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Happily Adopted

Spyro: So... you mean I—I'm not your real son?
Nina: You are our real son. It's just that you came from somewhere else.
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning

Once upon a time, being an adoptee was a raw deal. Either your adoptive or foster parents were Muggles—caring, but utterly, utterly clueless—or they were downright abusive, presumably because you weren't their "blood." If it wasn't adoptive parents, it was step-parents. Either you went Gene Hunting, found your REAL parents, and were loved for the rest of your life, or you moved out, lived on your own, and promptly forgot about them. Even if your adoptive parents were fairly harmless, if you ever found your real family, you forgot all about the people who raised you. Blood's thicker and all that, right?

Or so it used to be. Recently, the trend has been shying away from this in favor of Happily Adopted.

Because there are some Unfortunate Implications in implying that adoptive parents are either bad (in the Abusive Parents variety) or unnecessary/useless (the Gene Hunting variant), many adoptees in more recent fiction have a better deal. They're adopted. They know they're adopted—if not right off the bat, then it gets revealed to them that they are. And their reaction is... not to care. Oh, sure—maybe they care at first. Maybe they spend some time wondering about their birth parents, their origins, and where they really come from. But after some thought, they come to one conclusion: No matter who they were born to, they know who cared for them when they were sick, who helped them when they were down, and, most importantly, who loved them. And when love's in play, the truth becomes obvious: Those who love them are their real family, blood be damned. Usually the kid will eventually tell the parent that, throw in a hug and Heartwarming Moments are made as their bond grows stronger.

What happens in cases where the child in question is a Wonder Child, and has celestial or other fantastic parentage? While in older works, the Muggle Foster Parents would frequently be forgotten about, in this trope, the child tends to accept both sets of "parents" as being real. If the child is a Heartwarming Orphan whose "original" parents died, the same thing may also apply. Thus, this has often become a component of the modern Happily Ever After: What will happen to the orphan child protagonist? He/she gets adopted by the adult good guys! Everybody is happy!

Truth in Television, as evidenced by the Real Life example.

Can be an application of Nurture Over Nature.

Kids Raised by Wolves are often happy adoptees. Compare with Babies Ever After. Contrast Raised by Orcs. See True Companions, which is closely related (by adoption, of course). Also see Orphan's Ordeal for the flipside of the coin.


Examples

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    Anime/Manga 
  • Mikasa from Attack on Titan is was adopted by Eren's family, after her own parents were killed. It goes to the point that after their mom's death and dad's disappearance, she considers her adoptive brother Eren to be her only family left and stated she will follow him anywhere to protect him.
  • Himari and Kanba from Mawaru-Penguindrum were probably this before their adoptive parents went missing. It's hard to tell due to their parents lack of screen time and the general Mind Screw nature of the series.
  • Ruu in Daa! Daa! Daa! accepts Miyu and Kanata as his "mama" and "papa," so they worry about what will happen when he sees his real mother and father through a hologram machine for the first time in a long time. He ends up happily hugging all four of them, having cheerfully decided that he Has Two Mommies and Has Two Daddies as well.
  • Despite them all being supernatural warriors—and two of them trying to kill her previously—Hotaru of Sailor Moon is perfectly happy to have the other Outer senshi as her (three) parents when her father dies. Even in the anime, where she's simply taken from him, by all accounts she's fine with her two mamas and one female "papa."
  • Sana of Kodomo no Omocha is very aware she's adopted, and loves her adopted mother. She does get to meet her birth mother, Keiko, but the story behind her is decidedly tragic.
  • Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha readily accepts being adopted by Admiral Lindy after working through her issues with Precia, her creator.
    • Vivio, too.
    • Cinque, Dieci and Wendi are quite willing to be adopted by Genya Nakajima and Nove is, too, after some initial difficulty accepting Genya. Subaru and Ginga technically count, too.
    • And Erio. And Caro. And Tohma. And technically all the members of the Yagami Household who isn't named Reinforce Zwei. Kinda makes you wonder if people in the Nanohaverse still have children the usual way, although calling what happened between Hayate and the Wolkenritter "adoption" is really stretching the definition. In fact it's faster to count the other way: Out of the main characters, there are three kids who are seen living with at least one blood parent: Nanoha, Chrono and Lutecia. Pretty much everybody else is happily adopted.
  • Soichiro Arima in Kare Kano. His real mother was a completely abusive women who beat, starved and abused him almost daily and eventually tried to allow him to starve to death. He ends up being adopted by his aunt and uncle who show him the first true love and affection he ever received in his life and accepts them completely as his parents.
  • The title character of Yotsuba&! is adopted and very much of a Cheerful Child. Sure, she only has a father, but with neighbors she treats as extended family (including calling their mother "Mom" — not to mention treating the daughters as older sisters) and the help of her father's friend Jumbo, she's more worried what this thing in her future called "school" is all about than what sort of family she has.
  • Mamoru of GaoGaiGar spends a short while being distraught over being an alien from space, but gets over it pretty fast.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: Hinagiku Katsura loves her parents, even though they abandoned her and her sister Yukiji over ten years ago, but also loves her adopted parents.
  • Nozomi in Chance Pop Session is mad at her adoptive parents when she learns the truth NOT because she was adopted, but because they were afraid she'd stop thinking as them as her parents if she did learn the truth.
    • Reika has also been happily adopted by the former pop idol, Kisaragi Akiba, whose music gave her the strength to live.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, the boss of Varia Xanxus by any right is suppose to be Happily Adopted as Ninth Vongola's son however due to he was raised as Spoiled Brat he became bitter once he found out the truth. Noted it's not part being adopted he was angry about, but the part Vongola blood in essential to succeed boss seat and he is not qualified.Spoiled Brat then evolve to Omnicidal Maniac
    • Nana Sawada, however, was successful in adopting three mafia children, Futa, Lambo and I-pin. Some fans however still think she is a horrible mother because she's sorta neglectful to Tsuna. (More due to obliviousness than actual malive)
  • Koushiro Izumi of Digimon Adventure initially withdraws from his adoptive parents (actually, his uncle and aunt) after overhearing them discussing his adopted status, and out of feelings of inadequacy began trying to prove his worth to them by burying himself in the computer sciences. After his adoptive parents open up about it and explain his actual origins, they reconcile and Koushiro very much puts himself in this category.
  • Nami and Nojiko in One Piece, adopted by Action Mom Bellemere.
    • Chopper, Sanji (somewhat, as he gets into a lot of arguments with his adoptive father but loves him anyway), Franky and Ace and Luffy too.
  • Much like Superman, Goku from Dragon Ball is an alien sent from his shortly-after-destroyed home planet, and after landing on Earth is happily adopted by an elderly master named Son Gohan as a child (though there were some snags at first). Unfortunately, Gohan died in an accident some time before the first chapter.
    • The accident was Goku himself, as an Oozaru (a gigantic were-monkey, which all members of Goku's race can turn into at the full moon) stomping on Gohan while going on a rampage. He doesn't find this out until his late twenties, and when he does he vows to apologize to Gohan in the afterlife — although his True Companions worked it out the first time they got caught outside with him on the full moon and decided not to tell him since he was a kid back then and didn't want to break his heart.
    • Although not strictly an adoption, Piccolo runs off with Goku's son Gohan (named after the previously mentioned elderly master) in order to train him after Goku dies and Gohan shows promise as a warrior. Gohan originally hates the ordeal and Piccolo regards him as a tool for fending off the Saiyans, but over the year long exercise they develop a very father-son like bond. It's so strong that even when Goku comes back, Gohan still thinks of Piccolo like family, and Piccolo saves Gohan's life more than once, one time sacrificing his own life to do it.
  • In Blood+, several years before the series started, George Miyagusuku lost his wife and biological children in an accident, and was contemplating suicide when the amnesiac "teen" Saya entered his life. George adopted Saya as well as two boys named Kai and Riku, and it worked out very happily for all of them, especially George, whose life had meaning once again. This made it all the more heartwrenching when he died trying to protect Saya. The orphaned siblings are devastated, but take solace in the fact that they still have each other. A recurring theme of the series, hinted at by the title, is that blood is relatively unimportant when it comes to family, which is best illustrated by Saya's Evil Twin Diva (and Riku's rapist/killer), and the epilogue showing Diva's twins Happily Adopted by Kai.
  • Rin in Bunny Drop. At least in the anime and the live action movie. In the manga post-timeskip it's made clear she does not see Daikichi as her dad and has fallen in love with him.
  • Elsie of The World God Only Knows has no problem integrating herself into the household of Keima's mom, despite saying that she's the illegitimate daughter of her husband.
  • Jean Saber is a fairly well-adjusted kid, despite the fact that he has been raised by giant alien transforming robots.
  • Zorua from Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions is implied to be Zoroark's adopted son instead of her biological one. However, neither seem to give a darn and Zorua loves his 'Meema' with all his heart. And she loves him right back and is willing to go to any lengths to keep him safe, including going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when someone intentionally hurts him.
  • Marin's parentage is part of the mystery in Brigadoon: Marin and Melan, but Marin was still quite happy living with her adopted grandparents.
  • Relena in Gundam Wing didn't find out until her father was murdered, but what we see showed that she very much loved her adoptive parents, and she prevents her mother from telling her about her birth parents by hugging her and sobbing "Never stop being my mother!"
  • The very first Mobile Suit Gundam featured Sayla Mass, also known as Artesia Som Deikun and her brother Edward Mass Casval rem Deikun, or more commonly Char Aznable being adopted by Don Teabolo Mass after their parents died. By all accounts they were very happy with him, which made it all the more tragic when assassins attacked them and Don later died from his injuries.
  • Vash and Knives of Trigun were Happily Adopted by Rem Saverem for the first year of their life, since bulb-bound plants aren't equipped to raise independent plants like the twins. Rem did pretty well, and both boys were genuinely attached to her.
    • Less so in the anime, where there are other crew members awake and Knives' reasons for going Axe Crazy are less clear-cut and Creepy Child Magnificent Bastard type stuff.
      • Rem's last words to Vash in the anime are "Vash, Knives o—" and then she is seen mouthing something drowned out by the pneumatic door. Apparently this was meant to be understood as sewa o shimasu; all translations have the sentence as, "Vash, take care of Knives!"
    • On the other hand, manga Rem turns out to have been such a careful mother to them because she's The Atoner: the last time an independent plant was born in the SEEDS ships, she didn't save her from being experimented on until it killed her. Vash forgives her, after a rocky period; Knives...can't. He was going to save her, though, in both versions, when he killed all the other humans. Except she died that they might live.
    • It started out Happily Adopted, but Knives disrupted it by deciding to Kill All Humans.
  • Blue Exorcist has the Okumura twins raised by Shiro Fujimoto. Shame it didn't last.
  • In Toriko, Melk II was adopted by Melk I after he found her abandoned in a forest as a baby. The one thing that marred their otherwise happy father-daughter bond was a years-long misunderstanding due to Melk I's incredibly quiet voice.
  • Baccano!'s Firo Prochainezo is so attached to his family that he'd slit his own throat simply because they asked. The fact that the family in question is the Camorra is insubstantial.
    • He grew up in the same apartment as the Gandor brothers and is still in a good relationship with them even though they run a different gang.
  • Bossun and Sasuke in Sket Dance.
  • Miyabi Kagurazaka of Ai Yori Aoshi. Her parents served the Sakurabas before dying in a car accident, so Aoi's parents took her in, where she served as a caretaker to Aoi. Aoi's mother even refers to Miyabi as her other daughter. At the end of the manga, Miyabi gets officially adopted, and refers to her former master and mistress as "Father and Mother", albeit uneasy about calling herself a Sakuraba.
  • Happens quite a few times in Saiunkoku Monogatari. Kou Shouka and his wife Shoukun took in Seiran, who is the exiled prince Seien, and Shusui. Shouka's brother Reishin adopted Kouyuu. Sa Enjun rescues Kourin from starvation. The adopted children love and respect their foster parents dearly, sometimes a bit too much.
  • Gon from Hunter × Hunter. He is happily raised by his grandmother and maternal aunt. There's even an instance when Gon is given the opportunity to find out about his birth mother if he wants; he decides he doesn't need to know because he already has a mom.
  • Umasou of You Are Umasou, surprisingly considering he's being raised by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
    • That Tyrannosaurus, Heart, was also Happily Adopted by a female Maiasaura- even if he did run away after learning the truth about himself.
  • Mikusa from Arata Kangatari is adopted by the Village Chief of the Himezoku.
  • Ai and Zero are revealed to have been adopted in Psychic Academy. During the summer vacation, they're also shown as having a few younger siblings who are also adopted. They don't seem to mind at all - and in fact, Ai's mother even says that if anything, they're even closer than a normal family is because they chose to be a family.
  • Killer B of Naruto was revealed to be A's adoptive brother, selected due to his potential to work in sync with A during battle. Their relationship is quite close including a hefty dose of Big Brother Instinct on A's part.
  • Elizabeth of the series Nanatsu No Taizai is actually not the daughter of the king of Lyonesse. She's from the kingdom of Danafor. Whether this means she's adopted or born out of wedlock has yet to be made clear. What is known however is that the King apparently accepted her as his daughter, as evidenced in an apparent Crowning Moment of Heartwarming wherein he desperately tried to get her down from a tree despite not knowing how to climb.
  • In Bleach, Yachiru is the happily adopted daughter of Kenpachi.
    • After the Soul Society arc Rukia and Byakuya became more like sister and brother than they had been.
  • Zigzagged in the case of Guts in Berserk. Guts was happily adopted by Sys, at least, when she picked up him as a baby from underneath his birth mother's corpse. It was implied that Guts lived a happy life for his first three years until Sys died of the plague. From there, young Guts was left to the mercy of his adoptive father Gambino, who was far less kind to him as he blamed Guts for Sys's death... Despite all of the tragedy and hell that he has been through and even being reminded of the fate of his birth mother, Guts still regarded Sys and Gambino as his parents.
    • Played straight with Erica, who was adopted by the exiled blacksmith Godo when her village was destroyed and her family killed.
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle has Fai who, after one hell of a messed up childhood, is brought to Celes by Ashura-ou. CLAMP themselves stated in the second artbook that they had a good parent-child relationship. Well, at least until everything goes south before the beginning of the series and the Trauma Conga Line that eventually ends with Kurogane having to put Ashura-ou down after he goes completely insane. Poor Fai just can't catch a break.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh has Greta, who zigzags this one slightly. After her mother gave her up to protect her. Long story. she lived her distant family members who ignored and neglected her. She runs away and attempts to assasinate the Demon King, Yuuri Shibuya, whom her adoptive parents hated in a bout to earn their love. However when the assasination attempt fails, and after a short adventure the surprisingly understanding demon king adopts Greta and actually becomes a very loving father figure, playing this trope straight.
  • Elfen Lied has Mayu, who ran away from her abusive parents and got taken in by the protagonists. They later track down Mayu's mother, who signs over legal guardianship to them without any complaint (she didn't want Mayu in her life anyway). Afterward Mayu is seen living quite happily with Kouta and Yuuka, and says she considers the two of them to be her real family.
  • Natsume in Natsume Yuujinchou was passed from relative to relative (and other foster families) with no one really wanting him. Then he met the kind Fujiwara couple who were the first to offer him to live with them despite rumors of his reputation. Their kindness helped to soften Natsume's outlook on life.

