The children we have featured on our website who wait for adoptive families

  • are most often in the foster care system and cannot return to their birth families for a variety of reasons.
  • need help overcoming hurt related to past trauma(s) and/or abandonment.
  • are often part of a sibling (brothers and/or sisters) group.
  • are often older than four years of age and behind emotionally.

While you may not see “all” of the children in need of a “no matter what” family in our Gallery, please understand that those who are waiting share similar hopes for a family and similar obstacles to being matched with one. If these children do not seem like a “match,” chances are others who are not featured here will not be a “match,” either. However, if you have patience and perseverance, and are willing to adapt your home and life to fit a child’s needs, please keep pursuing and learning more about adopting from foster care.

Please keep in mind that, in order to be considered for a child within our Gallery, you must have an approved public adoption home study. If you are unsure if your home study is public, please contact us via phone (414-475-1246 or 800-762-8063) or email

Lastly, please keep in mind that circumstances for the children within the Gallery can change rather quickly and for a variety of reasons. When a child is listed as waiting, this means the child is quite literally “waiting” for their “no matter what” family and are still available. If a child is listed as matched, this typically means the child’s social work team has identified a match with a prospective “no matter what” family. The Coalition will continue to collect inquiries for a child listed as matched, and this information will be shared with the child’s social work team in the event that permanency falls through for whatever reason.

We invite you to check out our tip sheet, Not Too Old for Forever: Adopting Older Youth.

The Heart Gallery of Wisconsin
The Heart Gallery of Wisconsin, a travelling photographic exhibit of some of Wisconsin’s waiting children, is a program of the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families. If you are interested in hosting the Heart Gallery of Wisconsin, please contact us.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families provides support and funding for this recruitment effort on behalf of children. We thank them for their belief that all children grow best in permanent loving families.


Annabell is a sweet girl who loves to laugh. Her caregivers say she is the happiest when she is outside and able to go for walks or run around. Some of her favorite things are listening to music, playing with toys, and playing at her sensory table (the water is her favorite!). It is said […]

Salvador and Jose

ZOOM! BANG! Salvador the Superhero! He will impress you with his amazing feats of strength and abilities in bowling, helpfulness, and politeness. Salvador is a fun-loving youth who loves school and learning. He enjoys working hard and, in return, receiving praise from his teachers. Salvador has [...]

Arianna T

A great day for Arianna would include a trip to Starbucks and getting her nails done. She is a social, smart teen who has a strong sense of self-identity and independence. Arianna enjoys playing the trumpet in her school band and performing gymnastics. She is “pure teen” and likes a laid back [...]


Are you ready to listen, because Savion was born with the gift of gab! He can talk about almost anything if he is in the company of an active listener. Though, if you have an hour or so, he would love to chat about cars. He knows a lot about cars and even knows what kind […]


Skylar loves animals, a lot. He likes to draw animals, read about animals, and care for them. In fact, one of Skylar’s three wishes would be to travel to Africa to study animals! It should be no surprise that, when he grows up, Skylar would like to become a Veterinarian. When he is not thinking [...]


  Da’Traylin is a people person! He has a great sense of humor, which means lots of laughter. Just look at his smile; what a bummer it would be to not see his face light up often. Others say that Da’Traylin is thoughtful to others and prides himself on his positive outlook and [...]


When asked to describe Miguel, the first response we heard was, “He is HILARIOUS!” Miguel has a quick sense of humor and loves making everyone crack up. The second response is that he always has a hug to share. He is an amazing teen who possesses a perfect combination of pure kid and gentle [...]


According to Princess, “I am a strong reader, I enjoy art and gym.” She is described as funny girl who has a blunt sense of humor and is a lot of fun to be around. Princess is passionate about her interests and, according to her, that list includes: nail polish, stuffed animals, electronics, [...]


Kendell is an active, loveable, intelligent, and unique young man who enjoys one-on-one time and attention from his caregivers. Kendell is working on gaining more independence by learning how to cook and wash laundry and he feels super proud when completing other chores. He does thrive in [...]


Sleeping bag (check), bug spray (check), swimsuit (check); summer camp here she comes! Ashanti is a fun-loving, friendly girl who looks forward to seeing her old pals and making new memories at summer camp. Like many other tweens, tablet time is important. Though, when it comes right down to [...]