- (Disney Enterprises/Randy Holmes)
ABC Family will debut on Monday night a new drama series, "The Fosters," which is produced by Jennifer Lopez and tells the story of a lesbian bi-racial couple who raise biological and adoptive children together.
"It's about a biracial, lesbian couple who have biological and adopted children, all living together as a family," Lopez tells Entertainment Weekly, adding it "takes chances."
"There's something that every family can take out of this show and say, 'That's exactly what happens at my breakfast table,' or, 'I can't believe she said that! That's exactly how I say things to my son.' It's very relatable that way," series star Sherri Saum has said.
Produced by actor and singer Lopez and her production company, Nuyorican Productions, the drama features Saum, known for her roles in "In Treatment" and "Sunset Beach," as school principal Lena Foster, and Teri Polo – known for "Meet the Parents" and "The West Wing" – as police officer Stef Foster.
The blended family includes Stef's biological son from a previous marriage, Brandon Foster (played by David Lambert), and the couple's adopted twins, Mariana Foster (Cierra Ramirez) and Jesus Foster (Jake T. Austin).
Kate Juergens, executive vice president of programming for ABC Family, told Marketplace last week, "I hope we are making it accessible. I hope we are making it seem normal. I think it's the job of this network to depict the idea of family in as wide a variety of ways as possible."
But the series has faced some opposition.
One Million Moms, a group that opposes same-sex marriage, says on its website the channel "has lost their minds," noting ABC's Family Channel "has several anti-family programs, and they are planning on adding to that growing list."
Many families have "already discovered" that the channel is "anything but family-friendly," the group says. "But because of family being part of the network's name, we thought a warning should still be sent out for anyone who continues to watch the channel."
ABC Family President Michael Riley has responded to criticism, saying that "The Fosters" is on line with the channel's "groundbreaking storytelling and iconic characters" and carries "the same depth, heart, close relationships and authenticity that our viewers have come to expect."
However, One Million Moms adds, "While foster care and adoption is a wonderful thing and the Bible does teach us to help orphans, this program is attempting to redefine marriage and family by having two moms raise these children together."