The Surrogacy Factor

By Alain Datcher

“I’m never leaving this place.” I will never forget the discouragement and hopelessness behind Marcus’ words. He and I had bonded during our time at MacLaren Hall – an asylum-like facility for Los Angeles County’s abused and neglected children. He had just heard the news that I’d be leaving in a week, to be placed […]

The Power of Support

By Sanni Brown-Adefope

My experience in foster care was a roller coaster ride. At 15, I was placed in foster care, when my mother’s struggles with mental illness elevated to the point that she could no longer take care of me and my younger sister. I lived in two foster homes with two totally different outcomes. The first […]

We Know How to Change Foster Care

By Juan Carlos Piñeiro Escoriaza

In 2010 I got a call from the founder of a nonprofit called the Possibility Project, requesting a meeting — they wanted to make a movie that would empower a group of foster care youth to tell their stories. Originally I thought the film might be more of a hybrid between documentary and fiction, but […]

Instability

By Dylan McIntosh

My foster father always had a stressed look about him, the look that told me he had to try hard to make ends meet. He gave me a lot of freedom while he was busy working as a lawyer and consultant. But even with that freedom, he’d ensure I’d make the right choices. If my […]

Destined for More

By Marcellia Goodrich

Growing up I did not have what you would call an ideal childhood. My mother was on drugs from the time I was a baby and she was not in her right mind to take care of herself, let alone a child. I felt like my mother did not want me when she left me […]

Finding my Breakthrough

By Gilbert Howard

It started when I was three years old. I was taken away from my biological parents in New York City and put into a foster home in upstate N.Y., along with my brother and sister. Being so young, I had little memory of being with my real mother and father. I thought these people were my family. […]

Stigma Can Hurt

By Jeannette Miller

I remember the day I gave birth to my son, Joshuwah. It was inside my sister’s apartment. I went into labor, but was sent back from the hospital because I wasn’t far enough along. I was angry they told me to go home when I knew I needed to be there. But that was nothing […]

‘Working Hard on Myself to Grow Past the Pain’

By Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez is best known for her acting chops, cutting-edge choreography and dogged activism. But until now, few people knew that the Oscar-nominated talent spent much of her childhood as a ward of the state of New York. Her mother, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, seized her at age 3 from the aunt who had […]

Joining the Family Biz

By Hank Marotske

As early as I can remember I knew what “the belt” meant. It meant my mom was drunk, angry and “Henry was going to get it.” My mother’s anger toward me was always transparent; I was a boy and men had done her wrong. For that I would pay. Verbal, emotional, and physical abuse highlighted […]

Getting a Second Life Through Adoption

By Michael Howard

I was in foster care for the first four years of my life. Calling it difficult would be an understatement. Even from that young age, I was already watching other children with their parents and trying to figure out my identity: Will I ever have a family? Will I find my biological mother? Who did […]