Adoptions highlight need for families to take on teens

JACKSON, Mich (WLNS) – A couple from mid-Michigan took a big step Friday and expanded their family by adopting two teenagers.

While it was a joyous celebration at the Jackson County Courthouse, there’s also a serious side to this event.

It calls attention to the growing need for teenagers to find a stable home and loving parents.

Friday morning, Brian Cole and his long-time partner Ken Bowman went before a judge to finalize the process of adopting two teen boys.

“It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it in the end,” Cole said.

The couple from Jackson County fostered the brothers for six months before adopting.

15-year-old Dustin and 14-year-old John now join two 17-year-old boys previously adopted into this family.

The couple is also fostering a 9-year-old boy that they hope to eventually adopt.

“It doesn’t come with any instructions, but we do reach out. We have a good support group so that’s definitely been a help,” Cole said.

Cole says in his experience children often get lost in the foster care system when they become teenagers and have a hard time getting adopted.

“It happens all the time, more often than not. They’re definitely just as easy or difficult as a toddler,” Cole said. “They’re funny, they’re witty, they’re smart, and they’re goal-oriented so if you want to adopt a teen, get a teen. And I don’t have to drive as much,” Cole said.

These two dads say kids need loving parents now matter what their age is.

The couple hopes other people will follow their lead and take a loving leap.

“Do a lot of research first. But don’t believe everything you read. It’s not always accurate. So get to know the kids,” Cole said.

They’re now a family of seven.

But it’s something the family is prepared for.

They just got a new minivan last week to accommodate their growing family.

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