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Robert Carter, 29, had always wanted to adopt, but now he is father of five blood siblings: Marionna, 10, Robert Jr., nine, Makayla, eight, Giovanni, five, and Kiontae, four.
"I've always known I wanted to adopt because I grew up in foster care myself," said Robert, who is a gay hair salon owner and stylist in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"I knew about my sexuality very young, so I always figured I'd have to adopt if I wanted kids."
Robert began fostering Robert Jr., Giovanni and Kiontae in December 2018, but after learning that they had been separated from their sisters Marionna and Makayla for six months, he decided to bring them together for a play date.
After contacting the girls' foster mother, the siblings were eventually reunited.
"The kids saw each other and started hugging and crying and wouldn't let go," he said. "That was the moment I said 'okay I'm going to take all five.'"
Robert, who was one of nine children, entered the foster care system when his youngest sibling was two, and didn't see them again until they were 16.
"I know the pain of being separated too well and I could not let that happen to them," he said.
While Robert says that many of his loved ones have questioned his decision to take on five kids, he's standing by his decision, and loves them all.
"My five kids are amazing," he said. "A lot of people think it's hard if you're by yourself or don't have a house, but it's a lot easier than people think it's going to be and kids need parents whether it's two or one."
Robert was nervous something would go wrong right up until the adoption.
"After it was finalised, I just cried because it was over and I didn't have to worry about if they were going to be moved or would have to suffer anymore," he said.
"I woke up the next day feeling relieved, at peace and blessed to have these kids."
Robert has no regrets about his decision, but it does mean he now needs a bigger house so they can all live comfortably.
The Carter family is now looking to buy a home and a GoFundMe has been set up to help them.
At time of writing, over $76,122 of the $150,000 goal had been reached, and it's growing day by day.
Robert said he's been overwhelmed by the support people have shown.
"I can't even explain how unbelievable it is, just to have support and people sharing our story to bring awareness to the fact that we still have so many kids that need homes," he said.
"I'm just happy that I'm able to help encourage people to step up as foster and adoptive parents so we can get these kids into great hands."
You can donate to the family here.
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