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 traveling 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.



Zyaire is a highly resilient boy who cares for others and tries his best to “be good.” He can be quite talkative and continues to learn and grow by having lots of conversations with others. Zyaire has a big heart and cares about people close to him. He likes to help out around the house […]



Many of us like to spend time randomly scrolling through YouTube videos. One day you may see Nicholas pop up on your computer, entertaining people on his own YouTube channel. This young man dreams of being a YouTuber when he grows up and would love to travel to Spain, home to one of his [...]



Katrina is an artistic and creative young lady. She enjoys fashion design and has designed some spectacular clothing for her dolls. She comes up with some very intricate designs! Katrina has a nurturing nature and she likes helping to take care of the garden in her current foster home. In fact, [...]



It has been said that “No dreamer is ever too small, and no dream is ever too big.” Egypt is a small girl who has BIG dreams about her future. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she had plenty of ideas – a firefighter, a judge, a lawyer, a police […]



Kobe is a sweet, happy, and active boy. He can be very affectionate and is friendly and social with other children and familiar adults. Kobe enjoys going to school and to his recreation program. He is easily engaged in play and likes taking part in activities that are familiar to him. He likes [...]


Steven, Jordyn & Joy

Steven is a resilient young man who is described as outgoing, social, and engaging. He gets along well with other kids and adults. Active and ready for adventure, Steven loves to be outside and involved in any physical activity, including riding his hoverboard or playing basketball. He loves [...]



Joshua wants what we all want – to be in a home where he is loved and understood. He is described by those who know him best as helpful, sweet, intelligent, athletic, and creative. He enjoys competitive activities and has recently shown a great interest in playing football. Joshua shared [...]



Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from frustrations, recover from setbacks, and adapt to change. Raven is described, above all else, as a resilient young man. He quickly makes connections with others and is known to “go with the flow.” He aims to please adults and seeks their approval. [...]



As you can see from this photo, a little snow doesn’t keep Cameron away from the playground! He is an active boy who enjoys climbing, swinging, jumping and running. He does work up an appetite with all that playing and it turns out eating is one of his favorite activities too! Cameron does a [...]