Boyle County Family Court Judge Bruce Petrie said he believes the court makes an implicit promise to children, when they are taken from their homes, that it will find them an adoptive home.
Borrowing an idea from Arizona, Petrie and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services created the Bluegrass Heart Gallery. They hope the pictures will help match the children with families.
They are looking for "anyone with an open spot in their home and an open spot in their heart," Petrie said.
"Every child wants a home. Every child wants a family," said Karen Tomlin, who works with health and family services. We are looking for "people with large hearts, who have the need or desire to provide a family for a child."
For many of the children, this was the first time they had professional photographs taken. Harrodsburg photographer Mark Hicks said he only remembers the days when children up for adoption where lined up against the wall for head shots that looked more like mug shots.
"I wanted to show them in a positive manner ... to capture the true spirit of the child," he said, pointing out how he showed his subjects with their basketballs or in poses they suggested.
Each of the children received copies of the pictures. Organizers of the event plan to present the rest of the photos to the families at adoption hearings.
Petrie hopes the exhibit will move around the Bluegrass region.
"What's more beautiful than these kids?" he said.
All of the children featured in the exhibit are ready to be adopted. More information about the adoption process will be available at the exhibit.
The brochure for the event reads: "They may have experienced abuse or neglect in their own families. Now they're safe, but are still awaiting permanent, loving parents. Their greatest hope is to find their own 'forever family.'"|10/24/05|***