    Comic Books 
  • Superman loves Ma and Pa Kent, and they him. Certain versions of his occasional cousin Supergirl fit here as well. Also Superboy Connor Kent, who knows his biological parents are Superman and Lex Luthor, but also is quite happy with Ma and Pa Kent as his parental figures.
    • This can also extend to the entire human race, which Superman/Clark Kent feels he belongs to and is completely content with, even though he's an alien. The real-life subtext behind the character's creation is that many of those behind him designed him as a kind of 'ultimate immigrant' to show an idealistic, progressive view of the American immigrant experience, with Superman assimilating in extremely well with his neighbors and caring deeply for them.
  • Red Tornado's adopted daughter, Traya, a Middle Eastern war orphan, seems very happy with him, even knowing he's an android.
  • The Authority: Jenny Quantum loves her daddies. And leads them too.
  • Sort-of present with Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl and later Oracle. She and James Gordon always (Always) have a deep and emotional father/daughter bond that has even been seen to help her knock out Brainiac, but over the years the different writers can never seem to remember whether she is his biological daughter, his niece who he has raised since childhood, or an adopted daughter. Their relationship is largely the same no matter which way it is written, but sometimes it fits with the trope and sometimes it has nothing to do with the trope at all.
    • The Barbara/Jim relationship confusion is played with a bit: at one point, Barbara discovers that Jim may have had an affair with her mother (his brother's wife) around the time that she was conceived. When she has the chance to find out whether or not she's his biological daughter, she turns it down—not because she's ashamed of him for cheating, but because she wants it to be true.
    • More consistent is both Bruce's "sons" relationship with him, and Bruce's own relationship with Alfred (which results in some truly touching moments as Alfred hears Bruce call him dad in Bruce's farewell message when he's believed to be dead). Tim, Dick, and Jason may often have problems with Bruce, but they consider each other brothers and are proud to officially be his sons. Cassandra too, as the one daughter of the group, even though she doesn't hang out with her bros too much.
      • Damian, however, is Bruce's biological son and not half as well-functioning as the other Robins, largely due to being raised by crazy ninjas. It's quite clear where on the side of nature vs. nurture Batman falls.
  • Another case was Gar Logan (Beast Boy). His parents died in a tragic accident, and his uncle turned out to be a nasty sort just using him to get at the money his parents left behind. He ran away and found the Doom Patrol. At the end of the arc, Rita Farr (Elasti-Girl) and Steve Dayton (Mento) adopted him. While Steve turned out to be too mentally unstable to be a decent parent, Gar and Rita adored one another, to the point where Gar even went into acting to follow in her footsteps.
  • Spider-Man was raised by his aunt and uncle from very early childhood and is just fine with that.
  • Hellboy knows perfectly well that he was adopted (being a huge red demon with a Right Hand of Doom is kind of a giveaway), but he has a genuinely loving relationship with his father, Professor Bruttenholm.
  • Huey, Lewie and Dewey seem rather content to live with their maternal uncle instead of their parents... despite the fact that he is very much a jerkass with a horrible temper who cannot hold down a job. They also seem to develop into far more functional citizens than him, so it seems to work. Writers who care tend to emphasize that Donald Duck is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, though one Darker and Edgier interpretation is that their mother and father actually are that much worse than Donald - which actually is Truth in Television for some real adoptees.
    • Lampshaded in several comic stories, where Huey, Dewey and Louie lament their uncle's many shortcomings, only to realize that when it comes down to it, he actually is a pretty good legal guardian.
  • A somewhat weird variant of this happens in The Books of Magic, in that Tim's true parentage is extremely convoluted and at times blatantly self-contradicting, but the trope is played fairly straight in the early issues of the book, after the first time he discovers that the people he thought were his parents may not have been: He laments it for a bit, but in the end he still acknowledges that "they did make me brush my teeth and wear clean socks all those years. Never once called me a changeling. They may not have been my parents but — bloody hell, they were my parents."
    • It's later revealed that his father was never really sure whether Tim was really his (Tim's mother was pregnant when the two married), but never thought it mattered if he was or not.
  • Wolverine and X-23 are both quite aware that she's his clone (sort of), and he has no real obligation to do anything for her. He adopted her anyway, and the relationship is about as happy as Laura gets. His Relationship with his son Daken...Isn't as healthy.
  • DC Comics has the Fourth World title, which features Orion, the biological son of Darkseid, who was traded to the Highfather of New Genesis as part of a peace treaty. Despite his parentage, Orion grew up a good warrior ferociously dedicated to defending the ideals of his adopted family.
  • Wiccan and Speed from Young Avengers are adopted by Muggle Foster Parents, but still love them even after discovering their heritage. Sort of. It's complicated.
  • W.I.T.C.H. has Taranee Cook: the New Power story arc reveals (to the reader and to her) that her parents put her up for adoption when their house was struck by a meteor and burned down. After a brief moment of rage, Taranee decided that she didn't care, and refused the chance to find out who her real parents were.
  • Subverted, but also played surprisingly straight with Rogue's adoptive parents Mystique and Destiny. By all evidence Rogue had a happy childhood with them, which is all the more surprising considering the kind of mother Mystique has been to her biological children Nightcrawler and Graydon Creed and that Rogue was raised to become a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Still, Mystique and Destiny must have taught Rogue to think for herself and respected her choice to reform and join the X-Men even though that brought a painful separation. Rogue continued to feel an emotional attachment to her adoptive parents that lasted until Destiny's death (and beyond, vide her brief resurrection in Necrosha), and if she eventually fell out with Mystique, it was because of horrific acts Mystique perpetrated after the separation, not because of a reassessment of her upbringing.
  • Brittany Diggers is an orphaned were-cheetah, taken in as an infant by Theodore and Julia Diggers, and raised as a sister to their own daughter Gina. They see her as nothing less than family, and the feeling is mutual.
  • In Shazam of the New 52, Billy Batson certainly does not count as this, but it's definitely played straight with his new adoptive siblings Freddy, Mary, Pedro, Eugene and Darla. While a variety of ages and personalities, they all love and are devoted to each other and to their adoptive parents, the Vasquezes.
    • Billy eventually warms up to his new family though. Sharing his power with them helps.
  • The Runaways are one big happy adoptive family (albeit one whose adoptions are not legally recognized.) Attempts to break them up and send them to different foster homes have never worked out, and have sometimes led to fighting.
  • Paperinik New Adventures: After crashing on Earth, Everett Ducklair lost his memory and,due to being Older Than He Looks,was adopted by a couple of very loving humans. Unfortunatly,discovering his true past created a strain on their relationship.

