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A Life Dedicated to Serving At-Risk Children

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Dr. John DeGarmo has dedicated his life to helping at-risk children, serving as foster parent to more than 60 over the years, and adopting three to join his three biological kids in his family. Currently, Dr. DeGarmo and his wife are foster parents to 10 children.

A leading expert in foster care and parenting, and director of The Foster Care Institute, Dr. DeGarmo conducts seminars across the world on foster care, child sex trafficking, adoption, and child welfare related issues. He also is author of several books, including The Foster Care Survival Guide, Keeping Foster Children Safe Online, and Fostering Love: One Foster Parent's Journey.

On the Lean to the Left podcast, Dr. DeGarmo says he felt called to open his home, and his heart, to vulnerable children when he learned of a 15-year-old girl pregnant with triplets who had no place to turn. That prompted him and his wife to become foster parents, and after training some 20 years ago, they plunged in with a vengeance.

And, their lives have since never been the same.

This is an interesting guy, too. He’s worked in professional wrestling, traveled the world performing in the international super group Up With People, married an Australian, lived on a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef for a year, was awarded the Good Morning America Ultimate Hero Award, and even appeared on Wife Swap.

Here are some questions we posed to Dr. DeGarmo:

Q. Why do you do what you do? And where do you find the time?

Q. Tell us about The Foster Care Institute and what you do there.

Q. I’m certain that dealing with children who have been abused is one of the major aspects of your work there. How serious of a problem is domestic violence and child abuse today?

Q. Let’s talk about that what are some ways that we can all help stop domestic violence against children?

Q. What about foster care? Is there a shortage of foster parents for kids in crisis?

Q. What are some things that people interested in becoming a foster parent should consider?

Q. You wrote a blog earlier this year listing 15 ways to fix foster care. What are they?

Q. You are someone who walks the talk, if ever I’ve seen an example of that. You work on behalf of children who need foster care, and you’ve parented more than 60 yourself? And you and your wife are caring for 10 kids now? Why? How?

Q. How can you possibly provide the individual attention that these children deserve?

Q. The Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell saga was shocking and disgusting. What were your thoughts with how that case played out? Epstein being found dead in his jail cell and Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking in support of Epstein’s sex enterprise.

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