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.


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 […]


Many would describe Johnathon as compassionate, loving, and family oriented. This creative and imaginative teen has a knack for learning new things and doesn’t give up easily. Johnathon enjoys going on walks and spending time at the library. Johnathon also loves attending church and [...]


Phos is a young man who is self-assured, honest, and not shy when it comes to communicating, trying new things, or meeting new people. He can sometimes be a little spontaneous, but is usually more relaxed and calm. When he’s not playing video games, spending time with friends, or playing [...]


Lights! Camera! Action! Jovantae might have a shy side, but once he warms up to you he transforms into an outgoing and talkative young man who loves to express himself creatively through singing and dancing. Jovantae is super proud of the progress he is making in school. With support from his [...]

Ashanti & ReKiyia

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 [...]


Belly laughs abound when Derrick is around! Derrick has a great sense of humor and likes telling jokes. When he isn’t busy being the life of the party, Derrick can be found cruising around outside on his bike or shooting hoops. In those times when inside activities are on the agenda, look for [...]


Arianna is a good communicator who is able to share her feelings verbally, as well as express herself through her art. She is preparing to conquer some big goals of getting a job and researching different colleges that she would like to attend in the future. Arianna is a social teen who enjoys [...]

Annmarie, Serena, Cordale and Malaya

Serena, Annmarie, Cordale, and Malaya are sweet children who would love a forever family that would be able to adopt all four of them together. Serena is a planner and a natural born leader. She is mature beyond her years and is already planning on how she can start babysitting in the near [...]

Neveah, Legacy, & Karma

Meet Neveah, Legacy, and Karma. Nevaeh is described as lovely and helpful, especially with her younger siblings. She does very well academically (math is her favorite subject) and she appears motivated to attend college one day. She currently reports that she would like to become a teacher and [...]