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.

Alejandro and Antonio

Alejandro and Antonio:   Alejandro (05/2006) and Antonio (07/2007) are very likeable and resilient brothers. They take pride in caring for one another and others. Antonio tries really hard to fit in with his peers and has been working on improving his social skills. Antonio and Alejandro [...]

Eli M

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 can be found playing his favorite game, Cops and Robbers in which he, of course, is the cop writing down the [...]


Abbi Abbi took her time and completed a sheet that we lovingly call “Getting to Know You”. We are excited to share the answers that Abbi answered in her own words. We all agree that Abbi deserves a family that will make her feel secure, safe, and supported–all while allowing her to shine. [...]


Simplicity has a smile that could warm the chilliest of souls. She really enjoys learning about others and has an amazing knack of having interesting conversations that lead to friendships. Simplicity is described as a very smart and hardworking youth. She is a book worm at heart and typically [...]


This inquisitive self-advocate has a contagious, bright, welcoming smile. She is a pre-teen who likes to be involved in all of the typical teen activities like going to the mall, spending some time on her tablet, and trying out different hairstyles. Kembri is not one to pass up a chance to play [...]


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 [...]