Baby Boomers and Generation Xers have raised their own biological children—and instead of calling it quits, they are finding they have the financial and emotional wherewithal to parent again.

After raising three biological children, Darlene and her husband, Bill, decided to become foster care parents—a journey that led them to adopt five children, four of which are teenagers. They also have two more adoptions pending. In addition to adopting, they have fostered hundreds of children over the last 20 years.

The decision to place a child for adoption is one of the hardest that a new mother will ever have to make, but the decision can be made easier by electing to participate in an open adoption versus closed adoption.  One local family finalized an open adoption on National Adoption Day almost six years ago, and has since established a ritual to ensure that both the birth and adoptive mothers can share in a very special holiday—Mother’s Day.

She found support from Sandra Perez, parent educator with the Parents as Teachers program (PAT). This national program helps parents be their child’s first and most important teacher. The PAT curriculum supports their child’s brain development and ensures that their child develops optimally during the crucial early years of life.

With nearly 19,000 children in the state foster care system and fewer than 4,500 licensed foster homes, one local charity wants to remind people that these vulnerable children are in desperate need of a safe and loving family—and helping these children may be easier than you think.

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