Heart Gallery of Wisconsin
Facilitated by Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services, The Heart Gallery of Wisconsin raises awareness about foster children and adoption. It is based on a simple idea that already has made a huge impact in other states across the nation. Its intent of is to move potential families to inquire about adoption by featuring heart-warming photographs of local children in need of an adoptive home.
Professional photographers have volunteered their time to take compelling pictures of children hoping to be adopted. The portraits are part of a traveling public gallery and are also shared online. The gallery and online displays include contact information to help families inquire about adoption. The concept, which began with a single exhibition in Santa Fe, N.M., has experienced great success and now includes 120 Heart Gallery organizations across the United States.
Who are the children?
Everyone wants a safe, loving place to call home, and children in foster care deserve it as much as anyone. Finding those homes is the beginning of a bright future for these children, their adoptive families and the community at large.
In the words of one teenager in foster care, "I wanted a warm place to stay, I got a home. I wanted not to be hurt, I got hugged. I wanted a foster placement that would accept me, I got a forever family that showers me with love."
Consider this: According to a national survey done by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, 4 in 10 Americans have considered adoption. That translates to more than 80 million Americans. If only 1 out of 500 Americans adopted from the foster care system, these children would have homes.
Today in the United States, an estimated 408,000 children live in foster care. More than 107,000 of these children are hoping for a loving adoptive family to call their own. The majority of the children featured in The Heart Gallery of Wisconsin currently are living in foster care under the supervision of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.