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Waiting For Adoption
 

There are over 435,000 children in foster care in the United States.
Over 110,000 need adoptive homes right now.
About 20,000 age out of foster care every year, at age 18 without anyone, to live on their own, unprepared and unsupported.

Can you change the life of a waiting child?
Can you adopt? Can you foster? Or maybe you can start a Heart Gallery or volunteer for one?

newsbriefs

Look Below!



What is the Heart Gallery?

The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic and audio exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. The Heart Gallery of America is a collaborative project of over 80 Heart Galleries across the United States designed to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing homes in our community.

Now, in its sixteenth year, the Heart Gallery model is being replicated in many communities across the country. Although many of our children were removed from abusive and neglectful situations, they still have hope. They love to laugh, to learn, and to be with their friends. Most of all, they dream of finding a forever family to be their own.

Photos That Change People's Lives (click below for video)


Heart Gallery of the South Plains Visits Lakeridge UMC in Lubbock

The Heart Gallery is a unique photography exhibit designed to raise awareness of children who are waiting to be adopted. The traveling exhibit features Lubbock and area children who desire nothing more in life than to find a loving family and a "forever home". It is our hope that these inspirational portraits will encourage people to look into the magical eyes of these children and become involved by adopting or fostering.

In Case You Missed It

All this month, stop by Cardi's Furniture Rt. 2, W. Warwick to see Adoption Rhode Island's 13th Annual Heart Gallery. This compelling exhibit features portraits of children who are waiting in state care for "forever families" (families that will adopt them). Through these powerful images, witness the spirit, the strength, the innocence and the challenges of beautiful children waiting for that which is rightfully theirs..

Colorado Heart Gallery on display at SouthGate Church in Fort Collins

The Colorado Heart Gallery, a traveling photography display featuring photographs of children and teens in foster care waiting for an adoptive family, will be on display at SouthGate Church, 6541 S. College Ave. Ft Collins, CO 80525. Tuesday–Friday, 9 am-1:30 pm and Sundays during church services, 10-11:30 am. The Colorado Department of Human Services and county human services agencies need help finding families for 267 children and teens in the foster care system waiting to be adopted, many of whom are featured on the Colorado Heart Gallery. In Larimer County, where SouthGate Church is located, three children and teens are waiting for a family.

Kansas Klicks for Kids Heart Gallery visits Manhattan

Klicks for Kids is a traveling photography exhibit featuring Kansas children in foster care needing adoption.Over half the children in foster care in Kansas are over the age of seven and originally come into foster care through no fault of their own — many times abuse and neglect is involved. Although the goal of foster care is to work with families toward safely returning the children to their home, sometimes that is not possible and that is when the professionals get involved to find families to adopt these children.

The Indiana Heart Gallery Visits Greenwood!

Ok, so "get caught" going to the dentist! A traveling exhibit that depicts children in need of adoptive homes will be in Greenwood starting today. The Indiana Heart Gallery, a traveling exhibit featuring portraits of the children, is available for viewing at Stacy Johnson Family Dentistry, 3056 Stones Crossing Road W. The portraits will hang through Feb. 2 The Indiana Department of Child Services uses the gallery to bring attention to children in foster care.

Join Us to Learn More About Florida Teen and Sibling Adoption

Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco is hosting an open house in partnership with Family Tyes Counseling and Consulting, LLC, for families that have inquired about or are interested in adopting teenagers and sibling groups. We hope you can join us for an evening of learning and sharing with industry professionals! RSVP to megan@heartgallerykids.org .

Live Near Springfield Illinois? Save the Date!

Learn about the Illinois children in need of foster care and adoption through foster care. This town hall style event features foster care licensing agencies in and around Springfield, Illinois. We also feature a keynote speaker with an amazing foster care to adoption story. Whether you have your foster care license, or not, this is a great way to learn how to start or continue your journey through foster parenting and learn about opportunities regarding adoption through foster care. (Do you know that the majority of the foster care licensing process is now available online? Yes, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has made the licensing process much more user friendly.) A breakfast of bagels, fruit and coffee will be served. This free event begins at 9:00am and ends at 12:00pm. You are welcome to stay till 1:00pm to talk with individual licensing agencies.

