Addison Cooper, MSW, LCSW is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Southern California. Addison is a clinical supervisor in the field of foster care adoption. He's journeyed with over 100 children as they finalized their adoptions out of foster care, and with many more as they journeyed through foster care on the route to reunification.  Addison has written about film for The Huffington Post, Adoptive Families, Foster Focus, Adoption Today, Fostering Families Today, Focus on Adoption, and The New Social Worker. He also wrote a chapter in the 2014 anthology , Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age.

Addison was honored with an Emerging Leader Award for his work on Adoption at the Movies in 2014 by his alma mater, Eastern Nazarene College.

Addison lives in Southern California with his wife, who is a psychologist. He doesn't win many arguments.

You can reach Addison at addisoncooperlcsw (at) gmail.com

About Adoption at the Movies

Adoption at the Movies helps families know what to expect when they go to the movies. It's also aimed at helping foster, adoptive, and pre-adoptive families start important conversations about adoption-related issues. Adoption issues are often highly emotional, and are also pretty often unique to adoption. Families often feel intimidated because the issues are so important and yet so unfamiliar. Movies are pretty easy to talk about though, and Adoption at the Movies is about using films as easy bridges into those important but hard-to-reach conversations.


  1. Ha! Not many husbands do :-)

    Great About page.

    1. :) Winning isn't as fun as communicating well.

  2. Dear Addison,

    Thanks for your good work as a social worker and therapist. I've enjoyed reading Adoption at the Movies!

    I was adopted from a German orphanage by an American couple. My autobiography Outer Search Inner Journey is the first book written by a foreign-born adoptee on the subject of international adoption.

    I've completed the screenplay to adapt the book to a feature film. Here's the logline:
    A German orphan adopted by American parents seeks redemption when returning to his homeland but his journey descends into a desperate struggle to escape a labyrinth of hopeless despair in this extraordinary story on the triumph of the human spirit.

    I'm writing to ask if you know anyone in the film industry I could talk with about this project? Any referrals would be most appreciated. Thank you.

    Peter Dodds

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thanks for reaching out to me. Your book sounds very interesting! I forwarded your letter to a filmmaker --

      In the meantime, your best bet might be to check out Kickstarter, it seems like a great way to get the ball rolling on your project :)

  3. Hi Peter,
    I appreciate your views and professional feedback on the subject of adoption related issues when it comes to story lines in the movie industry. I am an adoptive mom of two children from China and we have dealt with many emotional issues related to their early lives of loss and orphanage living and current lives. One son in particular struggles so much with loss. I really don't like the idea of these issues being put out into the open sea of children's entertainment because so often the stories are unrealistic in their experiences and conclusions and our children are deluged with the idea of "happy ending" scenarios and this is quite the opposite of what usually takes place in reality. I realize that a realistic view of adoption issues and struggles would not make for a very "fun" story and be a downer for the industry so they have to keep the story endings positive and upbeat when the children and we as parents are left with the emotional fall out of the very complex issues. I could see the benefit of a story now and then that deals with the emotional complexities in a children's story line but for goodness sake Hollywood has taken this to the extreme and at the expense of our children's pain. We talk about the issues a lot without the need to be given a script ( often unrealistic) to precursor the discussion. And then we deal with the often messy emotional struggles on a daily basis that is so often void in the story line for children. I know you will disagree with my view to support your position but I just wanted to give you my adoptive parent perspective as I deal with the frequent rages that are core related to loss. I just wish Hollywood would leave this subject alone to our younger children.

    1. Hi Hisgurl! Thanks for reaching out. I'm glad that you and your children are able to talk about adoption issues so openly with each other. That's so important. You're right that, many times, films' portrayals of adoption are unhelpful, or at least, certainly incomplete. I don't know if there's a way around that. I try to point out aspects of films that I think could be trigger potentials that might otherwise catch some kiddos and parents offguard, and I try to also acknowledge the films that do a really helpful portrayal of adoption (I thought Kung Fu Panda 3 had a lot of good to offer). You're right though, that even the healthy portrayals of adoption could be painful for kids (and adults!) who are grieving what didn't happen for them. Parents are the best judge, I think, of which things to watch with their kiddos. Thanks for taking the time to comment!


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