Instant Family

See how you can help children in foster care:

Allison is heading a team of highly experienced, successful NCAP experts who are prepared to provide your agency, organization or family with a full spectrum of multidisciplinary services relating to adoption, foster care and permanency. Learn more about our team here, and about our services here. To inquire about working with NCAP, write to or call (617) 332-8944.


Allison Davis Maxon, M.S., LMFT is the foster care/adoption consultant for the movie Instant Family. Allison, the Executive Director of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, is nationally recognized for her expertise in the fields of child welfare and children’s mental health. Specializing in attachment, trauma and adoption/permanency, she has over 25 years of experience as a clinician, educator and advocate focused on helping children and families heal and thrive. She was honored in 2017 with the prestigious Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s ‘Angels in Adoption’ award. 


Allison Maxon, Executive Director

NCAP Team, Headed by Allison, is Prepared
​To Assist Your Agency, Organization or Family

A Note about 'Instant Family'

from Allison Maxon

It was my honor and an absolute pleasure to work as the foster care/adoption consultant for this fun – and important – movie. The director, producers and cast all wanted to “get it right,” and so I gave the best counsel that I possibly could for the last few years to accomplish just that.


Now, here’s what I want foster care, adoption, and child welfare agencies and professionals to know about Instant Family:

  • I could not be more proud of the movie Instant Family and my active involvement in it from script development, to filming, to post production support. As a professional, I have worked directly with thousands of children/youth in foster care as well as foster, adoptive and birth/first families and it was most important to me that we tell this story with honesty and integrity (and humor) through their lens.

  • I believe Instant Family so exceptionally tells the story of Pete and Ellie’s journey through foster care to adoption because it was written and directed by an adoptive dad, Sean Anders. 

  • I was first contacted almost three years ago by Sean, who said he had written a script loosely based on his story of adopting three siblings from foster care. He was doing research to refine and improve the script and wanted to interview foster and adoptive parents, as well as teens who were in foster care and/or adopted.  In that first phone call, Sean said that when he first stepped into the world of foster care, he was surprised how little he knew about the system. When he told his friends about his journey they were just as surprised by the details of who the kids are and how it all works. He wanted to shed more light on this process, particularly the positive elements that are often overlooked. 

  • Sean Anders and John Morris, co -wrote Instant Family, over a two-year period that included attending multiple foster/adoptive parent support groups, extensive interviews with teens in foster care, foster and adoptive families and social workers. I reviewed multiple scripts and provided input and guidance as needed. I was thrilled that they were working so diligently to capture the full story of what our kids and families experience. Too often people only get exposed to what is harsh or difficult about foster care/adoption, and the movie does an amazing job at telling the complete story because it includes those parts of the journey that are humorous, endearing and joyous.

  • During the filming of the movie, Sean had a former foster youth on set to help guide and consult on various scenes. Some of the scenes included real foster and adoptive families.

  • We very intentionally wanted to capture all of what is difficult and beautiful about children and families touched by foster care and adoption. This includes confronting the stereotypes about children in foster care, birth/first parents and foster/adoptive parents. As you watch the movie you will experience the normative crisis and issues that both children in foster care and families go through as they are struggling, hurting, learning, laughing, connecting and becoming a family.

  • The hope for Instant Family is that we open hearts all over the world. There are children everywhere that don’t have a permanent place to call home. Everyone can do something to make a difference for a child in foster care! Learn more at   

To everyone reading this: Thank you for all you do on behalf of children and families.


Warm regards,