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.


When it comes to remaining positive through adversity, Celia has done it! People who know Celia describe her as optimistic and outgoing. She does well advocating for herself and assisting others. Celia has connected with her caregivers through meal preparation and cooking together. Overall, she [...]


Javarree knows what he likes and is positive about what he doesn’t like. In the “like” column you will find things like: food, good food, and a family that cooks. In the “don’t like” column there is one word: Geometry. Javarree has an artistic side and feels comfortable expressing himself [...]

Ariana S.

Like many pre-teens, Ariana can have a shy side. The cool thing though, is she knows what it takes to get over her shyness and enjoy being in the moment, like when she is able to express herself through her artwork. She enjoys many mediums of art with coloring and drawing being her favorites. [...]


Tamya is honing in on her creative side by designing fashion clothing and making vision boards that include images of her dreams of joining the Air Force and becoming a pediatrician. She also is very athletic and enjoys being involved in high school teams for track and field and basketball. [...]

Eli M

Take note, because Eli is . . . literally. This is a boy who finds happiness in a simple notepad and pen. One of Eli’s most important things in his day-to-day are his notes. He especially enjoys playing his favorite game, Cops and Robbers, in which he, of course, is the cop writing down the [...]


Zheneavia has a contagious smile and a heart for helping others. She is prepping for teen-hood by practicing her nail polish techniques and learning all the current dance moves. Zheneavia is hardworking and enjoys attending school so much that she gets frustrated for having to miss school for [...]


  Lynnette is an energetic girl who enjoys being in the fresh air while participating in various outdoor activities and sports. On special occasions she is always up for a trip to the mall and a dinner on the town. Lynnette is friendly and has fun by singing, dancing, and playing with her [...]


Hersen is a bright young boy who has experienced a lot of grief and loss at an early age. He is quite self-aware and able to use several techniques to help him self-regulate. Sometimes, all it takes is going for a walk and picking flowers or going to sit quietly in another room for a […]