Couple preparing to welcome 72nd foster child
Thomas and Ann Rose have been foster parents to 71 children ... so far.
June 19th, 2011
09:47 PM ET

Couple preparing to welcome 72nd foster child

This Father’s Day, Thomas Rose can reflect on how he raised not only his own children decades ago, but also the dozens of foster children he and his wife have welcomed during the couple’s senior years.

Rose and his wife, Ann Rose, have been foster parents to 71 children over the past 15 years, and they’re hoping to welcome a 72nd soon to their Allentown, Pennsylvania, home.

“It’s very satisfying,” Rose told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield of his foster parenting experience on Saturday. “It’s really a lot of fun to see little kids develop and go from not being able to sit up to maybe being able to crawl and then walk and then talk. So it’s pretty rewarding.”

The Roses became first-time foster parents in August 1996, well after they had their own kids. Thomas is in his 70s, and Ann is in her 80s, CNN affiliate WFMZ reported.

“We have grandchildren. They were getting older (and) didn’t have any babies, so we thought we’d do this,” Ann Rose told WFMZ.

Though they’ve taken in dozens of children, the Roses usually aren’t outnumbered at home. Children don’t necessarily stay with foster parents for long, and the Roses rarely have had more than two foster children at a time.

They try to provide children with a loving environment and “teach them to have fun and get a sense of humor and, if they’re old enough … some manners,” Thomas Rose said.

“Some we’ve had for a very short time, and you lose track of them. But some of the kids we had for quite a while (that) you stay in contact with – maybe about 10% of them,” he told Whitfield. “One little girl we got when she was 2 days old. We had her for two years, and she’s going to be 10 years old now, and she comes to visit us for weeks at a time in the summer and around Christmastime.

“So it’s kind of neat when they come back.”

Thomas Rose said he’d tell new fathers that children grow up fast, so fathers need to “love them to bits and have fun with them.”

For any father, new or experienced, he’d advise patience.

“They’re raising something very special. They can just be there for their kids and love them and cherish them, really,” he said. “And it’s not just the dads. Moms and dads have to work together so much. … Just be there to support your kids. Don’t be impatient with them.”

He told WFMZ that the hardest part of foster parenting is knowing that the arrangement is temporary.

“Part of your responsibility is to take care of them while you have them. The giving-them-up part, while it is hard, is something you have to do,” he said.

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Filed under: Pennsylvania
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Jazzzzzzzz

    To all the Regulars: I Have not been on any of the blogs all day. Just a heads ups.
    I would hope there could be more Fathers such as yourself, to lead the others in example. Happy Fathers Day Mr. Rose. 🙂

    June 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm

    Lovin' it, Mamma and Poppa Rose!

    June 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Talon

    Thomas and Ann Rose: You are remarkable ~

    June 19, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. OA

    Brutus, while you are right about the payment, but taking care of kids requires passion and compassion and not everyone can offer that. These kids want attention and need caring parents, so kudos to this wonderful couple.

    June 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ***dude***

    @ brutus: ur name says it all

    June 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. leeintulsa

    Takes a certain kind of crazy to be a good dad 🙂

    June 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ski

    These two are just two of the thousands of foster parents to do this across the country. Yes we get paid but its about one third of what a daycare provider gets. We go thru hours of training and back round checks. Our reward is seeing the kids grow. We have the kids 24 hours a day not just 6-8 hrs. I wish people would stop thinking we do this for money. Most of us do it just to help. My wife and I have adopted nine from the foster care system and have had almost 100 come thru our home. We are truly blessed.

    June 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian Hartman

      Thank you for what you do.

      June 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ***dude***

    @ ski: God Bless!

    June 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy


    You're an ass.
    Ms. Jazzy knows all about raising children, have raised some.
    You, apparently, know nothing more than dollar signs.
    We know what kind of parent YOU would make....
    Scrap that.
    You're too selfish to raise a pet rock!

    Well done, Mr. And Mrs. Rose!

    June 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WillyNilly2011

    Hmm.. 50% of 71 kids at @1350 per month makes it a little over 567K a year... not a bad sum of money... I should get into this... and you feel good doing it too... there is this couple that we saw in the news that gets huge IRS refunds too...

    For too long we assumed that people do it only for charity.... Christians or ahem evangelists go 1000s of miles to feed poor kids in other countries but do not lift a finger to do anything for poor black kids in inner cities.... I guess that is America.. we go to war to make our defense companies, contractors and others richer... besides providing Southern 18-year olds a wage... we spend $57,000 per year locking up prisoners, our prisoner count is more than the next 10 countries' prsoner count put together... our military budget exceeds the next 9 countries put together.... we have more than 290 million guns in America.. this is our way of life.

    June 20, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Karla

      Well said. Speak with some of the kids who go through these foster care mills. You may hear a very different story about motives and treatment of children.

      June 20, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • DN3

      I prefer to give to children in other countries because unlike America where it is possible to get a free education, it is often impossible for children in poor 3rd world countries to get this or even running water even if they wanted to. Poor in America absolutely does not compare to poor in many third world countries. You have obviously never seen the ghettos in India, the Philippines or Indonesia. There is no semblance of welfare in these countries.