Could I be a foster parent?

We actively seek opportunities to increase our visibility in the community and raise awareness by selecting a number of venues for community exhibits each year. Exhibits have ranged from the Portland Pride Festival to the Cumberland County Fair. A Family for Me often contributes a Heart Gallery with photos of children awaiting adoption to community events. We work with a local bi-monthly magazine, Parent and Family, to highlight a foster family in each issue and run a feature each May in honor of Foster Care Month.

South Carolina Heart Gallery Visits Edwards Road Baptist Church in Greenville

The South Carolina Heart Gallery is a photo exhibit displayed in the main hallway that features adoptable children from the SC foster care system. Local photographers donate their time and services to photograph the waiting children. The Heart Gallery basically puts a face on the need by letting people see these children's faces in the photos. The goal is to raise awareness of the need for adoptive families and to hopefully find homes for these kids by letting their personalities shine through the pictures.

OK Family Fosters Hope For Dozens Of Teens In DHS Custody

On any given day in Oklahoma, more than 500 children in DHS custody are waiting to be adopted. Sadly, prospective families will overlook many of the children waiting. "Kids come into custody for a wide range of reasons," said Casey White with DHS. "In Oklahoma, we have a lot of substance abuse, domestic violence, neglect. For some of these kids, they've not seen what a healthy relationship really looks like." However, once they enter Rochelle Sims' home, it's clear. "God gave me a heart that it is easy for me to love others," she said. She and her husband Patrick are parents to two biological children, three adopted teenagers and dozens of foster kids.

Paintings for Good Causes

Here are a few paintings that were completed this past year for 'Painting for Good Causes' These are children that are in foster care hoping to be adopted and find a forever home. These paintings are on display at the Heart Gallery's of Saratoga, Florida and Sacramento, California where they can bring awareness and inspiration to adopt these children of Gods and ultimately given to the child to keep when they are adopted, reminding them how precious they are.

Four Things You Need To Know to Adopt In Tennessee -- From Those Who Know

Tennessee has very welcoming laws on adoption. The laws are focused more on the child's well-being. Essentially, if a person is stable and can provide for a child's financially and emotionally, that person be a candidate to become an adoptive parent. The purpose of the requirements is to ensure adopted children are placed in permanent, loving and stable homes. If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent, contact your local Children’s Services Office for more information and read up on how to adopt.

Families are For Everyone

Methodist Children's Home Society is recruiting foster homes within Macomb County so children who reside in that area can continue to reside there and within the school district once they are placed within foster care. Click the link above for more info on becoming a foster parent.

Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment

Slowly and silently, emotionally and physically abusive experiences can have long-term and life-long consequences depending on the survivor's and family's access to treatment. Everyone is harmed, directly or indirectly, as the trauma is passed from generation to generation. The book suggests a series of shockingly modest yet strategic reforms, changes that can ensure that the future systems of protection in every community are better at identifying their own shortcomings and fixing them.

Heart Gallery of the Rio Grande Valley Visits the Children's Museum of Brownsville

The social media coordinator meets a woman in the Future Artists of America gallery inside the Children’s Museum of Brownsville. This woman was interested in finding out more about the kids whose portraits hung all along the walls throughout the gallery. The coordinator informed her that these children were waiting to be adopted. Her expression changed to that of extreme joy, as she is not only a social worker from the northern part of the country but also a foster parent as well! She was excited to take this idea of a gallery of photos in the museum to introduce the topic of fostering and adopting children. She hopes to take this same idea to her hometown and make it become a reality.

Central Oregon Sees Shortage of Foster Homes

It’s a nationwide problem that’s uprooting kids in Central Oregon from their schools, friends and communities. A shortage of foster parents is hitting rural areas hard. Cherie Ferguson from the Department of Human Services is responsible for finding and retaining foster parents in the tri-county area. She said Friday that Jefferson County is being hit particularly hard. There are currently only four general applicant homes, which are ones that can take any child, but there are 49 kids in the Jefferson County foster system. Because of this, only 21 of them are currently able to stay within the county. This adds more stress to an already tough situation. "They have to be placed with a family that's new to them," Ferguson said, "and then if they don’t have a family that's in their hometown, then they have to go to a new school. They have to make new friends at school, new teachers, a whole new environment for that kiddo. So their natural support system is really just taken from them."

