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Meet the Cronen Adoptive Family from Minnesota

Adoption means being able to have someone to care for and love me.

The AdoptUSKids website motivated Diane and Allan Cronen, a child-free couple, to explore foster care adoption. The local branch of Bethany Christian Services provided additional information, encouragement, and guidance.  

The result is that 18-year-old Ryan Anthony, who entered foster care as a young teen, has finally found a safe, supportive family in which he can complete the tasks of growing up. Ryan came to the Cronens at age 16, and his adoption was finalized the following year. Because he came from another state, the adoption required an “Interstate Compact Agreement” and a waiting period.

When they learned about Ryan, Diane and Allan expanded their adoption age parameters upward because they realized that, as a teenaged foster child, Ryan had a small chance of being adopted.  This grateful young man writes, “Adoption means being able to have someone to care for and love me - someone who will always be there for me.”

Once he settled into his new home, Ryan began to explore and develop age-appropriate interests and activities. He especially enjoys fishing, playing video games, visiting amusement parks, watching horror movies, and spending time with friends and family.

As a consequence of earlier abuse, neglect, and abandonment, Ryan requires extra support and reassurances, as well as mental health services. He has recently begun individual counseling. Due to their location in a small community, the Cronens must travel to access such services.

Asked about the obstacles they overcame in the adoption process, Diane and Allan report difficulties completing the foster care licensing education requirements due to their full time employment. They had to work with the agency to schedule weekends and online classes.

The Cronens are grateful for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit, which enabled Allan to take several weeks off to help Ryan move and transition onto their home. In addition to those initial weeks off, Allan spends a significant amount of time with Ryan’s school and other resources to ensure his son is getting the services he needs. Allen explains, “Without the Adoption Tax Credit I would not have been able to take the time off needed for Ryan.”

Diane and Allan respectfully offer two suggestions to members of Congress for maintaining or improving foster care adoptions. First, they ask that the Adoption Tax Credit be saved. (“It is essential!”) Second, they ask for a streamlining of the process for adoptions across state lines. They write, “Interstate placement is difficult and takes too much time. We were fortunate to have had a team in Kentucky that understood the importance of working quickly when a 16 year old is waiting for a placement.”

Ryan fondly remembers the first time his new parents visited him at his foster home in Kentucky. “We went to Walmart for some supplies for our trip and we met a Boy Scout by the front door who was hosting a fundraiser. When he started talking to my Mom, she couldn't understand him, so I had to translate from Kentuckian to Minnesotan.”