Indiana Heart Gallery hopes to get kids adopted

INDIANAPOLIS -- Too many children in Indiana are searching for, and not finding, adoptive parents.

That's where the Indiana Heart Gallery comes in.

At any given time in Indiana, about 200 children in foster care are yearning to be adopted. The Heart Gallery aims to help those 9 and older get adopted, since younger children are adopted more frequently.

Heart Gallery Facilitator Steve Brown and his wife Nilsa have cared for 164 foster children over the years. They adopted two of them: Emma, who is now 43; and Michelle, who was 23 when she passed away suddenly in her sleep in February.

That's why, Brown says, he's passionate about finding these faces homes.

"I've been to many locations over the past few years with these pictures," Brown said. "People walk by and then they come back and they go, 'Look at that child. Isn't that a wonderful picture?' I can tell them about the process. How they can take a child like that into their home."

Anna Wolak, adoption director for the Children's Bureau Inc., says children in the foster care system have already gone through at least two traumas.

"What it took to remove them from their home – which is typically abuse and neglect – and the fact that they were removed at all from what was familiar to them," Wolak said. "Every child we work with has those traumas, and the class you take would prepare you for the behaviors that are a result of that trauma, or any special needs that child might have."

Last year the Heart Gallery went to 80 events in 45 different cities. Click here to see the children currently in the Indiana Heart Gallery.

Nationally, nearly 400,000 children are in foster care. More than 100,000 are legally available for adoption and are in need of adoptive families.

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