Inspiring

Single Dad ‘Pays It Forward’ by Adopting 3 Kids Before Turning 30, Says ‘We’re A Typical Family’

A Virginia man decided to adopt three foster children before turning 30, The Tribune reports.

Barry Farmer, a 30-year-old single dad, became a foster parent eight years ago when he was just 21. The child, Jaxon, was 8 years old when Farmer decided to adopt him.

“I look in the mirror all the time, and if you would have told me 10 years ago that this would happen, I wouldn’t believe you,” Farmer told WTVR.

“Personally, I grew up in kinship care, which is another form of foster care. My grandmother raised me,” he explained to Inside Edition. “Her doing that for me, there was no way I could actually pay her back so I decided it’d be a good way to pay it forward.”

Farmer began to think about adopting again and, in 2015, adopted 15-year-old Xavier.

A year later, Farmer adopted 8-year-old Jeremiah.

Farmer told ABC 7 that despite differences in their skin color and background, they’re just a “typical family.”

“We may not look alike, but it’s a typical family,” Farmer said. “In this day in time when it comes to family, and seeing color or seeing unity and belonging, and that’s what I was hoping to accomplish with my family anyway.”

Via The Tribune:

Farmer’s story comes amid a crisis in foster care. Several states, such as Georgia, are facing critical shortages of foster parents, leaving those children more at risk of falling through the cracks and becoming ensnared in things like sex trafficking, according to John Degarmo of the Foster Care Institute. The ongoing opioid crisis is also straining the foster system, as a blooming of addictions and overdoses have pushed more and more children into foster care, reported The New York Times.

And as those children get older, such as around the ages of Farmer’s children, people are less and less likely to adopt them, according to reporting from the Deseret News.

“There’s no reason to be afraid of our foster children who are waiting to be adopted,” Farmer told WTVR. “Fatherhood has brought me lots of joy. I can’t imagine my sons not being with me.”