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The Fosters is an American drama series that aired on Freeform (previously known as ABC Family). The series premiered on June 3, 2013, and ended on June 6, 2018, after five seasons and 104 episodes.

Prior to the series finale, Freeform ordered a spin-off of the series, Good Trouble, that follows Mariana and Callie as they embark on their adult lives in Los Angeles.

"The Fosters" follows the lives of the Adams Foster family, composed of a lesbian couple who are raising their children together. The show is set in the 21st century in San Diego, California.


Stef Foster and Lena Adams are the Fosters, an interracial lesbian couple who are partners and living in the Mission Bay area of San Diego, raising Stef's biological son, Brandon Foster, along with their adopted twins Jesus and Mariana. Stef is a police officer, while Lena is a school principal. Lena decides to take in Callie, a "troubled" teen girl with an abusive past whose ways will turn the family lives upside down. Subsequently to the family, will be added, Callie's youngest maternal half-brother Jude. In the end, the two women will legally marry, and the two siblings will definitively be adopted, adding them, to the already big family: Adams Foster.



  • Teri Polo as Stef Adams Foster. Stef is a police officer, the wife of Lena, the biological mother of Brandon, the adoptive mother of Jesus, and his twin sister Mariana and of the half-brothers Callie and Jude. Stef is a woman of character, tough and strong. Stef is also Mike's ex-wife and his partner. Initially, Callie will not feel very comfortable because of her job.
  • Sherri Saum as Lena Adams Foster. Lena is Stef's wife, step-mother of Brandon stepmother and the adoptive mother of twins Jesus and Mariana, and the adoptive mother of the maternal brothers Callie and Jude. She's also, the vice principal of the charter school where all the kids attend. She's the one who first took Callie in after she got out of the juvenile detention center. Lena is bi-racial, in fact, his father is white, while his mother is black. She is very aware of the people around her and takes on the role of a caring mother not only to Brandon but to all of the foster kids as well.
  • Maia Mitchell as Callie Adams Foster. Callie, sixteen, is one of the newly fostered children of the Adams-Foster family and is shown to be quite headstrong and deeply loving of her younger brother, Jude. She and Brandon worked together to get Jude out of an abusive house from their foster father; he had beaten Jude for wearing one of his ex-wives dresses, forcing Callie to grab a baseball bat and use it to destroy his car. She was sent to juvenile detention after her foster "father" lied to the police about the incident, and Jude was left alone with him. Stoic and silent, she has walls up that only Brandon has seen fall. Due to her somewhat violent past and newfound closeness of the Foster family, she is shown and hinted at to be the target for several people around her brothers and sisters, one of them being Talya, Brandon's ex-girlfriend. Talya is shown to have a great dislike for Callie, to which she quickly covers up to hide her jealousy in front of Brandon and others, and Callie initially appears to take little notice of her hatred as she tries to be friendly to her until Talya outright threatens her. Callie is shown to love music, specifically the guitar, to which she and Brandon immediately connect over. Their love for music extends further when Brandon gives her his old guitar and invites her to play with him while he plays background on his keyboard. Her body is heavily bruised and lean, a result of dealing with her juvenile detention cellmates; they had beaten her when getting jealous of Callie's release. She is roommates with her sister Mariana.
  • David Lambert as Brandon Foster. Brandon is the biological son of Stef and her former husband Mike, is also the acquired son of Lena. Initially, his dream was to enter the Juilliard, to become a professional pianist. He can also play guitar, which he helped Callie learn and remember. In the end, he was forced to change his plans, due to an accident in his hand, which no longer allowed him to play the piano, as before. Brandon is very kind and caring to all of his siblings, new and old even going so far as to help Callie get her brother back from an abusive house, which resulted in him almost getting shot by Callie and Jude's foster father. Brandon has a very sweet nature but is also seen as a bit oblivious to some things going on in his life, such as his ex-girlfriend's near-immediate dislike