Adoption and Foster Care in Laramie County

Adoption and Foster Care in Laramie County
Adoption and Foster Care in Laramie County(Valeria Fugate)
Updated: Sep. 9, 2022 at 7:00 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As women’s issues garner more attention in news spotlights, so do foster care and adoption.

We sat down with an adoptive Mom to learn more about those realities in Laramie County.

All to understand what it takes to take care of Wyoming’s children when they fall into crisis and parents can’t help.

Shelli Stewart is a Mom of four, her entire family was brought together through adoption.

Two were adopted as infants, one internationally and the newest family member was adopted through foster care when she was 7 years old.

She went into foster care as an infant and spent over 2,700 days there.

She’s been in and out of 10 different homes, and the last one was abusive, according to Stewart.

“She had suffered abuse in that foster home and she had a biological brother also in that foster home who had already been adopted. So because of that situation, she had to leave her biological brother as well her only connection, her only true connection that she since birth,” said Stewart.

For children of color, the adoption supply is greater than the demand.

According to children’s, the average age of foster children is eight years when they enter, and 1/3 are children of color.

Jessica Frankfourth, the Foster Care Coordinator of Laramie County, Field Office Department of Family Services. says they need more foster families, especially within ethnic groups.

“We really are needing especially culturally diverse families, black, hispanic, native American families so we can put kids in homes that are the same cultures as them,” said Frankfourth.

Re-unification is the goal in foster care, but at 15 to 18 months, adoption becomes an option, said Frankfourth.

The Department of Family Services offers a stipend for children’s costs. It also provides mental health resources for both kids and families.

“Its annoying that people who have not been through adoption process sit there and say, just adopt...Well put your money where your mouth is and go do it. Because there are 400,000 kids in foster care in this country right now. So go do it and then we can chat about that view, i have done it ive done it every way that you can do it and its a wonderful thing but its not an easy choice,” Shelli Stewart, Mom of 4 adopted kids.

Currently, there are 160 to 165 kids needing foster homes in Laramie county.