TikTok 'Gender Reveal' Puts Teen Adoption In A Heartwarming Spotlight

Photo: Layland Masuda / Shutterstock
mom and adopted teen daughter hugging

Earlier this month, Dan and Charlette Fontaine of Manitoba, Canada posted a “gender reveal” on TikTok for their newly adopted daughter, 12-year-old Bianca.

Traditional gender reveals are often problematic in that they enforce binary gender roles, and have even proved dangerous at times. But this one was heartwarming, not only because Bianca found a new family, but because her parents chose to take her in when she was above the popular age range for adopted children.

Bianca’s adoption was clearly a joyful event. Posted on March 5th, 2021, the video shows the family celebrating their new official status, as a sign in the background reads “adoption day.”

“I wonder what it is,” Charlette says, holding the string of a large black balloon. Dan gives an exaggerated shrug.

Suddenly, Bianca leaps into the frame and bursts the balloon, showering the family with pink confetti. “It’s a 12-year-old girl!” she shouts excitedly, holding up a sign that displays the same words in pink block letters.

RELATED: 15 Celebs Who Adopted Children

“Yay, it’s a girl,” her mother cheers. All three have broad grins on their faces, and Bianca begins to jump up and down with joy.

The video’s caption reveals that Dan and Charlette “finally” got to adopt Bianca after she had been their “beautiful foster daughter” for “1240 days” — the family had been waiting for this moment for over three years!

The trio donned Harry Potter-themed t-shirts in the video, with Bianca’s reading “the chosen one” in reference to the titular character of the franchise.

@charlettefontaine

Adoption Day!! We finally got to adoption our beautiful foster daughter after 1240days in care! #adoption #newmom #itsagirl

original sound - Charlette Fontaine

There is a moving backstory behind the moniker.

Charlette told Buzzfeed that she and her husband had tossed a Canadian dollar coin into Niagara Falls while on vacation in 2017, wishing to be found by a child in need. When they were contacted about Bianca just hours later, they knew the connection was meant to be.

Charlette loves Harry Potter, and was thus inspired to create the nickname for her newfound child. “That’s why she’s our ‘chosen one,’” she said. “Because we threw the loonie and we were chosen.”

Viewers gushed about the sweet occasion in the comments.

“This is the only gender reveal I want to see,” one wrote. “Excellent. So wholesome.”

“Adopting older children is really amazing,” another pointed out. “People don’t understand how hard it is for them to be adopted.”

Unfortunately, it is true that older children are often rejected as candidates for adoption.

A 2007 survey found that only 20 percent of children adopted from foster homes were over five years old, while almost half were infants under the age of one.

Children who age out of foster care without being adopted also tend to experience extreme difficulties in adult life.

AdoptUSKids.org reports that over 20 thousand people leave foster care without finding a family every year; and that these individuals “are at increased risk for homelessness, young parenthood, low educational attainment, high unemployment rates, and other adverse adult outcomes.”

Charlette Fontaine was aware of this sad discrepancy when she and her husband chose to foster Bianca. She originally wanted to adopt a baby, but her mind was changed by the knowledge that older children needed homes, too.

“What really stuck with me in the adoption class was that sometimes kids over the age of 2 are classified as ‘unadoptable’ because nobody really wants a child that’s not a baby,” the new mother said. “And that statement there has stuck with me and it broke my heart.”

Charlette and Dan are not the first to encourage the adoption of older kids on TikTok.

Kristina Herrera is a teen adoption advocate on the platform. She shares information about adopting teens and attempts to break the stereotypes that often lead to prejudice against them.

Herrera has a sixteen-year-old adopted daughter herself, who is often featured in her videos.

A user by the name of Danielle also adopted a teenager as a single woman in her 20s.

On Christmas, she shared a video of her son excitedly opening the new PlayStation 5 she had bought for him. The teen is visibly thrilled as he tears the wrapping paper from the present.

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“Adopting a teen and becoming a single mom by 26 isn’t easy,” the text reads, “but these moments are worth it.”

RELATED: Why A Couple In Their 20s Decided To Exclusively Foster Teenagers

These posts clearly display the benefits of adopting a teen, and many others would agree that the decision is extremely rewarding.

According to intimacy expert and author Allana Pratt, these emotional rewards are felt by everyone involved.

“Adopting an older child who may feel forgotten, not relevant, not desirable is a beautiful brave gift to give a child,” Pratt said. “You will change their life trajectory to know they are worthy of love, support, and care no matter what.”

Beyond the child in question, “giving that love and watching that child thrive will be an inspiration to all,” Pratt explained.

For example, the decision to adopt an older child brought the Fontaines their new daughter, Bianca, lighting up the lives of all three family members.

Others were also touched when they saw the TikTok post.

“As someone who was adopted at 15, this is absolutely wonderful!” commented one viewer with a personal connection to the story.

The immense support the Fontaines have received in the wake of the video is greatly appreciated.

“I’m just so overwhelmed with all the positive support,” said Charlette. “It’s absolutely beautiful.”

Even more beautiful is the bond that Bianca shares with her new family.

RELATED: 12 Things To Know Before Adopting A Child

Allie McGlone is a writer who covers a variety of topics for YourTango, including pop culture and entertainment.