of Callie and his sister's drug trafficking at school. He also seems to have a soft spot for Callie, much to his ex-girlfriend Talya's dislike. Also after admitting his true feelings to Callie, she runs off leaving Brandon in a tough place when Callie brings home a new "friend" Wyatt. He gets jealous that Callie is going on a date with Wyatt and in that process getting angry but when Callie calls him to pick her and Wyatt up. Brandon tells Callie he doesn't want her to date anyone (hinting that he wants to date her). After turning him down Callie tells Brandon that her former foster brother had made advances to her and then said that she came on to him when they get caught, That led to her and Jude getting kicked out.
  • Cierra Ramirez as Mariana Adams Foster. Mariana is Jesus twin sister and was taken in as a toddler along with him by Lena and Stef, and later formally adopted by them. She is very smart and girly and cares about her appearance very much. She's popular and social, but also very naive when it comes to certain topics. Such as, reconnecting with the mother who abandoned her and Jesus at a very young age, and stealing Jesus's pills and selling them to earn money that Mariana can give to her mother. After Mariana's drug trafficking begins to unravel, one of her friends is caught sniffing up the sold drugs and, to defend Mariana, blames the trafficking business on Callie. Mariana lets Callie take the blame but soon her guilt builds up and she decides to tell her mothers. Before she can, though, Jesus takes full blame and responsibility for all the actions with his pills, clearing Callie's names and protecting Mariana at the same time. She speaks Spanish fluently and likes to gossip.
  • Hayden Byerly as Jude Adams Foster. Jude is Callie's younger brother, whom she rescues from their abusive foster father's house the first chance she gets after leaving juvie. He resembles Callie, with dark hair and eyes. He is a quiet child with slightly sheltered views on foster homes due to moving house to house, which has been hard on him and his elder sister. Once he is moved into the Foster family, he quickly begins to adjust to the new lifestyle and is shown to be more talkative and energetic around everyone and around school he is said to have made new friends and is enjoying the presence of many of them. Lena and Stef will be moving him into Jesus' room to make him feel more comfortable. Growing up, he will start a long and tortuous journey, to discover himself.
  • Noah Centineo (previously Jake T. Austin) as Jesus Adams Foster. Jesus is one of the twins that were taken in as a toddler and adopted by Lena and Stef. He is 15 years of age and somewhat of the laid-back sibling of the twins. He has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and, to help his disorder, he takes prescription pills. His sister Mariana has been taking and selling his pills as drugs to friends and students at the school, to which Jesus is angered by but quickly ready to take the fall for his sister when her actions are caught by their mothers and are being blamed on Callie. If his pills are not taken, he is shown to be a bit agitated and quick to anger; such are the effects of ADHD on most children. He appears to have a hard time when it comes to the topic of his mother, although his sister has brought it up repeatedly. His original last name was Gutierrez, which he switched to the last name Foster when he was adopted. He speaks Spanish fluently and excels at sports. His relationship with Brandon seems quite brotherly, as he gives advice to him on Talya's jealousy of Callie and confides with him about how he took the blame for Mariana. He started dating his sister's best friend Lexi, (much to Mariana's dislike) after he saved her from an angered ex-boyfriend. They have been seen to text one another and they kiss although they try to hide their relationship from Mariana despite knowing it would hurt her. Mariana discovers their secret relationship during her Quinceañera, and becomes very upset at them, and even ends her friendship with Lexi.
  • Danny Nucci as Mike Foster. Mike is a San Diego police sergeant, Stef's ex-husband, and Stef's current police patrol partner. Mike requested to partner with Stef because he felt he had more police experience and could keep Stef safer than other partners. Mike and Stef discuss their family issues during their work shifts. Mike misses being more involved with his son Brandon's life and would like for Brandon to move in with him, but Brandon refuses due to feeling bad about leaving his mother and other siblings as well. He was an alcoholic.