    Fanfic 
  • Slightly Altered has Buwaro adopted by Azurai and Iratu, and living a MUCH happier life than in canon at first.
  • In the Uplifted series, Joachim Hoch, in all but the legal sense by the Langers. So much so, that he is willing to betray the Third Reich to the Quarians in order to secure their safety.
  • Past Sins: Twilight adopts Nyx (who is, apparently, Nightmare Moon reborn), and this significantly impacts the story.
  • In The Irony Of Applejack, Applejack turns out to have been a changeling adopted into the Apple family as a baby. As canon will tell you, she dearly loves her foster family, and they love her, with Big Mac and Granny Smith fully aware of her nature.
  • Similarly, The Flower Blooms Twice has Apple Bloom discover that she's a Changeling Queen who, shortly after Applejack returned from Manehatten, was found by the Apples and adopted by them. Though she initially thinks she's a monster, Applejack's explanation of how she became part of the family makes her see otherwise.
  • In Harry's New Home, Snape takes in Harry as his ward and eventually adopts him.
  • In parody fic When In Doubt, Obliviate Harry is kidnapped and adopted by Gilderoy Lockhart, of all people. In spite of Gilderoy's not at all altruistic motivation, it turns out to be this trope.
  • The Dangerverse has this happen to Harry and Hermione and Draco (though in Hermione's case one of the adoptive parents is her older sister).
  • Will is this in 'Shadows Of The Past,' though his 'parents' are still alive; he states he just likes his adoptive ones better.
  • Adelle a Hume, is the adopted daughter of Sir Loin, a Seeq in The Tainted Grimoire.
  • In the Transformers Things We Don't Tell Humans, the cast of Happily Adopted characters includes Prowl, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Faust, Hudson, Cobalt, Iris, Aether, and Alchemy.
  • The Crystal Tokyo series of Bill K have Neo Queen Serenity adopt orphans over the years she has rule.
  • All-American Girl, for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Rarity's daughter gets sent to the human world, adopted by a childless couple and raised as a human.
  • In Blood That Flows, Momoko Takamachi (aka, Lina Inverse) adopts Fate Testarossa instead of Lindy, making Fate and Nanoha sisters. Both are quiet pleased by the arrangement. Years later, Yuuno and Arisa do this for Caro.
  • In Ace Combat The Equestrian War, Firefly, in the epilogue. She becomes Rainbow Dash's older twin sister.
    • Ditto for Pipsqueak, who becomes Dinky's foster brother.
  • The story Friends And Family treats us to Applejack and her family adopting Rainbow Dash after the death of her parents in an accident at the weather factory. Regardless of the fact that she's more or less an adult Rainbow Dash can't help but be touched by the generosity and happily accepts.
  • Aragorn is often Happily Adopted by Elrond when he was a child and is particularly close with his adopted brothers Elladan and Elrohir. This relationship lasts well into his adult years as seen in stories such as An Eye for an Eye or The Roots of Evil.
  • Claire Thompson, Elly Patterson's illegitimate daughter is this trope in The New Retcons, having led a good life with her adoptive parents. Having found out how dysfunctional her biological mother and half-siblings are, she planned on telling her mother just how much she appreciated being raised by her, but her mother sadly died before she got the chance. Elly ruefully notes that she turned out the best of her children, probably because she wasn't raised by Elly.
  • According to rumors, if Danny Phantom had been allowed to continue Danielle would've been adopted into the Fenton family. The author of the Facing The Future Series has rectified that.
  • In a surprise twist, the Reading Rainbowverse eventually reveals that Dinky is actually adopted.]
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry's adoptive family is quite happy in contrast to the one from canon, and he makes a point of giving them equal billing or higher with his real parents, even though the rest of the world wants to put his birth parents on a pedestal.
  • Quetzalcoatl from the Horseshoes and Hand Grenades story, A Month of Sundays was adopted by the gods of Aztec Mythology.
  • The Nuptialverse: By the end of Families, Twilight has officially adopted Spike as her son and Rainbow Dash files papers to do the same for Scootaloo, whose Abusive Parents have been arrested.
  • Mare of Steel: While Rainbow Dash doesn't discover her true heritage until adulthood, she's known since she was a foal that she was adopted by Firefly and Thunderhead. And it seems she was perfectly happy with them, and stays on good terms with Firefly even after finding out the truth.
  • As of this writing nothing of Scootaloo's family has been shown in-show, so it's very common in MLP fandom for Scootaloo to turn out to be orphaned/abused/etc. and in the end wind up adopted by the cast member of the writer's choice. Surprisingly, it's *not* overwhelmingly Rainbow Dash. (It's her more than any single other character, but it really can be anyone, from mane six members to background ponies to popular background ponies to O Cs to one of the princesses. It had been Discord more than once.)
  • All the Smurfs within Empath's generation, including Smurfette, Baby Smurf, and the Smurflings, were adopted by Papa Smurf in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf. It's Empath himself who is the only begotten son of Papa Smurf.
  • In the Rise of the Guardians fic, Guardian of Light, the main character Helen, Pitch's biological daughter, has been happily adopted by the Bennett family.
  • Another Rise of the Guardians fic called Lullabies, written by the same author, has the two Bennett children, Jamie and Sophie, happily adopted by the Guardians after their mother dies in a fire.
  • At the end of the Star Trek fic Safe and Sound, Lucille Harewood is adopted by Khan. Despite the fact that he got her father killed, gave her the augment abilities which caused a lot of trouble, she sees good in him after spending time with him and his crew.
  • It's hard to say if either is particularly happy, but in Diaries of a Madman Navarone clearly loves his adopted daughter and vice versa.
  • Of Lilies and Chestnuts concerns Fleur De Lis and her husband Fancy Pants adopting a bat pony. Though their lifestyles clash at first, both Fleur and Chestnut warm up immensely to each other.
  • Savage Skies has Dawn Lightwing be adopted by Fluttershy. Interestingly, it's generally agreed that is more for emotional stability then actual childrearing, as Dawn is more than capable of living on his own but has a tough time reintegrating into Equestrian society.
  • The A.I. named Cole Anderson to Neo and Smith in Bringing Me To Life, after being abandoned in the Matrix by his machine parents.
  • In The Legend of Korra flashfic Better Off Not Knowing, this is the case for the implied biological daughter of Zaheer and P'Li.

     Animated Film 
  • Greenie from Leafie A Hen Into The Wild is this trope through-and-through.
  • Kung Fu Panda starts out with Po being Obliviously Adopted with Mr. Ping, with their relationship so lovingly strong that the subject of parentage never came up. Kung Fu Panda 2 has Po getting memory flashbacks that drive him to confront Mr. Ping to finally confirm that he is adopted and the panda is feeling rather ambivalent about it. However, by the end of the story, Po comes to realize that despite what he learns about his past, the fact remains he is truly Mr Ping's son in every meaningful way outside of biology and makes a point of telling him that. Ironically, his biological father is revealed to be alive immediately afterwards.
    • Tai Lung, who was treated like a son by Shifu before the former betrayed his foster father's principles in his pursuit of power. Tigress and Shifu had a similar relationship, although Shifu was relatively cold to her because of his falling out with Tai Lung. At least Tigress got to turn that around with Po's help.
  • In 101 Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita end up adopting the orphaned puppies that they help rescue.
  • In the Disney Animated Canon version of Hercules, Herc's mortal parents seem to fade from the picture once they tell him he was adopted, and discovers he's the son of Zeus. However, one song about mid-way through the movie shows that he's using his newfound fame to take gooood care of them, building them an enormous mansion. In the ending, when he triumphantly returns to Earth, they greet him happily as well. Hercules seems to accept both his earthly and heavenly parents as legit.
    • The Series had an Aesop about this, with Herc's Muggle parents showing up at his school for a Parents' Day Thing rather than his godly ones.
  • In Dinosaur, Aladar is adopted by a family of lemurs when he was a hatchling and they become a very close family.
  • Disney's Tarzan, Kala adopts Tarzan and they have a close relationship.
    • Rosie O'Donnell (who has two adopted children) said that she took a role in the film because she liked how it put adoption in a positive light. Granted, Tarzan was adopted by gorillas, but he was happy.
  • The main character of Meet the Robinsons is an orphaned boy approaching his teenage years who wants to be adopted before he becomes a teenager (because teenagers have much more difficulty getting adopted). This finally happens in the end.
  • Penny was fretting about her chances of adoption in The Rescuers before she got kidnapped by the verbally abusive Madame Medusa. With the help of the titular two mice, she saves the day, and the movie ends with her getting adopted.
  • In All Dogs Go to Heaven, Anne-Marie and Itchy get adopted by a loving couple in the end.
  • Fernando at the end of Rio.
  • The trolls adopted Kristoff as a young boy in Frozen. He considers them overbearing, annoying, and intrusive. You know, just like any other family.
  • In Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Mr. Peabody adopted Sherman as an infant, and even more so with this version of Peabody deeply loving him as his son, Sherman considers himself the luckiest boy in the world.

