Opioid Crisis creates shortage of foster, adoptive families

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The opioid crisis has taken the lives of so many adults and left so many children without a place to call home.

Maureen Centa of Caring for Kids, a private organization that finds placements for children who are in county custody, says the need for foster and adoptive parents is overwhelming.

"About two years ago, we would see about 20 referrals a week come across our desk for kids needing homes. Now it's 20 a day. Every day. Every day we have at least 20 kids from all over Ohio that need to find homes," Centa said.

If there are no foster homes available, the outlook is grim for children.

"We've seen some children that have gone to juvenile detention centers for a little bit of time - not because they had committed a crime - but because that is where there is an open bed," Centa added.

Kevin and Karen Gorby, of Sagamore Hills are sharing their adoption story to encourage others who may be thinking of fostering or adopting.

"My husband came home one day and said, 'there are two kids in the school that are in foster care. Would you like to adopt them? I don't know anything about them. And I said, sure.' And that's how it all started," Karen Kawolics-Gorby said.

Kevin Gorby was Eden Amador-Gorby's track coach - he knew she and her brother were struggling in foster care and that they needed a permanent home.

"She rolled her ankle. She turned around, and I saw her with her back to me, and I heard her under her voice say just loud enough, 'why does everything always happen to me? I gave Karen a phone call and said, 'oh, by the way. We are going to be adopting two kids. I hope you don't mind.'"Kevin Gorby said.

Odin and Eden moved in with the family and were eventually adopted in 2015.

Odin is now 16 and Eden is now 18. Both are now encouraging families to open their hearts and their homes.

"They actually gave us a future because before then, we didn't know what was going to happen, and we are really happy. We really are,"Odin said with a smile.

If you would like information on how to become a foster parent, or if you are interested in adopting, you can click this link.

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