  • Madisen Beaty as Talya Banks: Brandon's ex-girlfriend and at one point Callie's enemy. Talya was instantly jealous and loathing of Callie and Brandon's friendship with her, and invades Callie's privacy to blackmail her. When Brandon finds out about Talya's threats and hostility towards Callie he breaks up with her. Afterward, when Talya sees Callie dating Wyatt, she accepts that Callie wasn't after Brandon and acts more friendly towards her. Callie then quickly accepts this change and reciprocates the friendliness despite their history.
  • Bianca A. Santos as Lexi Rivera: Mariana's best friend and Jesus' girlfriend. When Mariana finds out about her relationship with Jesus, they have a huge fight and break their friendship. She later has sex with Jesus, and Mariana tells Lexi's parents. This causes them to try to send her to another country with her aunt, but she later escapes. When they find her, Lexi threatened that she would call immigration on herself and her parents if they send her away. Mariana and Lexi become friends again during that episode "The Fallout".
  • Alex Saxon as Wyatt: Callie's former love interest and Brandon's frenemy.
  • Jay Ali as Timothy: Callie, Wyatt, and Talya's literature teacher. they call him by his first name, he also found the note on the drugs. also stopping a fight involving Jesus. 
  • Justina Machado as Sofia Rivera: Lexi's religious and hyper-protective mother.
  • Brandon W. Jones as  Liam Olmstead: A boy from one of Callie's previous foster homes whom she had some kind of relationship with. Callie learns that Sarah, a girl in her foster child therapy session is currently staying with Liam, and after inquiring about Liam he ends up tracking her down aggressively. She also used him as the topic in her essay about guilt and is very upset when Talya reads what she wrote about him. It is said that he raped Callie and is currently grooming Sarah, the new foster child staying with his family.
  • Anne Winters as Kelsey: Mariana's friend who bought Jesus' pills from Mariana and used them to get high. She stereotypes Callie based on her past in juvie, and when Lena catches her with Jesus' pills she lies and says that Callie gave them to her. She was eventually taken to rehab.
  • Mary Mouser as Sarah: A foster child in Callie's foster child therapy session who was formerly staying with Liam and his family.
  • Gavin Macintosh as Connor Stevens: Jude's best friend and ex-boyfriend.
  • Alexandra Barreto as Ana Gutierrez : Mariana and Jesus' biological mother, and Bella's mother. Ana was previously a drug addict before she eventually went into remission.


Main Article: Episode Guide
Season Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Series Premiere Season Finale Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1        21     June 3, 2013 March 24, 2014 TBA TBA TBA
 2       21     June 16, 2014 March 30, 2015 TBA TBA TBA
3       20     June 8, 2015 March 28, 2016 TBA TBA TBA
4       20     June 20, 2016 April 11, 2017 TBA TBA TBA
5       22     July 11, 2017    June 6, 2018 TBA TBA TBA

Critical Reception

The Fosters received positive reviews from critics. The show currently holds an 88% approval rating "certified fresh" on review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 6.9 out of 10, based on 17 reviews. The show received generally positive reviews on Metacritic with an approval of 70 out of 100, based on 11 reviews. The show received generally positive reviews on IMDB with an approval of 7.8 out of 10, based on 4,208 votes from users as well as 20 reviews from users and 5 reviews from critics. The show received critical acclaim from users on TV with a score of 9.2 out of 10, based on 106 votes from users and 13 reviews from users.

Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Show The Fosters Won
Choice Summer TV Show The Fosters Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star: Male Jake T. Austin Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star: Female Maia Mitchell Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Milicent Shelton Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series The Fosters Won
GLAAD Vanguard Awards Jennifer Lopez Won
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth programming The Fosters Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Drama The Fosters Nominated
Choice Drama: Actor Jake T. Austin Nominated
Choice Drama: Actress Maia Mitchell Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star: Male David Lambert Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star: Female Cierra Ramirez Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series The Fosters Nominated
TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming The Fosters Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Drama The Fosters Nominated
Choice Drama: Actress Maia Mitchell Nominated
Choice Drama: Actor Jake T. Austin Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star: Male David Lambert Nominated
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Drama The Fosters Nominated
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Drama Series The Fosters Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Show The Fosters Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star: Female Cierra Ramirez Nominated
Choice Summer TV Star: Male David Lambert Nominated
Choice TV Actress: Drama Maia Mitchell Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Show The Fosters Nominated
Choice Summer TV Actor David Lambert Nominated
Choice Summer TV Actor Noah Centineo Nominated
Choice Summer TV Actress Maia Mitchell Nominated
Choice Summer TV Actress Cierra Ramirez Nominated

Notes and Trivia

  • The official online Freeform store for "The Fosters" store can be found here.