CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ten children were adopted into loving homes Friday morning during Adoption Day in Hamilton County.
Robert Carter is now a father of five.
“I’m relieved because I tried to go through the process before and it didn’t work out, but now I’m just happy that it’s over and I’m their dad for the rest of their life, and they know that they’ll never have to go through what they went through again,” Carter said.
In December 2019, Carter began fostering Robert Jr., Giovanni and Kiontae. Later he learned that the three brothers also had two sisters, Marionna and Makayla, in the foster system. He says they had been separated for six months.
“We met up for visits, and all the kids were crying," Carter said. “They didn’t want to leave each other, and at that moment, I knew, ok, I have to adopt all five.”
Carter says he also grew up in foster care so he knew too well the pain of siblings being separated.
“My mom had nine kids, and I didn’t see my youngest again. He was two. I didn’t see him again until he was 16, so for me going through that, I knew how important it is for them to see each other and be around each other. When I had my boys before I got the girls, that’s all they talked about was their sisters.”
So Carter worked hard to get a bigger house and on Friday made it official adopting all five siblings.
Adoption case manager Stacey Barton, says after seeing the family together she knows the union was meant to be.
“I’ve never had a single father adopt five children," Barton said. “I’ve had married couples who have adopted six or seven, so this was a unique experience for me. Children need families, and it’s an opportunity for Mr. Carter to show the community that he can do it and others can too.”
The Carter family is now looking to buy a new forever home where the kids can grow into our next future leaders.
A GoFundMe fundraiser is underway to help.
So far, $4,190 has been donated toward a $150,000 goal.
“I donated because you’re doing something absolutely amazing and deserve all the help people are willing to give,” reads a comment left on the page by a woman who gave $20.
About 400 children in Hamilton County are currently waiting to be adopted and that number is continuing to grow partly because of the opioid epidemic.
Hamilton County Job and Family Services experienced record numbers for adoptions in 2019 with 259 children being placed into homes, but due to complications brought on by COVID-19 those numbers are not expected to be as high this year.
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