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'Navigating adoption is tough': Treasure Valley support groups provide help to parents, kids

There are support groups to help birth moms, families wanting to adopt or have already, and groups of the kids themselves.

BOISE, Idaho — We have been looking at the world of adoption this week on the News at 4. You heard from the Cutler family in Meridian. They adopted four kids. On Wednesdays we introduced you to Christopher, this week's Wednesday's Child. He is one of thousands looking for a permanent home. 

If you decide to take the adoption journey it's important to know there is support out there to help you along the way.

Stephanie Pearl is the founder and executive director of A New Beginning Adoption Agency in Boise. She started the nonprofit after adopting her own child 17 years ago.

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"Navigating adoption is tough," explained Pearl. "There's legal, but there's also emotional aspects people don't often think about."

Several support services and groups are offered to their clients and anyone else who is on an adoption journey.

"There's a lot of processing," said Lauren Rubin, who is a birth mom. "A lot of pro and con lists."

Rubin placed her child for adoption about two years ago. It's an open adoption so she is still in his life.

"Every adoption story is incompletely different which is what I love about this birth mom group," explained Rubin. "We all share our stories."

Rubin says the support group has become a big part of her life.

"It's just nice for us to get together and let loose," Rubin said. "If we want to talk about how our biological children are doing that's great, but we can find other things to talk about and it's been a really good network of friends."

Amber Kidd is the adoption specialist and foster-adopt program coordinator at A New Beginning Adoption Agency. The support group she runs is for families who are planning to adopt or families who have already expanded their family.

"It is such a necessity that families have support whether that's natural support in their families, communities, churches, but with other families going through the same journey," Kidd said.

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"There is a joy to support a family as they're growing their family and there are a lot of hardships when it comes to parenting and when you are working with kids from hard places."

Nehemiah Gremmel was in foster care and he was adopted, along with his siblings, when he was 15. Now he's helping kids through the process as a peer mentor.

"The great part about that is we (mentors) take lived experiences and try to connect it and make it the same," explained Gremmel.  "I like feeling like I have a great purpose. It feels really good changing people."

Gremmel is going to school for social work and child psychology to continue his path helping foster kids get adopted. 

Unfortunately, some kids never are adopted.  More than 23,000 children will age out of the foster care system in the United States every year. After reaching the age of 18, 20% of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless.

There are some nonprofits locally that support those young men and women, including Judah's House, JEM Friends and Boise Angels. Boise State University even has a group called Impact Scholars that is dedicated to students with a variety of foster care experiences. 

"It's very important because they kinda make sure you're on track especially because, a foster kid coming into college, it's really easy to get unmotivated because you're going to classes and you're seeing all your friends and they have parents that can help them out, with money or anything like that, and it can just be really frustrating," said Ryan Williams, who is a member of Impact Scholars.

The BSU group also helps students like Williams financially.  

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