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Virginia man, whose family has blossomed through fostering and adopting, finds himself 'spectating' more

Farmer: 'I would tell anyone that if they don't think that they can foster, then there's still opportunity to help them in many ways'
Barry Farmer and his children.
Posted at 1:38 PM, May 25, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- He's someone we've introduced you to before.

He first became a foster parent at just 20 years old, and by 26, Barry Farmer had adopted three children.

I recently caught up with him to see how things are going for his family.

Barry Farmer says fostering, then adopting, his three boys brought him a sense of family he never knew he could be part of.

Barry Farmer and his children.
Barry Farmer and his children.

And with his two older boys entering young adulthood, he can see the impact he has had.

Barry tells me as his boys have learned to take care of themselves, he finds himself “spectating” more, in a sense, watching them navigate adulthood.

The 21-year-old is launching a car-detailing business, the 19-year-old has graduated from high school and the 13-year-old is a rising honor roll eighth grader.

Barry Farmer and his children.
Barry Farmer and his children.

He says they are proof of the positive, life-changing effects that fostering or adopting into a permanent loving family can have on a child's future.

He says you have the power to do that even if you can't foster a child right now.

"I would tell anyone that if they don't think that they can foster, then there's still opportunity to help them in many ways,” explained Farmer. “You can give them a job, give them apprenticeships. And I'm speaking more to the older children in adoption who need homes or those who are aging out of foster care, who will never have that permanent home. But they still need those opportunities to build their own lives so they can create their own family. And I really feel if they have opportunities, then they have the ability to create a successful life."

Barry Farmer and his children.
Barry Farmer and his children.

Barry points out he got started as a foster parent at a relatively young age but that successful foster parents come in all ages, saying older parents might be particularly suited for older children.

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