Adoption advocate reacts to teen charged with murdering foster mother, sister
EUGENE, Ore. - The news of a triple homicide shocked Oregon.
Then we learned more about the case: A 16-year-old boy arrested and charged with the murders of his foster mother and sister - and his own sister.
Right now in Oregon, there are roughly 10,000 foster kids waiting for a permanent home - and 1,000 foster kids in Lane County alone.
Christy Obie Barret is the Executive Director of A Family for Every Child in Eugene.
Barret says, when a crime or tragedy involving a foster child makes headlines, it can make the adoption process even harder.
"My concern is always that it's going to negatively impact the foster system," Barret said.
Barret started her nonprofit more than a decade ago and has placed around 6,000 children into homes.
However, for every success story, there are hundreds more still waiting for their forever homes.
She says, across the country, there is a critical need for more foster parents.
"These are children," Barret said, "and they are products of the environments they are raised in."
Barret said many children are taken from parents involved with drugs and alcohol. She said sometimes foster kids lose touch with their siblings, or move from home to home.
"All of those are traumatic," Barret said, "and all of those go into who you become."
Barret said that is why committed, stable foster parents are so important. She admits, fostering or adopting a child be a difficult process, but she would not have it any other way. Barret and her husband have adopted nine children, in addition to their three biological children.
"I would do it all again in a heartbeat," Barret said. "Our family is forever changed by the wonderful people that we've brought into it."
A Family for Every Child