     Live-Action Film 
  • The Tuohys adopt Michael in The Blind Side and he's damn happy with them, even with the expected prejudice and problems. Also, the story is Truth in Television.
  • In Shara, Yu's mother reveals to her that she's actually her aunt, and adopted her as a baby from her sister-in-law. Yu takes it in stride and keeps thinking of her aunt as her real mother.
  • In Four Brothers, the titular brothers were all adopted by their social worker as children because no one else would take them. The plot revolves around how fiercely loyal they are to her, even after she dies.
  • In the 2010 film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the main character Dastan was adopted by the King of Persia, who was impressed by the young boy's skill and courage as he saved another boy from mutilation. Dastan grows up very aware of the circumstances of his birth, but is utterly devoted to his adopted father, brothers, and uncle.
  • The eponymous mouse in Stuart Little was adopted by the human Little family.
  • In the 2011 film Thor, despite Loki's many transgressions and schemes, he genuinely loves his adoptive father, mother, and brother as well as his adoptive homeland, Asgard.
    • To the point where he's willing to brutally manipulate those around him in order to destroy his native homeland of Jotunheim, an enemy of his adoptive Asgard, and kill his biological father to please Odin and gain the acceptance he so strongly desires from him.
    • Tragically, Loki goes through all of this for little reason in the end, since his adoptive family already loves and accepts him.
  • The 2012 film adaptation of the long-running ''Les Miserables'' musical plays this trope completely straight, with Hugh Jackman portraying Jean Valjean as a completely caring and devoted father to his adopted child Cosette.
  • Olive's brother in Easy A. He casually mentions that he note  knows he's adopted over breakfast, and the parents treat it more dramatically than he ever does.
  • Babe the pig was took in by Fly the sheepdog.
  • In The Jerk, Navin Johnson (played by Steve Martin) grew up part of a poor black family. While he does strike out on his own upon learning that he was adopted ("You mean I'm going to stay this color?") it's solely out of a desire to find his place in the world, and he stays in contact with his family and sends them money when he starts making it. When it all blows up in his face, they take him back in, and it ends with him and his wife dancing and playing music with the family.
  • Brianna by the end of Mystery Team.
  • Jesse in Free Willy eventually bonds with his foster parents, Glenn and Annie. In the sequel he refers to Glenn as "my dad."
  • In a Russian adaptation of A Little Princess, Sara ends up adopted by her dad's companion (her father died), which is Faithful To The Book.
  • Me, Myself & Irene: Charlie's sons, despite being the children of his ex-wife's affair, still love him and help him though the film. It certainly helps that Charlie kept them after the ex-wife and her affair left town.
  • Then She Found Me is a less than idealistic portrayal of this trope, with Helen Hunt's adopted mother being a Jewish Mother with all accompanying difficulties, but she is nonetheless very much the heroine's mother, and mourned so accordingly when she dies early in the movie, and though Bette Midler as the biological parent then shows up, it's pointed out she wasn't the heroine's mother when being so required work(as Helen says in when she calls her out, she was sick a lot as a child). Meanwhile, the heroine's brother(their mother's biological son) is the only person she remains on speaking terms with through the whole movie. And though she spends the whole movie trying to have a baby and ignoring all suggestions of adopting a Chinese orphan, the final shot is of her being a loving mother to a little Chinese girl.
  • Money Train reunited the "salt and pepper" team of Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes as Charlie and John, cops who are foster brothers. Charlie was adopted by John's family at a young age and as a result, always looked up to John. He also felt inadequate next to John, but that was his own issue and not directly the result of his upbringing.
  • In Petes Dragon, Pete ends up living happily with Nora and her newly returned love Paul. He's so happy he no longer needs Elliot.
  • An especially moving example is revealed toward the end of Where The Heart Is, when Lexie marries Ernie. She explains to Novalee that Ernie's daughter Carol Ann is not his daughter - she's the child of his ex-wife, with whom he also has a son. His wife ran off and left him with both kids, so he raised them as though they were both his own; when the ex realized that Ernie wanted custody of her daughter, she demanded that he turn over his valuable antique sports car in exchange. As Lexie says, "He traded his car for her daughter."
  • In Scanner Cop, Samuel Staziak has a very good bond with his adoptive parents, who took him in after his biological father (a deranged scanner) died. His new father is also his boss at the LAPD. They don't appear in the next film.
  • In Charlies Angels Full Throttle, a brief Hand Wave explains that the first film's Bosley (Bill Murray) was adopted many years ago by the mother of the new Bosley (Bernie Mac).
  • The titular character in Hugo is implied to be this at the end by Georges Méličs. Averted at the beginning when his drunken uncle takes him in after his father's death, forcing him to do all the work at the train station and refusing him to go to school.
    • Also played straight with Isabelle, adopted by her godfather Papa Georges.
  • In Belle, Dido and Elizabeth are cousins who are both adopted by their aunt and uncle, who they call "Mama" and "Papa." Notable in that, while Dido is truly an orphan, Elizabeth's father and stepmother are still alive. She vastly prefers her adoptive family to her father, who disinherits her to favor his child by her stepmother.
  • Min of Min and Bill loves her Doorstop Baby Nancy, but both the Department of Child Disservices and Nancy's horrible monster of a bio mom threaten the relationship.
  • Alok in Baghban was old enough to understand that he was an orphan before he was adopted. However, since Raj and Pooja took care of him, he acknowledges them as his true parents and claims that his real parents probably would never give him the love he received from Raj and Pooja.