South Carolina Adoption: A Guide to Adopting

South Carolina isn't just home to the famous Myrtle Beach; it's also home to many families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey. Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be useful for adoption in South Carolina. Includes information both about infant adoption and foster care adoption.

Heart Gallery New Mexico Newsletter to Foster and Adoptive Parents

Click here to read, on-line, Heart Gallery New Mexico's Newsletter to Foster and Adoptive Parents: Meet 15-year old Juliana, Support from the Southwest Carpenters Union, 2018 In Person Adoption Matching Events for licensed families, Book Review: An Epidemic of Childhood Trauma, about Welcoming the abused child into your home, and about the January Schedule of the Fiesta Project for couples who have adopted or want to adopt.

More children in the foster care system because of drug abuse

"It went from crack to meth and now we're seeing heroin," said Michelle Bearman-Wolnek, Executive Director of the Heart Gallery, a nonprofit organization that helps place children in foster care with permanent loving parents. Michelle Bearman-Wolneck, director of Heart Gallery Alabama, is seeing more children wind up in foster care systems across the country as a result of drug abuse. From October 1, 2016 through September of 2017, 185 children from Jefferson County and 84 in Shelby County were placed into foster care due to a parent’s drug abuse. "Whether it be a parent's drug abuse and their inability to care for their children because the drug has taken over their body and they have neglected their children and these kids have come into care." The state doesn't track the drug of choice, Bearman-Wolneck said it's clear what's happening, though. Heroin abuse is sending more children to foster care.

Michael hopes this is the year he'll get adopted

15-year-old Michael tells CBS Austin he's been in the CPS system since he was 3. He hopes this is the year he'll get adopted. "A nice family. Some good friends. Just a good place for me," said Michael. "He so deserves it. He's been in foster care for a long time and he's somebody a lot of caseworkers have known over the years," said Michael's adoption caseworker Amanda Apperley.

Heart Gallery spotlights older kids needing a home

More than 100,000 children are in foster care waiting to be adopted. About 200 of those children can be found across the Hoosier state. This is according to the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Wisconsin's Brown County Needs Foster Parents

In an effort to answer questions and dispel any myths associated with foster parenting, the county is hosting a series of informational sessions throughout the year for anyone interested. "You can be a single person, you can be married or you can have a partner," said Schupp. "What we are looking for is people to provide stability and love to our kids." If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster parent in Brown County, the county is hosting a series of informational sessions. The next one is Thursday, February 15 at 6 p.m. It will be at Brown County Human Services, which is in the Sophie Beaumont Building located at 111 North Jefferson Street in downtown Green Bay.

The children of Adopt 8, 2017

KFMB-TV and San Diego County have partnered a number of years to promote adoption in the San Diego area with a Heart Gallery and many other unique ideas. Click on each link above to learn more about children waiting for adoption and to find out more about adoption.

Heart Gallery New York Launches a Shiny New Website

"The new Heart Gallery New York site launched in mid December, and there were a lot of revisions required by OCFS prior to the launch", said Laurie Sherman Graff, Executive Director of the new website. Heart Gallery New York supplements the efforts in New York City and other areas of New York state to find homes for older and special needs children currently in foster care. Check it out!

About Foster Care in North Dakota

Bismarck, N.D. - On average, fifteen hundred children are in North Dakota's foster system every month. Skye Wilkes is a 17-year-old girl in the Stark County Foster Care system. "When I first got put into foster care I thought it was really scary. I was scared because I didn't know any of the people, I was in someone else's house. You don't know anyone, you don't know how these people act, you don't know what they like to eat for dinner, you don't know anything. You don't," said Skye. Since then she is active at her school in the student congress and speech team. She has her own job. She has the independence to drive to both and is able to hang out with her friends. "It provides so much for not only the kids that are coming into care, but our community and our family, too," said Jolene Rod, Skye's foster mother.

