About Children Need Families

Children Need Families is a non-profit foundation passionately dedicated to meeting the most intrinsic need of a child, to have a permanent family and home. 


CNF works in partnership with adoption agencies, orphanages, and adoptive families, worldwide, offering a grant subsidy to assist with one of the often prohibitive steps of the adoption process, the cost. Once families apply and are approved, a one-time grant between $5000-$15,0000 is gifted to the family to offset adoption and legal fees, travel reimbursement and other related expenses. Once the grant is presented by CNF, the adoption is completed, and children come home! 


Recipient families share their stories on our website, motivating more individuals and families to adopt and/or apply for a grant if needed. 


The adoption journey is one of struggle and joy, wishes and waiting. Our hope in sharing that journey with you here, is a call to action for those who desire to adopt and those who wish to donate. Every donation lifts a family's financial burden and shortens the wait of a child anticipating their forever home. 


However, for each child that finds his or her way home through adoption, there are hundreds needing that same dream fulfilled. Dale Carnegie said: "the key to success is to find a need and fill it". You are that key. Whether you start the adoption process or donate to help a child get "home", you are filling "the need" Mr. Carnegie talked about. 


How CNF started:

Timothy Ballard, Founder of Operation Underground Railroad, and his wife, Katherine Ballard, started the process of adopting two children from Haiti. The parents of seven children, Katherine and Tim knew that two more must join their already 'at capacity' family when Tim met a brother and sister on a trip to Haiti. Months into the adoption process, Katherine felt pulled, impressed, to help more children unite sooner (rather than later) with their adoptive families. She knew first hand, how these waiting children and families were separated not only by distance, but by expenses, government approvals, legal fees, and forms. She and Tim knew very well how tedious the 'wait' was, up to two-plus years for them and others. Emotionally and financially draining for all involved, adopting parents often take a second or third job. Fundraisers, car washes, and yard sales are typically part of the narrative of a family trying to save enough money to bring their children home and complete an adoption. Children Need Families foundation or CNF was created almost overnight, in response to this tremendous need and Katherine's prompting.

"What do children need?" was the question raised when this organization was in it's infancy. The answer: "Children need families."


The future of CNF

CNF, its founders the Ballards, both the Board and Director, are continually looking for ways to expand the action of "filling the need" of children and families. Updates on the expanding mission of CNF and adoption stories of families in the process, as well as those who have received a CNF grant, will be posted here. We are funding families monthly! 

Thank you from the bottom and top of our hearts, 


Children Need Families


Janet Burgess-Russon

Executive Director


CNF Board Members

Katherine and Timothy Ballard


What can you do?