Liz Everman, Chairwoman
Robin Miller, Executive Director (part-time) firstname.lastname@example.org
Joyce Seymour, President, Community Volunteer
Mike Kennedy, Vice-President, Hilton Kennedy Company Roofing & Construction
Gary Burress, Secretary, ResCare
Tim Wallen, Treasurer, Adoptive Parent
Laura Melillo Barnum, YUM! Brands Foundation
Judge Joan L. Byer, Bowles & Byer Family Law, Mediation
Ralph de Chabert, Brown-Forman
Kathryn B. Gray, Community Volunteer
Stacey Hallahan, Director of Advertising, Louisville Magazine
Scott Sager, Marketing Manager WLKY
Gwen Smith, Human Resource Consultant
Kim Howell, Paddock Media Group
Rev.Carl Jones, Green St. Baptist Church
Mike Rowe, Denzinger Family Dentistry
Mark Turner, Strothman & Company
Rachael Dahlman Warf, Stoll, Keenon, Ogden, PLLC
Letter From The Chairperson
Right now, more than 300 Kentucky children are living in foster homes, group homes, and residential centers, waiting for adoptive families. They’re not the babies many of us think of when we think of adoption. Rather, they are children with special needs and gifts. Most are school-aged, many are teenagers, and some have physical, mental or emotional disabilities. Approximately one-third are children of color, many have experienced some degree of neglect or abuse and some are sibling groups who want to stay together. Their common bond is a strong desire to be part of a permanent, nurturing family – a “forever family.”
Wednesday’s Child, Inc. is an independent, primarily volunteer, non-profit 501 c3 organization whose mission is to advocate for these children, to expand public awareness about their plight, to recruit and inform prospective adoptive parents, to help bring children and families together, and to sustain families created through adoption.
We encourage you to read about these children, watch their stories, and help us raise awareness about adoption. Better yet, perhaps you might consider opening your home and your heart to a child who needs you. Click here to learn more about the process of adoption. You can also learn more about Wednesday’s Child by tuning into our segment every Wednesday on WLKYTV News 32 (Louisville, KY) at 12 noon and 6 p.m. where I introduce a child (or children) currently available for adoption. I’ve been doing this segment for 35 years and I hope you will be as moved as I am about these amazing children and their stories every week.
Chairperson, Board of Directors
What is Wednesday’s Child?
Wednesday’s Child exists to recruit adoptive parents for special needs children, to sponsor support services for families who adopt special needs children, and to assist children who are waiting to be adopted. We are a 501 c3 organization, run by a volunteer board of directors and supporter by the strategic and administrative services of an independent contractor. There is not a bricks and mortar location, nor do we house any children. We primarily liaise with the state’s adoption program, but we also collaborate with other adoption entities.
How is Wednesday’s Child affiliated with WLKYTV?
Wednesday’s Child has a strong history with WLKYTV, Louisville’s CBS affiliate. More than 35 years ago, the station began running segments every Wednesday about the stories of children who needed to be adopted. The public’s generous reaction with gifts and donations to help the children led the station to create a separate and independently-run 501 c3 charitable organization. WLKYTV provides some meeting space, broadcast and digital awareness, and serves as the hosting station for the annual December tele-a-thon, affectionately called the adopt-a-thon. WLKY staff also are involved as volunteers on the board of directors. The spots still run every Wednesday on the station as part of their overall programming line-up, and while obviously very complementary, they are technically independent of the Wednesday’s Child organization itself.
Where do Wednesday’s Child’s children currently live?
Wednesday’s Child does not have a residential facility, nor is it an entity that physically places children in adoptive or foster situations. Our main goal is to raise awareness about and encourage adoption for the many children in our region who live under the state’s care – either in a residential facility (like a group home), or in a home-based foster care environment.
If I make a donation, where does my money go?
Nearly 90% of all funds raised go directly to program support for the children waiting to be adopted. Program support includes annual family fun outings for adoptive families, meet and greet social events to introduce prospective families to the children needing to be adopted, funding for things like braces, and instruments for music class and summer camp. Other things include personal items like photo albums and suitcases and other memorabilia for when the kids move from place to place, or a nice outfit to wear when meeting a possible forever family. For kids that “age out” and don’t get adopted, funds would be used for items to help them set up their first apartment, help them find a job, and other real-world needs.
What are some ways I can get involved?
Many people want to be directly involved with our children, and the best way to do that is to adopt them. But, there are lots of other ways you can help indirectly and those are equally as important. We need volunteers a few times throughout the year – on board committees, staffing an outreach booth, such as at the state fair, or working some of our events, such as our Adopt-a-thon. Another way to be involved is through a financial donation, which allows us to expand our efforts and launch new programs. To help us raise awareness, we invite your company, church/temple, country club, etc., to reserve and showcase our Shining Star Gallery – a beautiful pictorial exhibit featuring our Wednesday’s Children and their stories. This is a free and easy way to help us spread the word.
Who can adopt a Wednesday's Child?
Adoptive parents may be single, married, childless, or already parenting other children. You don’t have to own your own home or have a high income. Divorce or history of marital and personal counseling does not disqualify you, nor does physical disability. These children don’t need perfect parents. They need one or two loving individuals willing to face some new challenges and make a lifelong commitment.
Where do these children come from?
Children who are waiting for a family come from a variety of situations. Many of the children listed are currently in a foster home. This could be their only placement from first being moved from their family of origin, or it could be one in a series of moves the child has experienced. Sometimes, the children come from a previous adoptive placement which did not work out. Other times, a child may need special therapy, which they receive in a residential treatment center or group home. But no matter what their present situation is, all of these children are waiting for the stability of a permanent family.
Wednesday’s Children have all been through the court system with every effort made to keep their families together. However, parental rights have been terminated after it is proven the home is no longer safe for the child. All of the children are free for adoption and are wards of the state.
What does ||Special Needs|| mean?
Just as every child is unique, so are their needs. Special needs can simply mean the child is a member of a sibling group and the siblings are being placed together. The children also meet the criteria for special needs if the child is a member of a racial and/or ethnic minority group and is two years old or older. Of course, some children are born with physical conditions that may require special equipment, medical or dietary services, and an experienced and knowledgeable family. Other children may require special education services. A majority of the children also have emotional scars from a background that includes abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Some children have a combination of these special needs.
How much does adoption cost?
The Kentucky Cabinet for Families & Children does not charge an adoption fee. Subsidies may also be available to help offset the costs of adoption, as well as for ongoing maintenance and/or medical needs of your child. These subsidies are based on the child’s needs, not your financial situation. Depending on the child placed with you, you may also qualify for reimbursement of non-recurring costs, such as legal fees.
How do I start the adoption process?
You may begin by calling the toll-free telephone number, 1-800-928-4303. If you have not completed the family preparation process, you will be referred to an adoption information meeting in your area. The orientation meeting (or adoption information meeting) is the first step in the adoption process. Here you will be given general information on the adoption and foster care processes and details regarding the completion of the family preparation.
If I call about a child, does this mean I will get to adopt this child?
In many cases, yes. Remember, the child’s social worker is looking for the family who can best meet the child’s individual need. In other instances, the worker may have several families to consider or the child may already be placed at the time of your inquiry. However, the children featured on this site represent the type of children who enter the program on a regular basis.