Columbia couple shares experiences raising, adopting foster children

"Once a child enters your life, they stay there forever." Kelly Schultz mother of three adopted children. Kelly Schultz, 40, said she knew she wanted fostering and adoption to be a part of her life after a stint at the emergency childcare facility Rainbow House. She became a house parent, staying at the shelter and helping care for kids. Loren Schultz's youngest brother was adopted from Korea, and his family would inspire another in their Nebraska church to adopt a young girl from Korea. "When Loren and I had been dating a while and it was time to have those serious discussions, I was really excited that adoption was a part of his family and that he was OK with that as a plan," Kelly Schultz said.

Heart Gallery NYC Uses Photography To Help Kids In Foster Care Find Their Forever Homes

(includes video) There are over 25,000 children living in foster care in New York State. November is National Adoption Month. In honor of the month, we will be bringing attention to the thousands of people in foster care awaiting forever homes, as well as those who provide and advocate for them. These stories emphasize the idea that families are bound together by the love they share, rather than their biological roots.

'This Is Us' Gets Adoption and Foster Care Right

"I'm always happy to discuss 'This Is Us,' " says Jason Weber of the nonprofit Christian Alliance for Orphans. "Just don't ask me if it makes me cry." Mr. Weber, who directs the alliance's efforts to recruit and train foster families, tells me the hit NBC show offers an extremely accurate portrayal of the "real tensions that exist" for anyone involved in adoption or foster care. Now halfway through its second season, "This Is Us" follows three story lines that touch on fostering and adoption. In the first, a couple loses a child at birth and adopts an abandoned baby, Randall. In the second, the adult Randall meets and develops a relationship with his dying biological father. And in the third, Randall and his wife, Beth, bring a foster child to live in their home. (subscription not required)

Louisiana Completed a Record Number of Adoptions in 2017

LOUISIANA SET A RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN ADOPTED FOR THE LAST FISCAL YEAR THAT ENDED SEPTEMBER 30TH. 764 CHILDREN WERE ADOPTED, WHICH TOPPED THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 735 ADOPTIONS SET IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR. THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES CURRENTLY HAS ADOPTION PROFILES FOR MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED CHILDREN THAT ARE IN STATE CUSTODY AND READY TO BE ADOPTED. THOSE PROFILES CAN BE SEEN ONLINE AT ADOPT U-S KIDS-DOT-COM OR AT LOUISIANA HEART GALLERY-DOT-COM.

Heart Gallery NYC: The City of Unsheltered Eyes

Heart Gallery NYC worked with New York ACS to provide expressive opportunities for homeless volunteers to give them a way to provide a museum exhibit. Master story telling student Dana Abu Ali gives her artful and honest impressions of the Through the Eyes of the Homeless Exhibit in 2015. Through the Eyes of the Homeless was later moved to New York City’s City Hall Rotunda on November 24, 2015 of the same year. This new home matched the one common theme those photographs had: ownership. Together, they were a collage of a city that we would almost not recognize even though we might call it our own. They were a reminder of how homelessness has marginalized men and women from society, and of all the ways in which they are dehumanized. They emphasized that “homelessness is a condition and it could happen to anyone” as Graff says. But while the photographs conveyed pain and hardship, they also told stories of beauty, hope, and strength.

Chyna, in Central Texas, finds the Forever Family She Hoped For

17-year-old Chyna was featured in The Heart Gallery of Central Texas for years. As she waited for a forever family, Chyna kept getting closer to aging out of the foster care system. Now, just days until a new year, Chyna has the family she always hoped for.

Essay: Help older children find a ‘forever family’

Children Awaiting Parents, a nonprofit that has advocated on behalf of older foster care children for 45 years, launched the Donald J. Corbett Adoption Agency in October to expedite and support the successful, seamless adoption of older children into loving homes. By helping families prepare for adoption, navigate its complexities and find the best match in an older foster care child, our new agency enhances CAP's critical services to transition older children into a "forever family" before they age out of the foster care system. Children who "age out" of foster care without at least one permanent parent frequently end up homeless, imprisoned or lost. But adoption steers children toward success by fulfilling core emotional needs and providing stable foundations.

Mentoring: Why Foster Care Students In Seattle Are Beating The Odds

Thirty-six percent. That was the high school graduation rate for youth in foster care in Seattle and King County, Washington, in 2010. "We were shocked. I mean, tears flowed," says Janis Avery. For more than two decades, she has led a nonprofit called Treehouse, dedicated to improving the lives of foster youth. In fact, Treehouse had been pushing for the state to break out educational data about kids in foster care. And the data, when it came for the first time, was a wake-up call.

