Never too late: Co-op City man adopts 7 older children

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CO-OP CITY -

Joseph Toles, 60, is a father of seven foster children in the borough – all of whom were adopted when they were between the ages of 13 and 20.

The Co-op City man grew up in foster care, and told News 12 that it is important that his adopted kids don’t feel like it’s a temporary situation.

“The longest it took somebody to call me ‘Dad’ was two weeks. And that's who I am. It's not ‘Joe’ or ‘Mr. Toles.’ It's Dad,” says Toles.

Toles, a former school guidance counselor, linked up with the nonprofit You Gotta Believe!, which helps place older foster children with permanent families. His first adoption was about 10 years ago.

Jhon Fernandez is in the process of being adopted now, and is still adjusting to having so many siblings.

“It's been really different, because it feels like they're going to be looking after you. You got to make sure you do the right thing,” he told News 12.

Toles say he just wants his children to have a “sense of belonging.”

 

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