In a downtown Anchorage courtroom last Tuesday afternoon, a judge declared Andrea Conter and Mitchell Hershey mother and son.
It was an unusual adoption: Hershey was a week away from turning 21, and has been in Alaska’s foster care system for more than half his life. Conter is a 53-year-old bookstore manager who had barely considered motherhood until two years ago, when a Facebook post about a college-aged boy who needed a home changed both of their lives.
In the fall of 2017, Conter, who is single, took in Hershey as a foster son. Gradually, the two decided they wanted to take the legal steps necessary to become a family forever.
The adoption ceremony happened just one week before Hershey would have “aged out” of Alaska’s foster system for good.
In the courtroom, a social worker asked Hershey to explain why he wanted to go forward with the adoption.
“I just want a parent, for once in my life,” he said.
To read the full article written by Michelle Theriault Boots, click HERE