    Literature 
  • Nobody Owens from The Graveyard Book is adopted by a graveyard full of ghosts and one vampire after his biological parents and sister are brutally murdered. Naturally, he longs to see the world outside the gates, but he also loves Mr. and Mrs. Owens (the ghosts who raised him) like parents, and they love him like a son.
  • James Tock, the protagonist of the Dean Koontz novel Life Expectancy, is quite Happily Adopted. Considering that he comes from a birth family of evil acrobats and insane clowns, this is probably for the best.
    • Also Regina in Hideaway. She spends the first ten years of her life in a Catholic orphanage before being adopted by the Harrisons, who are very loving parents.
  • In the Septimus Heap series, Jenna has a bit of a mild crisis when she learns that she's actually an adopted princess. In a sad state, she remarks to her adoptive brother Nickolas how nice it must be to have a mother and father. Her brother promptly tells her to stop being an idiot; she has a mother and father, and brothers, and her being a Princess won't ever change that.
    • Similarly, due to spending the first ten years of his life as a Child Soldier, Septimus himself is almost more of an adoptee than Jenna is, even though he's now living with his biological parents. Although he loves them, it's still somewhat strange for him.
  • Older Than Radio: Oliver Twist was adopted by the good Mr. Brownlow. Something of a twist (no pun intended) on the trope, however, since Mr. Brownlow turns out to be an old friend of Oliver's family who would have been Oliver's uncle-by-marriage had fate, in the form of the unbelievably complicated backstory, not intervened. (The musical Oliver!, as part of streamlining the unbelievably complicated backstory, makes him Oliver's biological grandfather.)
  • Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna may not have been 100% satisfied with their situations, but they were definitely loved.
    • Anne of Green Gables also subverts this, as Anne tells how she was put in the care of several foster families before the events of the books and they treated her horribly. She still remembers them as kindly as she can (she points out that it wasn't entirely their fault that they weren't nice, since all of the families were dirt poor) and it's because of this and the implication that she'd be adopted by another horrible family that Marilla decides to keep her.
  • In the 1632 series Tom "Stoner" Stone's three "sons" all act like and treat each other as brothers, even though only one of them, Faramir or "Frank", is definitely his. Elrond "Ron" might be Tom's boy by another mother (commune, hippies), but Gwaihir "Gerry" is clearly unrelated to the others. They have no issues with that (or with their 17th century German stepmom), but some of the townsfolk do.
  • Or as happy as can be: Elrond and Elros from The Silmarillion (and The Lord of the Rings) were fostered by guys who tried to kill their mother, and their grandparents before that.
    "...and love grew after between them, as little might be thought." (The Silmarillion, J. R. R. Tolkien)
    • Tuor is also an example: he is raised by the Grey-Elves of Mithrim after his mother left shortly after his birth to find his father; she dies of despair when she finds he is dead.
    • Also Aragorn was adopted by Elrond after the death of his father. They were very fond of one another and Elrond was extremely proud of the man Aragorn grew to be, although there was tension between them later due to Aragorn falling in love with Elrond's daughter, Arwen.
  • Discworld: Carrot Ironfoundersson is a human who was raised by dwarf parents. He is a dwarf, in spite of being born a human and standing over six feet tall, and he always writes home to his parents to tell them about his day and ask how the latest mine shaft is going. Even dwarfs who have never heard of his clan recognise him as a dwarf, since being a dwarf is more of a matter of culture rather than of species. It's also implied that his birth family sprang from the dethroned kings of Ankh-Morpork. Implied much in the same way that it's implied that the sun is warmish.
  • In Les Misérables, Cosette was perfectly happy to be raised by Jean Valjean (after escaping an admittedly less-than-ideal situation with the Thenardiers).
  • V.I. Warshawski's friend Dr. Charlotte "Lotty" Herschel was evacuated from Nazi Germany with her little brother to stay with an aunt in the UK. The aunt is a vicious, mean person and had only agreed to take Lotty, not the brother, whom she farms out to an employee. The employee's family give the brother a loving warm childhood, in sharp contrast to Lotty's upbringing with the aunt.
  • Matilda: Matilda is adopted by Ms. Honey and lives happily ever after.
  • Another one from Roald Dahl: James from 'James and the Giant Peach.' His blood relatives, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, are horrifically cruel to James after his parents die. Later on (though more prominent in the 1996 movie than the book), James's new insect friends legally adopt him and prove to be very loving parental figures.
  • Tracy Beaker, sort of. Life with Cam isn't perfect, but in The Dare Game, Cam is shown as a much better mother figure than Tracy's biological mother.
  • Played with in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Father Time. The Doctor adopts an eleven-year-old girl, who, oddly, looks a lot like him and has the same Bizarre Alien Biology. As he's a Ditzy Genius who acts like he has No Social Skills, it's not exactly a walk in the park, but they're happy enough. He even gets a job, using his superior Time Lord intellect to become quite well-off. However, he makes things highly awkward when she's around the boy she fancies and has no idea what's going on in her love life. And he lies to her about the fact she's not human, causing her to run away from home at the age of sixteen and spend three years traveling around on her own. When he finds her again, they get along just fine, though. But anyway it turns out she's the heir to an intergalactic empire and although she's not on board with the "empire" thing, she has responsibilities she has to leave in order to attend to. They have a heartwarming reunion in a later book, though. It's eventually implied she's his Kid from the Future, so the trope is Double Subverted on the "happy" and subverted on the "adopted" too.
  • It's mentioned only briefly, but in the David Eddings Elenium trilogy, the sidekick character Kalten was raised by the hero Sparhawk's family after his own parents were killed when he was a boy. The result was that "in some ways, they were closer than brothers."
  • Taran, the hero of the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, is well aware that neither the enchanter Dallben nor the pig-keeper Coll are his real father, and that they raised him from a foundling baby. He loves them both dearly, but it doesn't stop him from trying to find out who his birth parents were. Princess Eilonwy, who comes to live in Caer Dallben at the end of the first book in the series, is essentially Happily Adopted by Dallben as well.
  • In the American Girl Samantha stories, Samantha's friend Nellie gets sent to an Orphanage of Fear. Of course, she breaks out and is happily adopted by Sam's extraordinarily wealthy family.
  • While Harry Potter is never officially adopted by the Weasleys, they still consider him a part of the family and he loves them far more than this horrible aunt, uncle, and cousin. And they end up as his in-laws anyway, so it all works.
  • In Andre Norton's The Jargoon Pard, although Gillian and Herrel reclaim their son, they do not give up Aylinn, who was switched with him.
  • In Deep Secret, both Nick and Maree end up as this, once they discover they are adopted. In Nick's case, the adoptive (step) parent is far preferable to the biological one. In Maree's case, said adoptive parent even gets a Selfless Wish thrown at them.
    • There's also Archer's Goon, in which Howard finds out he is adopted; he's taken aback at first but brings it up with his parents soon afterwards and realises how much they love him. In addition, it turns out that the adoption has actually happened twice, due to various time-travel-related shenanigans, and the second time around, the influence of the adoptive parents has affected Howard, now on his third trip through puberty, positively enough that he is able to break the cycle he started when he was Venturus.
  • Rand al'Thor in The Wheel of Time series gets over his "is-he-or-isn't-he-my-father" angst regarding adopted father Tam al'Thor relatively quickly, concluding that Tam is his father no matter what their blood relation is or isn't.
    • In the most recent book, he even attributes the fact that he's able to successfully pass through his Heroic BSOD to good upbringing.
  • Achim in The Adoptive Room by Antonia Michaelis. Played halfway with Karl Sonntag from another book ( he finds his father, and is quite happy with his stepmother
  • This becomes the default family in the future of Bumped. In this future, all people over the age of 18 are infertile, so families pay teenage couples top dollar to have children for them.
  • In A Little Princess, Sara is adopted by her father's business partner in the end.
  • The Secret Garden doesn't start out with a happy adoption, as miserable sour Mary is sent to her only living relative, who wants nothing to do with her outside of doing his duty to his dead wife's sister's memory. However, after everyone is healed by the events of the story, this is the assumed conclusion for them.
  • Jaenelle of the Black Jewels series tells her biological grandmother, "This body can trace its bloodline to you. That makes us related. It doesn't make us family."
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Mandalorians take family very seriously, but bloodlines...not so much. Two of their proverbs translate to "It doesn't matter who your father is, but the father you will be" and "Family is more than blood."
    • Jedi Apprentice outlines that Jedi give up their birthrights and sever connections to their birth parents when they're picked to come to the Temple. The Temple becomes home, the Jedi become family, the invisible ties of loyalty to blood become the ties of duty to The Force. Really young children are taken if the visiting Jedi wants them and the parents agree, slightly older ones have to agree too. Most are happy to be Jedi, it's rare for children of Padawan age to spontaneously even think of their origins, though there are plenty of cases of Jedi who adorn themselves as their people do. That doesn't mean this trope isn't occasionally subverted. Individually Jedi can't own property, be part of a government, marry, pick sides without regarding the big picture. They're raised to accept all that, but sometimes one becomes discontent.
    • The films didn't have any real chance to show it, but the Expanded Universe makes it clear that both Skywalker twins were happy with their adopted families. The one time Anakin Skywalker appeared to Leia as a force ghost, she told him to his face that Bail Organa will always come first as her father.
  • Deconstructed in Sharon Creech's The Wanderer. Sophie is very happy with her adopted family... so happy, in fact that she begins to think of them as her only family and constantly ignores and suppresses any notions that she is adopted. Only in the end (and after suffering a huge storm just like the one which killed her parents does she come to terms with the fact that she is an adopted orphan, which is a huge Tear Jerker.
  • Hepzibah "Eppie" in Silas Marner.
  • The premise of "Hello, Red" by Kurt Vonnegut.
  • At the end of A Brother's Price, little Eldie Porter, innocent incestuous fruit of traitors, gets adopted by the Whistlers, and since she was very lonely as the only child anywhere near her age in her original family, she's happy to be part of a large family.
  • After the death of her widowed father, Rose Campbell is happily adopted by her bachelor uncle Alec, in Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins. In the sequel Rose in Bloom, adult Rose opens an Orphanage of Love, and personally adopts a Heartwarming Orphan whom she names Dulcinea (Dulce for short), who is thus also happily adopted.
  • Mowgli and his adoptive wolf family in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
  • Candy in Emergence. She speaks very lovingly of her adoptive parents.
  • This is the final happy ending for several of the characters in the The Mysterious Benedict Society books.
  • This is basically the entire point of the children's novel, The Great Gilly Hopkins. Gilly spends most of the story fantasizing about meeting her mother while looking down on her foster family, but in the end she realizes that she loves her foster family, and finds out that her mother doesn't want her and is far from perfect. Although she doesn't stay with them, she appears to stay in contact with them and ends up more or less this trope with her biological grandmother instead.
  • Electra of the Not Quite A Mermaid series. Also counts as Interspecies Adoption, as she was born human, but as a baby she was found in a boat by mermaids, and given magic sea powder so she could live underwater.
  • Rani of the Mermaid Magic trilogy.
  • The title characters of The Petticoat Pirates series.
  • Several examples from the Tortall Universe by Tamora Pierce.
    • An adult variant occurs in Song of the Lioness when Myles of Olau formally adopts Alanna, having been a Parental Substitute during her page years. Her biological dad was rather neglectful of his children before he passed away.
    • In The Immortals, Skysong the dragon (nicknamed Kitten) is given to Daine after her true mother dies in battle. While some of the dragons are later quite displeased by the arrangement, Kitten herself couldn't be happier. Daine herself is practically adopted into Tortallan royalty- Alanna's children refer to her as their aunt in later books.
    • In the Daughter of the Lioness duet, the Balitang family. When Duke Meqon's first wife died, he eventually re-married to her best friend. He has four children, two from each wife, who love each other very dearly, despite significant differences in age and race.
  • From another one of Pierce's universes, the Circle of Magic. Tris, Daja, Sandry and Briar all become adopted siblings, with Lark and Rosethorn as their foster-mothers. Later, Briar himself adopts another street kid, Evvy.
  • Sigurd in the Poetic Edda and Volsunga Saga was adopted by the dwarf Regin and has a fairly close bond with him.
  • In Ariel (Block), Ariel is happy with David, but is increasingly put off by and fearful of Roberta. She senses that Roberta does not merely dislike her or conflict with her due to her age, but genuinely wants to be rid of her, and would have been happy if she had died instead of Caleb. She's right.
  • Jace, by the Lightwoods in The Mortal Instruments. Clary Lampshades this when Jace is angsting about his lack of a last name and she points out that he's always been Jace Lightwood.
  • Berry and Lars, two orphans rescued from the sewers of Chicago by Helen Zwilicki as a teenager, are happily adopted by her widowed father Anton (and by his new wife, Catherine). In stories set several years later, there's no doubt that Berry loves her parents and sister ferociously, and that feeling is reciprocated. Which is somewhat to the detriment of people who discover the utter stupidity of threatening Anton Zwilicki's daughter.
  • In Frostflower and Thorn, the titular warrior Thorn's biological son is wanted and loved by his adoptive mother Frostflower.
  • In Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study In Scarlet, Lucy becomes John Ferrier's daughter in everything but blood after they become the last two survivors from a band of settlers crossing the desert.
  • The All American Pups book ''New Pup on the block, features two examples of the animal variation.
    • Jake begins the first book in a shelter but is soon rescued by Mr. Casey.
    • Rosie, who is thrown out of a car in the first book, is adopted by John, the local deli owner, at the end.
  • Erec Rex is a children's book series where the main character who it is named after is of the "treats both sets of parents as real" variation. He is introduced as an adoptive child living with his adopted mother and several adopted siblings, he loves all of them and thinks of them as his real family. He later meets his real father who turns out to be a king and grows to love him too ( he also learns he has a biological brother and sister who are missing.) He loves both sets of families and cares deeply about them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dawn in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is revealed not to be Buffy's natural little sister, but mystical energy in human form sent to Buffy for protection. However, the monks that created her implanted memories of her supposed existence in everybody's minds, and it's also implied that she and Buffy share a genetic connection, so she's not exactly like an adoptee.
  • In Charmed Paige was adopted by a loving family. So the Powers That Be had to move them out of the way in a more brutal fashion...
  • Friends: Discussed and implied with Jack and Erica the twins Monica and Chandler adopt in the final episode.
    Chandler: "I wanna find a baby that needs a home and I wanna raise it with you. And I wanna mess it up in our own specific way."
    • It's pretty heartwarming when you consider both of them had horrible childhoods with their biological parents. (Suffering Parental Favoritism and Parental Neglect respectively). The fact they want to prevent a child from experiencing that is very sweet and definitely implies a happy ending.
  • Claire Bennett in Heroes is definitely this; she occasionally has some troubles with her adoptive father, but that has nothing to do with the fact she's adopted and everything to do with the fact she is a danger magnet and he is... overprotective.
    Claire: (after being told she needs to join her biological "family") I already have a family.
  • One House episode featured an adopted son as the patient - it may have been medically relevant, but otherwise it was no big deal.
    • Kutner was adopted, and was seemingly happy to be so. It was firmly established that his adopted family was not a factor in his suicide.
  • In one episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the team uncovers in the course of an investigation a boy who was raised by foster parents. In the process of solving the murder of the boy's mother, the detectives find both his biological father and his maternal grandparents. A three-way custody battle follows and the father wins, much to the unhappiness of the boy; however, the ending implies that the father will do his best to ensure that all parties are a part of his son's life.
  • Back in the early '90s this storyline was done by the soap opera Eldorado as part of its attempt to stave off cancellation. It is one of the few acknowledged touching moments.
  • Colbert from Generation Kill was put up for adoption by his birth parents, and taken in by a Jewish couple. When one squad mate jokes about his birth parents already disowning him, he reminds that to him, his adopted parents' love was much more significant than what biological bond the squadmate had.
  • Ryan Atwood on The O.C. goes from the Orphan's Ordeal to this trope.
  • Ricky from The Secret Life of the American Teenager is not "officially" adopted by his foster parents. But to him, they're his mom and dad. They also refer to themselves as "Ricky's mom" and "Ricky's dad".
    • Also Tom Bowman, who is "officially" adopted.
  • Sweets on Bones. And, one could argue, Booth and Baby Booth as well.
    • By contrast, Bones' experiences in the foster care system were less than ideal.
  • One episode of Lie to Me has a teenage boy "hire" Dr. Lightman to find out the truth behind his family. When he meets his real wheelchair-bound parent and discovers they have nothing in common, he wishes he'd left well enough alone. Eventually they get a custody-sharing agreement.
  • Cassandra, the adorable (human) alien child from Stargate SG-1, is adopted at the end of her first appearance by The Medic, Janet Frasier. Although Cassie only appears three times after this, she's mentioned quite frequently, and seems to have relatively little trouble being adopted on an alien planet. She remains a part of the backstory even after her mother's death, as the team seems to have become her adopted family, too, particularly Sam.
  • Hardison from Leverage referred occasionally to his Nana, and the team always assumed he was raised by his grandparents, until the sixth episode, when he reveals that she was actually his foster mother. Besides providing An Aesop and contrasting Parker's experiences in the foster care system, she's treated within the character's backstory as if she was his biological grandmother.
  • In Romeo! a Black family adopted a White boy named Louis.
  • Gossip Girls Chuck Bass, who was adopted by Lily van der Woodsen when he was seventeen. Lily actually seems to be a much better parent to him than to her two biological children.
  • In Queer as Folk, Michael and Ben are Hunter's foster parents, but in the last season they offer to adopt him, and he's very happy to accept.
  • Luke Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures. Really, the heart and soul of the show is the bond between Luke and Sarah Jane, and how it changed both of them for the better. Sarah Jane has called him "the most important thing in the universe" and Luke's worst nightmare is that Sarah Jane regrets adopting him and doesn't really want him. Honestly, they are the show's love story.
  • Sanctuary's Henry Foss was found on the moors as a child by Helen Magnus, who then raised him. Only once in the entire series does the subject of his birth parents come up, when it's offered to do a DNA check to see where they were from. There are no negative connotations, and Henry says the Sanctuary is where he belongs.
  • This has shown up a few times in Power Rangers. Twice, you get the sense that adoption is a handwave to do family subplots while still filling Five-Token Band requirements (Ninja Storm has brothers Blake (Asian) and Hunter (white), while Dino Thunder has Trent (Filipino) and his dad Dr. Mercer (white)). Mystic Force, meanwhile, explains Nick as adopted to set up the biological parents as Chekhov M.I.A. for a Luke, I Am Your Father plot; he doesn't talk about his adoptive parents much, but never shows any problem with them and at the end of the season goes to introduce both sets of parents to each other.
  • Plot point in Single Father when someone points out to Dave that, since he never married Rita OR officially adopted Lucy, he could lose custody of her, especially once she finds her biological father.
  • Played with in the case of Regina and Henry in Once Upon a Time. At first glance, she might appear as a stern but loving mother for her lonely son who has "delusions" about fairy tales. But as the series progresses, while Regina does care for Henry, there is emotional abuse on her part such as where she puts him on therapy to safeguard the curse she had cast, neglected him and threatened his therapist.
    • At the same time, though, Henry clearly loves Regina, wanting to see her turn away from being the Evil Queen and to be a good person. And as the series goes on, after the curse is broken, Regina legitimately comes to want nothing but the best for Henry and is willing to let him go if he doesn't want to be with her.
  • CSI NY has Jo Danville's daughter Ellie, who Jo adopted after her drug-addicted mother was sent to prison.
  • Dr. Amanda Bentley in Diagnosis: Murder came from a happy and well-off family. In later seasons, she revealed that she was a foster child (actress Victoria Rowell was also adopted). Later Dr. Bentley adopted Dion, rescuing him from an abusive foster family.
  • Abby Sciuto is one of the few cast members in NCIS to have a happy childhood; her parents were both deaf, but loved her dearly. In the Season 9 episode "Enemy on the Hill" she was surprised to learn that she had a biological brother she never met...
    "This whole brother/sister thing it didn't make any sense to me. I mean, Kyle and me, our DNA is a total match. So we have to have the same biological parents. So then I was like...what? Did they give him up for adoption. I can't imagine the wonderful loving parents that raised me and Luca ever giving up a child. But they would have adopted a child. And they did...me. I'm adopted, Gibbs."
  • The hero Ray in BIMA Satria Garuda. His parents were killed by the series' villains, so he grew up in a foster family to whom he has still fond feelings as an adult.
  • Punky Brewster: Punky is a foster child of the kindly Henry; while she occasionally gets the urge to try and find her biological mother, it's clear the two of them are pretty happy together. Likewise, Punky's best friend, Cherie, who is being raised by her grandmother after the death of her parents.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: While the circumstances behind Worf being adopted by the human couple Sergey and Helena Rozhenko were far from happy (they found him as the sole survivor of his colony after a Romulan attack), he considers them as much his family as his Klingon ancestors.
  • Diff'rent Strokes is easily the modern Trope Codifier. Two street-smart black brothers, Arnold and Willis are adopted by a white family, the Drummonds. It spawned a notable copycat, Webster, with a similar premise.
  • Fringe: Because of events at the end of Season Three, some characters get new back stories at the start of Season Four. In the new continuity, Nina Sharpe is Olivia Dunham's adoptive mother — she took Olivia in after Olivia's parents died when she was twelve. Nina has a picture of Olivia on her desk at work, so things clearly turned out well.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Little Orphan Annie, in the comic strip, musical and both movies. It doesn't hurt that her adoptive father is rich as hell.
  • Rusty, the perpetual boy who appears alongside Mark Trail in the comics, is adopted by Mark and his longtime girlfriend Cherry after they finally get married.
  • In U.S. Acres, Booker and Sheldon were found and hatched by Orson, who seems content to raise them. Booker even called Orson "Mom."
  • Dick Tracy and Tess Trueheart adopted Junior Tracy after Dick rescued him from Steve the Tramp. This is also featured in the movie Dick Tracy.

