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December 3, 2013

Adoptable children's portraits exhibit stops in Plainfield

The Indiana Heart Gallery, a compelling exhibit featuring portraits of children in need of adoptive families, is stopping in Plainfield. The gallery will be featured Dec. 3 to 17 at the Journey Church.

The Indiana Department of Child Services uses the Heart Gallery to help bring attention to children in foster care in need of a forever home. Though the exact number of Indiana foster children seeking an adoptive home varies day-to-day, DCS is actively recruiting adoptive families for 75 to 100 youth.

“Every child needs a family they can call their own,” DCS Adoption Manager Sandra Caesar said in a press release. “We need families that are willing to not just love our children, but also are prepared to commit to them, claim them as their own and hang in there through their ups and downs. Today’s foster children will someday be members of our community, neighbors and co-workers. The stability and permanency that adoption provides is a critical step in giving these children the best possible chance at success in life.”

Using the talents of professional photographers who volunteer their time, the individual spirit and true personality of each child is captured. Heart Gallery photographs sometimes show shy children wrapped in their security blankets, girls dressed up as princesses, boys hugging dogs, and siblings laughing together. The children all have one thing in common: they need families that will give them unconditional love.

More than 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States. More than 100,000 are legally available for adoption and in need of adoptive families. Many of these children are older, in sibling groups that want to be adopted together or have special needs.

This year, about 20,000 young people will leave the foster care system without lifelong families — many at age 18. On their own, these young adults must navigate a weakened economy offering fewer jobs and less support for vital services such as housing. They deserve caring adults who love and support them. For some foster children, getting adopted can mean the difference between homelessness or incarceration and transitioning successfully to adulthood.

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