The Fosters: the new family on TV

the fosters

One of the most important things in life is our family; they teach us how to face the real world and they are there when we fail and when we succeed.

However, sometimes it is no matter of bloodline, but about the family we want to build. Like “The Fosters”, a story about two women, Stef and Lena, who made a family with biological and foster kids.

In a conversation with The Outsider Argentina, Bradley Bredeweg, creator of “The Fosters”, spoke about the show before it airs tonight on ABC Family at 9/8CT.

What is “The Fosters” about?

The Fosters follows two mothers raising a multi-ethnic family of biological, adopted and foster children.  The Fosters finds family in unexpected places – drawing bonds where there may not be bloodlines.

How did you come up with the idea of the show?

Peter and I realized that stories of both lesbian women and foster children were too few and far between.  We wanted to bring these stories to the forefront to show a kind of family that is not often represented.

We wanted to bring the world a story about two strong, grounded women leading a family of talented teenagers finding themselves in a complex world not always on their side, but moving forward together.  Because those families are out there and their stories need to be told.

What can you tell us about the main characters, Stef and Lena? 

Stef and Lena are two dedicated mothers who find the best in their children.  There will always be hurdles when raising kids, but they know the importance of love and trust in building a family.  And to build a family outside of the traditional model takes even more work.  They meet this head-on and with the most open of hearts.

What can you tell us about the relationship between Stef’s biological kid (Brandon) and the foster kids? How did they take the incorporation from Callie to the family, since she is so defiant?

Brandon had always asked his moms for a brother or a sister. When his brother, Jesus, and sister, Mariana came to live with them, he got both.  Having mothers who champion and foster these new sibling relationships provides the leadership for the family, but Brandon has really taken the reigns in making sure his sister and brother feel like family.  He protects them with the love and courage of a true older brother.

All the kids respond to Callie when she comes to stay with them, but reach out to her in their own ways – they understand how important (and how difficult) it is to bring new people into the house just as much as their mothers do.  It’s a team effort when someone new needs a place to stay, if only for a bit.

Have you made some research into the foster care system to make the show?

We have met some wonderful people and organizations involved with the foster care system and one of the greatest parts of building this show is hearing and connecting with the stories of foster children and their families.  We see the heartache and pain that being in foster care can create, but the reward for us is to also see the love, appreciation, and family that foster families create.  They are the heroes.

Foster care and homosexuality are important topics for the society nowadays; do you think that it will generate controversy into the audience?

We ask for open-minded awareness – we want you to fall in love with this family because of the love and dedication and truth they stand for, not because they don’t stand inside a kind of box.

Which is the message you want to tell through the show?

There is a place for everyone and everyone deserves a loving family.

We hope people will find that when they come across that family – whether it’s the one you’re born into or one you build – it’s about having each others’ backs.  There’s so much in this world that can tear us down, but when we watch out for each other with love, we’re unstoppable.

Which are the expectations around “The Fosters”?

We’ve been getting some very great reviews now that we’re close to our premiere.  We hope the show will continue to reach people from all walks of life and all kinds of family to share and reflect upon their stories.

Samantha Schuster