Single Dad Who’d Spent Years In Foster Care Adopts Group Of Siblings: ‘I Know What It’s Like’
Robert Carter discovered the kids hadn't seen each other for six months and it compelled him to action.
November 03, 2020 at 9:06 pm
A single father once separated from his siblings as a youth, adopted and reunited five siblings on Adoption Day in Hamilton County, Ohio, on Friday.
Robert Carter, who spent years in Cincinnati's foster care system, told Fox 19 that he is relieved and grateful that siblings Marionna, Makayla, Robert, Giovanni and Kiontae will be in a loving home and have the opportunity to grow up together.
“My mom had nine kids, and I didn’t see my youngest [sibling] again. He was two. I didn’t see him again until he was 16, so for me going through that, I knew how important it is for them to see each other and be around each other. When I had my boys before I got the girls, that’s all they talked about was their sisters,” Carter said.
Carter’s experience in the foster care system and dealing with the horror of being separated from his birth family compelled him to reunite the five children. At 12, he went into foster care in Hamilton County and lost communication with his siblings. As an adult, Carter fought for and was granted custody of his younger sister and guardianship of his younger brother.
“I understand how they feel,” he said. “I understand what they went through, so it really touched me. I was already thinking about adopting all of the kids but when I saw them crying, I was like, ‘Ok, I’m going to take all five to keep them together.’ ”
Originally, Carter was fostering the three boys when he and the girls’ foster mothers convened to work out a visitation for the children to see each other. He discovered that they had been apart for nearly six months.
“Every night I talk to them and let them know, ‘I’m your dad forever. I know what it’s like and I’m always here for you,’” Carter said.
“Like Marionna. She’s warmed up so much since the beginning. At first, she didn’t like me. She walked in my room last night and said, ‘I just want to say thanks for taking us in and taking care of us when our real mom couldn’t.’ It just really touched me. So just making memories, letting them know I’m here and they never have to go. I’m here for them no matter what,” he added.
Adoption case manager Stacey Barton said Carter’s background and his positive approach to parenting make him a great dad for the children.
“Mr. Carter was the only foster parent willing and able to adopt all of the children. His childhood background has made him aware of the importance of keeping siblings together,” she told Cincinnati news station WLWT 5. “He says that he enjoys being their father and that parenting them is easier than he could have ever imagined! His life is busy, with a lot of love, laughter and loudness! I have enjoyed working with him and witnessing the children bond as siblings.”
Barton said she hopes the “unique” adoption will be seen in the community as an example that many others can follow.
As a child, Robert Carter was put into foster care and didn't see his siblings for years.— Goodable (@Goodable) November 2, 2020
As he grew older, he was eventually given custody of them.
This year, when he found out five siblings in foster care had been separated, he knew what to do.
He adopted them all. pic.twitter.com/MWlHg9DBlC
Although various communities observe independent Adoption Day events, National Adoption Day will be observed on November 21.