The real need and

clear mission.

Children belong in families, not systems.

There are currently 29,000 youth in the foster care system in Texas, with 6,000 awaiting adoption. Among these, 1,800 youth have been identified as needing additional advocacy efforts beyond traditional adoption recruitment. These include grade school and older youth, sibling groups, and youth with higher medical and behavioral needs.

In our region of East Texas, approximately 100 youth fall into these categories. Heart Gallery East Texas exists to connect them to their forever families.

About Heart Gallery East Texas

What we do.

Heart Gallery East Texas uses portrait exhibits and narrative-changing storytelling to illuminate the individuality of children across the Piney Woods and connect kids with their forever families. Beyond the images, we offer resources, education, and guidance to adoptive families to prevent youth from re-entering the foster care system. We’re reshaping the foster care narrative by advocating for youth placement in supportive families instead of systems.

Heart Gallery East Texas is a part of Heart Galleries of Texas.

How it works.

Volunteer professional photographers skillfully capture the essence and personality of each child in a powerful image, which is paired with a written narrative to tell the child’s story. Prospective adoptive families view the gallery online or in person, make an inquiry on a child, and the child’s caseworker reaches out.

The impact of a single photo can be profound, as it mobilizes local community networks to facilitate connections between the child and prospective adoptive families, potentially changing their future trajectory.