      June 20, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • DN3

      Also, this article does not say that all foster parents are good foster parents. It says that the Roses are good foster parents. Before you criticize other foster parents, maybe become a foster parent yourself or keep your mouth shut.

      June 20, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Juno

      Didn't you read that they usually have only a couple of children at a time? 2 kids at a time at 1350 per month (if that is the correct figure) is $32,400 per year – for a 24/7 365 days a year job! That comes to about $3.70 per hour. If we divide that by two care givers, they each earn $1.85 per hour.

      They are most likely not doing this for the money!

      June 20, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • ChaosNmotion

      Willy, if your only reasoning for fostering a child is monetarily driven, do the world a favor and DON'T. Actually go back and read the article, they usually only have at most 2 children at a time so I don't see where this could honestly be construed as a money making racket for them. And the reality is child poverty isn't just experienced by black children in the inner city, you find it in every city... children of all races. Half the time the parent or parent's of these inner city kids and I don't know where you live but not just black kids livin in the inner city, are getting governement assistance... they just aren't spending it on food for the children. There are lots of working class Americans who don't live in the inner cities who actually work a job, pay taxes and still have a hard time putting food on the table because the cost of everything in this country has gone up. Your comments are ill-informed and quite frankly in my opinion full of assumptive stereotypes and passive racism. and classism.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • kayleena

      I don't know where the $1350/month figure comes in, but it is usually much less. As a foster parent in Louisiana, it is usually between $400 and $500 per child. And that barely covers the basics. When a child comes to your home with what they have on their back, and MAYBE a bag with another set of clothes and a doll, that money helps cover but usually does not cover expenses. It is definitely a labor of love. I do realize that some people abuse the system, just like there are some sort of crook abusing some system at all times, but the majority of us are there to give a child a safe home, some love, and some food at a very chaotic time in that child's life.
      Sorry you are too cynical too believe that there really are good people out there with good intentions.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • hunnyber18

      Inner city kids? What do you call welfare? We all pay out the behind in taxes so that one or both of their parents can sit on their collective asses or do enough drugs that they can't hold down a job. Then we pay for them to have more kids they can't, pay for those kids, too, and likely do it for generation upon generaion. So how do you figure nobody is lifting a finger to help them. Perhaps someone else should be more concerned about lifting a finger, like their deadbeat parents. We pay enough out in free education, day care, housing, medical and other sources for single parents that there really is no excuse left but laziness.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt B

      Here in Michigan we don't get anywhere close to that figure. It is $14.24 a day, or $430 a month, which is $5,183 a year. That's not a lot of money, and surely doesn't cover all the expenses involved in foster care, not by a long shot. I think it's funny how most people have to pay more for child support then the state pays for foster children.

      June 20, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cali Lilly

    This is awesome. So many kids out there who just need to be loved and this couple has done it for 71 kids not including their own. Why doesnt everybody love like this?

    June 20, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Billy

    There's no such thing as a selfless deed. At the very least, they do it because it makes them feel good about themselves. Even if I give away a million dollars, it's ultimately a selfish act. Stop kidding yourselves.

    June 20, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Juno

      Of course this is true in a way.... but if I choose to do something that makes me feel good about myself, while making a real difference in a kid's life, then I think that is a higher choice than simply doing something that makes me feel good – such as partying.

      There is nothing wrong in a sense of pride at a job well done. Well done Mr. and Mrs. Rose!

      June 20, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. brown

    When you don't want to go to a regular job, you can adopt. the money is pretty good too! It's a lifestyle for many folks these days!

    June 20, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • NootyNap

      Excuse me? So someone who looks after children does not have a "regular job?" How is staying home and working your butt off day after day not a regular job? Get a life.

      June 20, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Michigan

      @brown – Have you ever seen how much it costs to adopt a child. It can run between $5,000 and $15,000, depending upon the time it takes to clear legal paperwork and have your home and income expected, among many other things. Being a foster parent is a little different, but even so, if you received $1350 a month (or $400, as Louisiana does in a comment above), you still have to pay for stuff, such as a bed, bedding materials, clothing, books for education, food, medicine, and more. Do you think you could provide all that and still provide that for yourself on $1350 a month if you went into adoption/fostering as a line of business?

      June 20, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. fernace

    Kudos to the Roses & ski. It takes a special,loving & giving person to want to do this, especially over & over. I've been a nanny for 35yrs,.(retired now),& as much as I loved the babies & kids I cared for, it was a relief to hand them back to their parents at the end of the day. Children need & deserve the utmost of care & nurturing & it is rewarding to watch them grow & thrive. But as any parent will attest to, it's exhausting work. That's why I have so much respect for people who love kids this much & want to help! The $ is negligible, & most of it is spent on the care for the child anyway. It's Fathers Day, lets celebrate, no time to be jaded!!

    June 20, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Tammy Strichek

      Finally a good story to hear and read about..Kudos to the family and the love and support they have shown for all the world to see..God Bless them and their hearts to love and care for children.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. fernace

    Hey Billy, it's OK to feel good about yourself when you do something nice for someone else. It doesn't necessarily mean you're selfish, it just means win-win for all involved! BTW, could you give me a little of that mil. you're giving away? You'll feel really good about yourself if you!!

    June 20, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
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