    Poetry 
  • "Not flesh of my flesh" by Fleur Conkling Heyliger
    Not flesh of my flesh
    Nor bone of my bone,
    But still miraculously my own.
    Never forget for a single minute,
    You didn't grow under my heart,
    But in it.

    Video Games 
  • Silent Hill 3's Heather Mason is certainly this, and her unconditional love for her adoptive father, Harry Mason, is what causes her to go to Silent Hill in the first place, seeking revenge for his murder.
    • By the end of the game, it's discovered that Heather is, in fact, the reincarnation of both Cheryl Mason and Alessa Gillespie, and since Cheryl was also Happily Adopted by Harry, she represents this trope two times over!
  • In The Legend of Spyro, Spyro was raised by dragonflies. When he finds out that he's not actually a dragonfly, he asks his mother the question in the page quote... and receives the above answer, reassuring him that they love him all the same.
  • In Metroid, Samus Aran loved her Chozo family deeply, and they cared for her deeply in kind. In the Metroid manga, she even goes on to accept a specific Chozo (Gray Voice) as her "real father."
    • Interestingly, as she is given Chozo gene grafts so she can survive on their homeworld, strictly speaking she is biologically related to them.
    • One game depicts a drawing she made as a child, showing young Samus waving happily alongside her Chozo family.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Cecil of Final Fantasy IV was Happily Adopted by the King of Baron, and though at the beginning of the game the king appears to be a horrible man, it turns out that that's the monster that killed him and is pretending to be him, and the good man Cecil remembers as raising him is not a lie. His not calling him a father, which might hint at him not being as happily adopted as we think, is however probably more justified as calling oneself a son of the king is more loaded than calling oneself the son of just any man.
      • Actually this is a pretty straight up example. Cecil berates his men in the beginning of the game for having doubts about the King and only really questions the king about his orders in private, well as private as the two can get. The King was also a Dark Knight, like Cecil, and he comes back from the dead as Odin to help Cecil and group. Not the most normal of examples, but Cecil, the King, and Kain seem to be relatively happy.
    • In the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud and Tifa adopt Denzel. They are also the primary caregivers of Marlene, Barret's adopted daughter.
    • Final Fantasy IX has Princess Garnet, who loved her adoptive mother even after she was corrupted into stealing her daughter's Summon Magic by an evil manthong wearing Pretty Boy.
      Garnet: No I can't let anything happen to my mother! I've got to save her!
      Zidane: Uhh, Dagger? She extracted eidolons from you and started a war!
      Garnet: I still don't want her to die!
      Zidane: But she didn't care one bit whether you lived or died! You don't have to call her 'mother' anymore!
      Garnet: She's my only mother! I don't care if you don't understand!
      • Also Eiko Carol gets adopted by Cid and Hilda at the end of the game, and is clearly excited about having a real family, even calling her new parents "Mother" and "Father" rather deliberately.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time has the main character, who was raised by his whole village.
  • Adell from Disgaea 2 has known he was adopted pretty much his entire life, but considers his slightly loopy adoptive family to be real enough that he never even brings up that he was adopted until Rozalin drags the answer out of him. His birth parents, on the other hand, he doesn't have much respect for — as the fact that he refers to them with quotation marks can attest to.
    Adell: ...Oh, that. That is the truth. I'm not related to Mom and Dad by blood. Or to Taro and Hanako, either. ...I was abandoned by my "real" parents when I was still young.
    Rozalin: So, you have been risking your life all this time for people who aren't even your family! And, now you expect me to believe you?
    Adell: Blood isn't the bond that makes a group of people a family. It's the heart.
    • To twist the knife, it's heavily hinted that Adell's real parents are the two specters that are forced to be the right- and left- hand demons of Overlord Zenon. They didn't abandon him- they were brainwashed into forgetting him, but even then their parental love occasionally shines through in his presence. He kills them, completely unaware of any of this.
    • He is, in fact, so happy with the status quo that he either doesn't notice- or chooses not to notice that he's a demon, not a human.
  • Tales of Symphonia has Lloyd Irving, who was adopted by a dwarf named Dirk at the age of three. Even when he discovers his birth-father, he continues to refer to Dirk as his 'dad'.
    • At one point he brags about having two dads.
  • Tales of the Abyss has Natalia, who isn't blood related to the king and turns into this when the truth comes out: Both sides basically keep treating each other like they did before, even knowing they're not directly related.
    • Luke himself is also sort of an example. His parents are still, biologically, his parents, and he's technically been living with them longer than Asch, but he's still the clone of the 'real' Luke.
  • Golden Sun has Ivan, happily raised by a non-Adept merchant and his wife in Kalay, whom he doesn't even bother calling his parents... But don't think they're not important to him. Ever.
    • Late in the first game, we meet Sheba and her adoptive family in Lalivero, all of whom worry about her kidnapping. She loves them, too, but she's too caught up in the adventure to go home until the very end of The Lost Age.
    • Dark Dawn continues the tradition via Amiti, who is raised by his uncle and less angsty about learning the truth of his not-so-immaculate conception and unconventional upbringing, and more about being lied to about it his whole life (presumably to protect his late mother's dignity).
  • Sieg from Suikoden Tierkreis was found by Elder Rajim when he was newborn in the place where the castle is now located. He never learns the truth about his real parents, but he is completely happy with the family that raised him.
  • Heartwarming Orphan Flora Reinhold is happily adopted by Professor Layton after the events of the first game.
    • In "The Azran Legacy" we learn that Layton himself was adopted as well. By the end of the game, he doesn't have much animosity for his biological father, Leon Bronev, but still plainly states that he could never see him as his father, and that his adopted parents are his true family. He also doesn't use the name he was born with, Theodore Bronev, as that wasn't who he was raised as.
  • Pia from Rune Factory 3 is a mermaid who was taken in by a human mother and her biological daughter after she decided to stop living with fish. She's also probably the happiest character in the game.
  • The title character of Shantae. The residents of Scuttle Town aren't quite sure what to think of a half-genie, but it's generally agreed that her "uncle" Mimic did a good job of raising her — and it's obvious that the two are devoted to each other.
  • Ling Ling Johnson in Guilty Party was adopted at a scant few days old, and has cheerfully accquired all of her family's trademark detective lunacy with nary another thought. Bonus points for being the Chinese adopted daughter of a seemingly Scary Black Man (Gentle Giant, actually) and a much tinier, much older white woman, making them a very diverse big happy family.
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Valentina, one of the first characters you meet in the game, reveals that she's known that she was taken in by Kalderasha after her biological parents died for a long time, and isn't bothered by the fact that he's not her blood relative.
  • In Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2 the Player Character was adopted by a family of Craftknights, who offer encouragement throughout the game.
  • In Baldur's Gate, the main character and Imoen his half-sister were both adopted by the Harper Gorion. Unless you're roleplaying an Evil character, it's implied that life with Gorion was relatively peaceful and happy. Until the plot happened anyway.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Sunny is perfectly happy with Snake and Otacon, living in their plane-apartment and making breakfast.
  • In Threads of Fate, Klaus' family welcomes Prima Doll with open arms. During the epilogue Mint or Rue sees him with Elena, who's overjoyed that she now has a little brother.
  • Link in Ocarina of Time was happily adopted by the forest guardian, the Great Deku Tree (especially in the manga version). He was raised along with the Kokiri children and didn't discover his true origin until he got trapped in the Sacred Realm for seven years, emerging as an adult (Kokiris never grow up).
  • The Pokémon Togepi is typically acquired as a gift from an NPC or by trading (i.e., adoption), and has a base happiness rating of 70, giving it a massive head start on most other Pokemon that need happiness to evolve.
  • Solatorobo has Red and Chocolat, a brother-sister duo who adopted each other when they were kids at an orphanage. They refer to each other as "my brother/sister" without ever mentioning the fact that they're Not Blood Siblings, and considering Chocolat is still only thirteen, Red may actually have legal custody of her, despite the fact that she deals with day-to-day issues like money much better than he does.
  • In the Hearthfire DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the player can adopt up to two orphans provided he or she has a house fit for them. Most of them are happy to be adopted, though some of the orphans dislike Heljarchen Hall because it's so cold, and all of them hate Windstad Manor because they think the nearby swamp is haunted. And they're right.
  • Possible in all three main installments of The Sims, and some of the spin-offs. Pre-made examples include Mary-Sue Pleasant, Tara DeBateau, and the Newson children.
  • Rune Factory 4 loves this trope; adoptive families outnumber biological ones by the end of the plot. Before the start of the game, Doug has moved in with Blossom and helps the old woman out just like any adult son would, Volkanon has charge over Vishnal and Clorica (technically they're his trainees, but he treats them like family, and they get along like brother and sister), and Arthur joins Porcoline the day after your story begins. As the plot progresses, Illuminata adopts Amber as a part-little-sister, part-daughter arrangement, Porcoline gets a second adoptive son in Dylas, Happily Married Sickeningly Sweethearts Jones and Nancy adopt Dolce and her ghost-"sister" Pico, and the mother-daughter pair of Lin Fa and Xiao Pai adopt Leon as their son/brother. Porcoline has also been looking after Margaret like a father for some time now, though she has her own house and doesn't live with him, and Bado cares for his young neighbors Forte and Kiel. You could even say that the entire town adopts the main character in a way, with the way they offer to help you out with your amnesia.
  • In Castlevania64, Carrie mentions that she was raised by a loving and caring step-mother who ultimately sacrificed herself to save her, to contrast the villainous Actrise who just casually claimed she slew her own biological child as the first of 100 child sacrifices to resurrect Dracula.

