WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — More than 100,000 children are in foster care waiting to be adopted. About 200 of those children can be found across the Hoosier state. This is according to the Indiana Department of Child Services.
This month, the West Lafayette Public Library is hosting the Indiana Heart Gallery. More than 1,000 children have permanent homes thanks to this photo gallery.
You'll have the chance to see foster children who are in need of a loving family. Their professional portraits are on display with information about each child.
Since 2007, the heart gallery is a way to put a face with a sometimes invisible need. Gallery Coordinator Amanda Schortgen says children featured are labeled 'hard to place.' Schortgen says children receive this label when they're with others siblings, have special needs, or they're older than 2 years old.
But she says you never outgrow the need for a family.
"While the cute cuddly babies are wonderful to add to your family, a teenager or a child that's an upper elementary like many of our children are, they have so much still to contribute to a family. So many memories and experiences that you can still offer that child," said Schortgen.
The hope is for every child featured in the gallery to find their forever home. The photos are on display at the library until the end of this month.
Getting adopted can make a huge difference for a child who is in foster care in the Hoosier state.
It can mean the difference between homelessness or incarceration and becoming a successful adult.
This is according to the Indiana Department of Child Services.
About 200 children across the Hoosier state are waiting to be adopted. Heart Gallery Coordinator Amanda Schortgen says that number is up from last year.
"That is due to the opioid addiction and a lot of the drug epidemic right now and so we are seeing an increase in the number of children who are available for adoption who are in foster care," said Schortgen.
New ways and ideas for venues are being accepted to help raise adoption awareness.