Steve Bevelheimer was 64 years old when his foster parents finally adopted him. While his age makes his story unusual, it’s sadly not rare for foster children to age out of the foster care system at age 18 without being adopted. Some, like Bevelheimer, will remain a part of their foster parent’s lives forever. But for many, reaching the age of majority means being out on their own, often ill-prepared for adulthood.
That was the case John Ferraro-Hauck, who went into the foster care system at age 7 after years of abuse and neglect. Labeled “unadoptable,” John aged out of the system. At age 21, he was living with a school nurse who had taken him, struggling with the tasks of adulthood: keeping a job, managing his finances, renting an apartment. It was then that he met long-time couple Mark Hauck and Tim Ferraro — who’d been considering adoption for some time — and something just clicked.
Fast forward to two years later, and the trio are now a family. Hauck and Ferraro realized that there was someone right in front of them who needed parents, so rather than adopt a younger child as planned, they asked John to be a part of their family. He balked at first, afraid of the commitment they were asking of him, but eventually he showed up on their doorstep with his belongings in hand. The three went through the fairly simple (since he was already an adult) process of becoming a family.
According to CNN, older child adoption is on the rise, but 20,000 children age out of the system every year.
Photo: Kevin Davis, CNN.com