Professional Photographers Aim to Help Foster Kids Find Adoptive Families
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for one group of kids there’s only one word that matters: home. A picture might help them get there.
"I want to find a family, to take me so I feel happy and comfortable," said 12-year-old Jim.
He is one of 60 foster kids who had their photos taken by professional photographers Saturday at the Los Angeles Arboretum as part of an effort by the nonprofit Heart Gallery Los Angeles to help facilitate adoption.
There are more than 500 foster kids in the Los Angeles County foster system. Their profiles on the county website often contain only blurry Polaroid photographs.
But thanks to 15 volunteer photographers, the kids now have photos of them climbing trees, picking flowers and laughing.
"My pictures, people always say they can feel emotion and personality," photographer Hannah Arista told NBC4. "I really want to give them a chance to show that."
It’s a chance for the children to demonstrate their personality and tell the photographers a little about who they are and what they care about.
“We [she and her sister Jessica] want to live together," Jenaveve said. The sisters took photos together.
The photos along with a short description of each kid, what their interests are and what they are hoping for in a "forever family" are posted on the Heart Gallery website for prospective parents to see.
Heart Gallery says the better the photo the better the odds of adoption.
"It touches people, they look at these pictures and they say, 'that’s a foster kid?'” said Stephanie Clancy, program manager at Heart Gallery Los Angeles.
For his part, Jim said he wants prospective parents to know that despite spending three years at a group home with other foster kids, he's optimistic about finding a family and is just like others his age.
"I like sports," he said. "I’m kind of bad at baseball. My favorite color is green. I was born on August 25, 2004."
The adoptions are free because the kids are already in the foster care system.
To learn more about adoptiong a foster child visit Heart Gallery Los Angeles.