    Visual Novels 
  • Misuzu in Air is an interesting case. Her aunt Haruko acts as her adopted mother, but distances herself from her for fear Misuzu will be taken away; but as the series continues, they grow very close.
  • Hayama Mizuki from ef - a fairy tale of the two. was adopted as a Replacement Goldfish for her parents' actual daughter, who drowned as a little girl. Mizuki herself underwent several traumatic experiences previously. Despite all this, she adores her parents, they adore her, and Mizuki says late into the story that she wasn't born to her real parents—she only came to be with them later.
  • Shirou Emiya, the main character of Fate/stay night, was adopted by the magus Kiritsugu after his parents (and other immediate family) died in a fire. After Kiritsugu also died, Shirou remembers the six years they spent together as the happiest time in his life.
    • Of course, the other adoptee in the series (Sakura) was nowhere near as lucky.
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: Trucy Wright, the adopted daughter of Phoenix Wright, adores her father. She even calls him "Daddy" immediately after Phoenix gives her the option to call her Nick or Daddy if she wants.
    • However, Trucy loves both her adopted and real fathers to the same extent and was, in fact, extremely sad when she figured out that her biological father had been murdered. She merely put on a brave smile as to not worry neither Apollo or her adopted father, Phoenix. Too bad it doesn't work, as Phoenix already has prior experience with the Stepford Smiler trope.
    • Also, from Ace Attorney: Justice for All there were the brothers Acro and the comatose Bat, adopted by the circus ringmaster Russell Berry. This pushes the events of the "Big Top" case into serious Tear Jerker territory, as Russell is the accidental victim of Acro's murder attempt.
  • Chizuru in Hakuōki, somewhat. It's subverted in most routes, where Kodo reveals that he only took her in and raised her because she was the heir to the Yukimura clan and would be useful for repopulating it, but played straight in Hijikata and Okita's good routes, where he sacrifices himself to save her.
  • Quark in Virtue's Last Reward. Tenmyouji found him abandoned as an infant during a thunderstorm, and although he initially tried to find a better home for the baby, he ended up raising the child as his own. The two have a deeply loving relationship, and in the game's Golden Ending, it's strongly implied that Tenmyouji, AKA Junpei, doesn't want the Bad Future to change because he loves his adoptive grandson.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: Hatoful House was an orphanage for birds orphaned specifically by war. The older birds worked, most of the younger birds went to school, and it was explicitly a family. Nageki, at least, was happy there.

    Web Comics 
  • Ozy from Ozy and Millie is a fox raised by a dragon. He's quite happy with his dad, even if he is a bit... odd. And, at the very end of the strip, his dad and Millie's mom get married, giving him an adoptive-but-loving mother as well. He's been told of his biological parents, but as he reminded Millie once, he knows who his real father is. Even if he occasionally sits on him, or sets him on fire, or makes him scrub the moat as a chore.
  • Myan from Cat Nine. Calling her happy is an understatement as she seems to genuinely love her new dad.
  • Terinu has his adoptive mother Melika, who, though a vulpine, loves her ferin "cubling" deeply. Word of God has said that Teri's memory of their brief time together as a family has kept him from being completely warped by Space Pirate Mavra Chan's Training from Hell.
  • In Kevin & Kell, Lindesfarne was adopted by Kevin during his first marriage with Angelique (who wanted a prickly species as an excuse to keep her at arm's length) and while she has her own issues with Angelique neglecting her during her childhood, she loves her father and stepmother. Corrie was also briefly adopted by the Canids, but while she tired of their obsessive routines, her clone Dolly, who was used to living a structured life from being in the lab, appreciated what her adoptive family had to offer.
    • Dolly's rather special because she's Happily Adopted....twice. After she started rapidly aging, she pretended to Corrie's birth mother so the Canids wouldn't realize something was wrong. Then a time machine accident caused Dolly to regress to a baby. She conspired with Corrie to present herself as a Doorstop Baby named Mary, whom the Canids promptly adopted.
  • Sharon of General Protection Fault was adopted by an interracial couple.
  • Agatha Clay in Girl Genius often speaks of Adam and Lilith Clay as her mother and father, though she's always known herself to be adopted. They make it clear that they love her, and she won't let anyone insult them.
  • An odd version of this appears in Something Positive. The strip's resident ditz Monette is adopted by Davan's parents, Fred and Faye, once they realize that her biological parents are complete jerks. The oddity of the arrangement is that they adopt Monette when she's in her twenties. But it works out surprisingly well.
    • And now, Aubrey and Jason have adopted Pamela Joycelyn ("Pamjee") and she already feels more kin to her adoptive parents than most could have hoped for.
  • Cole is the happily adopted brother of Nate in Doodle Diaries.
  • This is actually the whole plot behind Selkie. It's even called A Tale Of Adoption by the author.
  • Enel of The Silver Eye is quite happily adopted by Marcus, and although Apen wasn't raised by the Alvarados, they still consider him to be a part of their family.
  • Depending on how you look at it, artificial creature Molly of The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! doesn't have any real parents (though Jean sort of qualifies, because they share some genetic material). Anyway, Bob raised her, and she's currently living with Jean, and she loves them both very much.
  • Freefall has the Bowman's Wolves, who were all adopted by human families. Florence's family treat her as a human child, for the most part. The fact that she's legally property is little more than a formality. Her owner considers her his little sister and buys and sells things for her.
  • Averted in 9th Elsewhere: Carmen has been through at least 8 different foster families.
  • Arthur in Arthur, King of Time and Space is fostered rather than adopted by Ector, even in the contemporary arc, but it's definitely a happy family, with even Kay being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. When his worst fear is mainfested in the space arc as being that he's really Ector's bastard and condemned to life as Kay's squire, his reaction is, well, it could be worse.
  • Eva of Metal Phone Mouse.
  • In Slightly Damned, Darius assumed the role of father for orphaned demons Iratu, Sakido and Buwaro. When Buwaro found out the lengths Darius went to in order to protect them, he proudly assumed Darius's last name, something Demons don't normally have.
    • A similar connection can be made for Rhea assuming the role of "big sister" to Buwaro, something she promised Sakido she would do when they escaped Hell.
  • Lampshaded in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , with Alexis' relationship with Destania.
  • El Goonish Shive: Elliot's parents don't bat an eye when he brings home an Opposite-Sex Clone of himself. They're just ticked he didn't tell them where he was.
    • Similarly, Grace takes to the Verres household like a fish to water, though her exact status in the family is a bit ambiguous as to whether it's official adoption (she's dating their son, Tedd), but since she turns 18 during the course of the story it may be a moot point.
    • It's also indicated that adopted siblings Rhea and Diane are also this, and despite sniping at each other their concern for each other is genuine.

