donating to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption at or go to your local Wendy’s and buy a $2 Frosty key tag. All the proceeds come to the Foundation, and you get a free Frosty with every meal through 2019!

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