Chatting on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Knocked Up‘s Katherine Heigl announced she’ll be adopting a 10-month old Korean special-needs child named Naleigh. (Here’s hoping the tot will immediately be nicknamed “McBaby.”) Heigl is no stranger to adoption: Her sister Meg was also adopted from Korea. But being a sibling and a mother are two different things; Heigl could probably use some tips and there’s no end of instructive examples from the movies. Some good, some bad, but all with their own unique perspectives on the process. Such as…
1. Orphan (2009)
Advice: Get the birth certificate.
It’s nice to take a little girl from an orphanage and give her a new life, but Heigl might want to check for a few things first: Is little Naleigh very precocious for her age? Does she have a weird European accent? Does she wear a ribbon around her neck? If so, chances are she’s actually a 33-year-old murderous pedo-prostitute with a growth disorder. You never know.
2. The Cider House Rules (1999)
Advice: Make sure you know what you’re doing.
Tobey Maguire is adopted twice in this 1999 drama. The first time, his parents return him for being too quiet! The second time, they beat him. Eventually, Maguire finds that the place he most belongs is the orphanage he started out in. The lessons here? Be more tolerant of silence, and don’t beat your child, or they’ll end up having sex with Charlize Theron and taking Michael Caine’s old job. No one wants that to happen.
3. The Truman Show (1998)
Advice: Consider the pros and cons of celebrity.
There are benefits and downsides to Heigl instituting some sort of Truman Show program for Naleigh. On the upside, the little tyke could garner millions of fans who will follow her every move, and cheer when she eventually escapes her reality show “paradise.” On the downside, it’s really tough to run a secret television show broadcasting a person’s whereabouts twenty-four hours a day, and it’s unclear whether Heigl has that kind of patience. Verdict’s still out on this one.
4. Superman (1978)
Advice: Never forget your child’s heritage.
The best possible case scenario for adopting a child? They turn out to be an alien refugee from a dying planet, who is granted spectacular powers by exposure to the yellow sun of Earth! Naleigh may only come from Korea, but it’s still important to make sure her heritage remains a part of her life. Superman’s real parents took care of this by leaving him a weird psychically-activated hologram explaining it all; Heigl will have to take things into her own hands.
5. The Ten Commandments (1956)
Advice: Take your adoptive child’s upbringing seriously.
Probably the most famous adoption story of all time, Moses (Charlton Heston) is sent down the Nile in a basket of reeds, adopted by the Pharaoh of Egypt, and eventually leads the Jewish people out of Egypt. Though on the flipside, Moses ends up essentially bankrupting his parents and ruining their name for all time. The lesson here? Don’t let Naleigh enslave the Koreans and force them to build pyramids in her honor. It’s bad karma.
1. Juno (2007) – The main message of Diablo Cody’s teen-pregnancy flick? That you should do right by your baby, no matter how wacky and depressing it may make your life in the short-term.
Advice: Always keep the child’s best interest in mind.
2. The Good Son (1993) – It’s a good thing Heigl isn’t taking in the orphaned child of her sister; or rather, it’s too bad she isn’t, because it would finally reveal her other child is pure evil! Note: Heigl needs to get another child for this to work.
Advice: Think long and hard before adding to your brood.
3. Raising Arizona (1987) – Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter land themselves in no end of hot water in this Coen brothers’ caper thanks to the fact that they just grab the first baby they see.
Advice: Make sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
4. Star Wars (1977) – There’s a very slight chance that adopting Naleigh may lead to Heigl and her husband ending up as smoking skeletons outside their hut. That’s only if Naleigh is the last of the Jedi, though.
Advice: Be prepared for anything.
5. The Omen (1976) – At the end of the day, evil adopted children may have won out over good adopted children. Little terror Damien is one of the worst of the bunch.
Advice: Be sure to check your new baby for suspicious “666” tattoos.