    Web Original 
  • Most kids picked up by the Protectors of the Plot Continuum are far happier in the Nursery or with whichever agents become their parents than they were with their original families, which were often Sues or other fic characters. Mary Sue characters do not make good mothers; among other things, they've been known to cause their own children to be killed or molested just for attention.
  • Sandwich Stoutaxe, a Drow raised among Dwarves. Despite rough beginnings (Dad wished she was a sandwich instead of a baby, she tried to stab him in his sleep as an infant) and the difficulties a Drow Elf would face living among Dwarves (such as doors that are built for people half her height), she does quite well. She considers herself a member of the Stoutaxe clan first and an Elf second. Given what Drow society is like, she is definitely better off.
  • Odette the Swanna and Shahinne the Starly in We Are All Pokémon Trainers. Odette is adopted by a Mienshao and a Liepard, both female, of all things. Shahinne is being raised by a Fearow and a Honchkrow who got romanticaly involved together precisely because she needed a maternal figure.
  • Lucahjin is this in Real Life, but it became relevant to her Let's Plays when she played Super Paper Mario. The scene where Luvbi learns that her parents were not her biological parents, and resents learning of this hit especially close to home for her, and she mentions that, as an adopted child herself, such discussion on the nature of family tends to make her especially weepy. And it did.

    Western Animation 
  • Francine from American Dad! was raised by a Chinese couple called the Lings and is so happy about it she does not even want to know who her biological parents are. Stan, however, didn't like his in-laws so he set off to find her biological parents. He found out they were a rich couple whom he got along very well. Francine still refuses to meet them, so Stan finds her adoptive parents' will and shows her that they left everything to their biological daughter, Gwen. Francine takes this as evidence that they don't love her as much and decides to meet her biological parents. However, Mr. Ling rescues Stan from a burning house and explains he saved Stan because Stan makes Francine happy. (it's also revealed that Francine's biological parents were jerks, as they abandoned her because they couldn't take babies on first class flights.) Mr. Ling proceeds to explain that the will left everything to Gwen because she's a moron, while Francine is in good hands because she's married to Stan. Francine and Stan understand that they do love her just as much, and she continues to refer to the Lings as her real (and only) parents.
  • Bamm Bamm the Doorstop Baby from The Flintstones. This was around the time when adoption was starting to be accepted and not taboo, so it was very groundbreaking (and heartwarming) at the time.
  • Perhaps it's related to how she met him, but Gosalyn never had any issues with seeing Darkwing Duck as her real father. (Well, except for remembering not to call him "Dad" when he's in costume, but that's a skill any child of a costumed crimefighter needs to learn anyway.) Her biological parents died long before Darkwing came into the picture; the pilot of the series indicates that she was raised by her very loving grandfather.
  • Megan is adopted by Jack, the team owner in NASCAR Racers. She's sad about her past, but Jack treats her very well.
  • The PBS Kids series Dinosaur Train has Buddy, who managed to get into a Pteranodon nest as an egg, and he and his family initially don't know what kind of dinosaur he is. He's accepted immediately as part of the family in spite of this, and even when, in one episode, they learn that he is a T-rex and the other ones they met wonder if he wants to stay in their area, he says he'd much rather be with the parents and siblings that love him. Even the intro song establishes this, with Buddy's confusion at clearly not looking like his siblings, and Mrs. Pteranodon assuring him that she's his mom and that deep down he's still like the rest of his family.
  • Phineas and Ferb has a variant, where the two title characters (plus their sister Candace) live in a happily blended family where the kids are basically adopted by their step-parents. Word of God hand waves any question about Phineas and Candace's missing biological father or Ferb's missing biological mother as unimportant. All three kids refer to the parents as "Mom and Dad," and as much as they drive her crazy, Candace is fiercely protective of "my little brothers."
    'That's right, we're bros, we're brothers, different father and mother
    But don't you diss, slam or slide us, we look after one another
  • In the animated series of Dofus, "The Treasures of Kerub", Jojo loves his adoptive father completely. In fact, practically the entire show revolves around Kerub telling him stories of his youth, which Jojo finds absolutely enthralling.
  • Dragon, Bounce and Shimmer in Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends and Grace the ladybug later on. Oh, and Miss Spider herself.
  • Winx Club plays this trope straight and subverts it: Bloom still loves her adoptive parents upon learning that she was adopted, however, she then developed what it could be said an insane obssession with finding her biological parents. When she does finally find them, she seems to practically cast her adoptive parents out of her life, but she manages to make up with all of her parents.
  • Masters of the Universe
    • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), Teela is Man-At-Arms's adopted daughter and well aware of the fact, though for the most part she doesn't care that she isn't biologically his; she doesn't even think about it much. In the episode Teela's Quest she goes in search for her real parents, leading to the revelation that the Sorceress is her mother. While Teela for unexplained reasons isn't allowed to remember her discovery, at the end of the episode she concludes that the man who has raised her from a tiny girl, been there for her all her life, and taught her everything she knows is her father, biological relation or not.
    • In the 2002 reboot, it was hinted that Man-At-Arms actually is her biological father, but doesn't know it. However, it was also hinted that Man-At-Arms's brother Fisto might be Teela's real father. The show was cancelled before the viewers could find out which one of these were the truth.
    • And in the proposed series He-Ro, Son of He-Man, (the bible can be found here), the new protagonist, Dare, would have been the Happily Adopted son of Adam and Teela, now king and queen of Eternia.
  • This is at the heart of the Disney series The Replacements, which is about a brother and sister living in an orphanage. They find a comic book with an ad in the back that will allow them to "replace" any adult with one sent by the company, and order themselves a new set of parents. Thus they end up adopted by a gorgeous British superspy and her husband, an Elvis-lookalike stunt driver. It's a weird family, but they're devoted to one another.
  • As of the end of Avatar: The Last Airbender, you could say that Zuko has become this, after much angsting and finally deciding that he's going to consider Iroh his real father. Iroh had already started thinking of Zuko as a son since his own son's death.
  • In CatDog's big movie about finding their long lost parents, they find out in the end that the parents that raised them as kids had adopted them. And were also a talking frog and a sasquatch. They never find out who their biological parents are, but are content to reunite with the ones that cared for them.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball has an...interesting version of this. Darwin used to be the family pet goldfish, but then he grew legs and lungs, so he became a normal member of the family and he is treated exactly the same as Gumball and Anais by their parents (though one episode claims that he's still technically considered a pet by some parts of the government).
  • Donny from The Wild Thornberrys was taken in by the titular family before the series began, and officially adopted later.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has baby dragon Spike, who is all but explicitly the adoptive child of main character Twilight Sparkle, something neither of them have any problems with. It probably helps on his end that she hatched his egg.
    • If you count the Expanded Universe, then Princess Cadance was also adopted by Princess Celestia. Before this, she was an orphaned pegasus who was found and raised in an earth pony village.
    • In My Little Pony Tales, Patch is happily adopted and is not happy about the idea that she might be a princess and have to leave her family in "Princess Problems."
  • Block from Moral Orel, though it's an odd form of adoption. After getting Shapey and Block mixed up, Bloberta goes to exchange them with her former neighbors. Said former neighbor gives Shapey back, but doesn't take Block back. He becomes a regular member of the family from then on, and becomes best buds with Shapey.
    • It's also odd in that Mr. and Mrs. Puppington are actually pretty terrible parents - but Block does get along with Shapey.
  • At the end of The Care Bears Movie, orphan brother and sister Jason and Kim have been adopted legally, while Nicholas has been essentially adopted by the magician he assists. And it turns out that Nicholas then grows up to be the film's narrator, who runs an Orphanage of Love with his wife.
  • On Young Justice Bruce is portrayed as a better father figure to Dick than in other continuities, though the latter seems to retain some unfounded abandonment issues. Interestingly, Word of God says that Alfred and Bruce did not have this sort of relationship while Bruce was growing up, but that Alfred regrets not trying to be more of a parental figure.
    • In Season 2, the Kents have clearly adopted Superboy. Superman refers to him as "little brother" and gave him the Kryptonian name Kon-El, and in "True Colors" Pa Kent refers to Superboy as one of his boys.
  • Wheel Squad: Sure, Emilie Rotter still has her mother but she and her stepfather get along so well her birth father was never mentioned in the whole series.
  • While Godzilla Jr. filial imprints on Nick in Godzilla: The Series, Junior has been extremely loyal to his human "father", even when confronted by his biological parent in the three-part "Monster Wars".
  • In the 2011 ThunderCats reboot, Tygra is raised by the royal family after his own sends him away to save his life, and he continues to think of Claudus as his father and Lion-O as his brother even when he meets his own clan and reconnects with his father.
  • Finn, one of the main protagonists of Adventure Time, is a human boy who was adopted by a family of talking dogs as a baby. Although the actual parents have died, he lives with his adopted brother and they seem very close.
    • Actually, his biological father is alive and he is a tremendous asshole.
  • The title character of Little Elvis Jones and the Truckstoppers.
  • Sofia the First becomes this when her mother marries King Roland II of Enchancia. Sofia's mother also happily adopts Prince James and Princess Amber, her husband's children from his previous marriage.
  • Both Trina and Corey of Grojband are this by their single father, and there was no mother.
  • The title characters from Alvin and the Chipmunks live happily with Dave Seville, their adoptive father-turned-manager, even after they reunite with their biological mother.
  • While families in South Park can be dysfunctional, Ike is considered part of Kyle's family despite the fact that he was adopted from Canada. And Kyle will protect Ike because he's the older brother.
  • Frisky the fox from Chucklewood Critters.

    Real Life 
  • Most Real Life adoptions fall in this category.
  • Some people either have no change in their relationship with their family, or take consolation in the fact that they share no genes with their family; it can be nice to be able to joke about family shortcomings by including the fact that you're not blood relatives. On a more sober note, it does also allow for one to be able to think things like "these people love me more than my own blood". And to reciprocate that. Blood may be thicker than water, but "kin" is thicker than blood.
    • That phrase is actually surprisingly appropriate. The full phrase is something closer to "The blood of fellowship is thicker than the water of the womb." - The people you make voluntary and mutual bonds with can be far more loyal than people you are merely related to by happenstance.
    • It's also amusing for an adoptee to have someone who doesn't know you're adopted comment on the "obvious" family resemblance to your parents.
  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie state that their children are very happy
  • Jeff Dunham was happily adopted and says that he has no real desire to search for his birth parents.
  • Because Emperor Penguins have incredible parental instincts, female penguins whose own chicks do not survive the winter will often adopt orphaned chicks. However, this ends in a Deconstruction when numerous child-wanting female penguins swarm orphan chicks in massive slide fights that can, and often do, crush the orphaned chick.
  • Most pets fall under this category.


Glad-to-Be-Alive SexHappiness TropesHappily Ever After
Grounded ForeverThe Parent TropeHappily Married
Foster KidAdopt An IndexHeartwarming Orphan

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