Finding 'forever families' for children is our mission

At the turn of the last century, Florida was faced with a growing population of homeless and abandoned children. The infamous Orphan Trains emptied their cars at their last stop in Jacksonville leaving more than 400 children in the streets with nowhere to go. In 1902, Children’s Home Society of Florida made a promise to the state’s citizens - to provide protection and a family for children who had none.

Heart Gallery: Devontae

Devontae, born in August 2000, is a handsome young man who loves sports, especially basketball. He has played baseball in the past and excelled at the sport. He enjoys going on outings and playing at the park. He likes to laugh, have fun, play with cars, and color. Devontae is a bright child who needs someone to provide him a forever family. He would benefit from a family that has time to give him the one-on-one attention he needs.

Happy Holidays!

A Christmas homecoming: After years in foster care, a Maryland boy finds his place

Aziah is one of the lucky ones. The 11-year-old who spent the last six years in 11 foster homes will share Christmas morning with his new family — his forever family that adopted him last month. He is one of nine siblings placed in foster care to remove them from a neglectful and abusive home. He was adopted Nov. 16, National Adoption Day, along with 11 other children in ceremonies at the county courthouse. There were still 142 children in foster care in the county at the end of November.

Six Brothers and Sisters Want a Forever Home, Together

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A lot of the children in Arkansas foster care are part of sibling groups, and at times, it can be tough to keep them together. This is why the Department of Human Services puts out a call to action for help. They need help from both foster and adoptive families who are willing to open their hearts and their homes. Six brothers and sisters are praying and hoping a family will adopt them all - together. This group has so much energy and love that it's hard to soak it all in.

Fosters TV Show Cast Teams Up with Kohls to Provide a Special Day for LA Foster Kids

Thanks to Disney, Freeform and Toys for Tots for creating a magical afternoon for these awesome kids! This surprise was made possible by Disney and ABC’s Share the Joy campaign, which inspires kids, families, and communities to share the joy with those who need it most during the holiday season.

DENVER’S ANNUAL ADOPTION DAY GAVE 44 CHILDREN NEW HOMES THIS YEAR, INCLUDING HENRY

Luke and Kayleen Woodcock gave and got back this year. The young couple is one of 31 families who finalized an adoption on Denver’s annual National Adoption Day— an event that raises awareness for the 110,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption across the United States. Their new son Henry is one of 44 children that were adopted on November 16, representing the collective effort of policymakers, practitioners and advocates to remove more children from foster care within the Denver county.

The Gladney Foundation Supports The Heart Gallery of North Texas

In 2011, Gladney's New Beginnings Program brought The Heart Gallery to Gladney's campus. The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic exhibit created to find loving, forever families for children in foster care. The Heart Gallery of Texas is a collaborative project of over nine Heart Galleries across the state that are created to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing forever adoptive homes.

South Carolina family adds eighth child on  Adoption Day

It's five days until Christmas and 570 kids in South Carolina are still looking for a family to celebrate with. But, on Wednesday, one little boy did find his forever home at the Horry County courthouse for Adoption Day. "Happiness, joy, relief," said Jim Walker, who adopted Nathan Walker. His brothers and sisters, well: "They love it. They fight over whose turn it is to get him," said Shannon, Nathan's new mom.

Retweet: Seth in Massachusetts Makes Faces - all in fun

Seth is an active thirteen-year old boy of Caucasian descent who loves technology, Legos and sports. He particularly likes sports that involve being on a team like football, baseball and basketball. Seth is described as a social child who likes to strike up a conversation. He loves to listen to music and watch his New England sports teams! Seth is very creative and can think up stories. He also has a great recall ability of what he has read or stories he has been told.


We have found this program beneficial in finding families for our children. We ask that as you view the children, consider that they live in our communities. Respect their right to privacy, and be aware that they may attend school or church, or play at the local park with your children and relatives. The availability of their pictures leaves our children recognizable and vulnerable to negative attention. Although we strive to protect them, we need your help. Thank you!

© 2018 Heart Gallery of America, Inc.