Utah Family Grows to 18 Children Thanks to Adoption

by Norris Law Group on July 4, 2014

walker family 150Erica Palmer writes about the incredible story of the Walker family of South Jordan in a June 2014 article for the Deseret News. Doug and Deanne Walker both came from big families and wanted one of their own—but even they never expected this…

The Walker children range in age from 5 to 27; nine are biological, and nine are adopted. While they thought that they might have six or seven children of their own and stop there, Deanne had a vision of adopting children of other races. After having seven children of their own, the Walkers adopted a boy from Chicago. They went on to adopt children from other parts of the United States, China and India. At one point, one of their young daughters thought that the answer to the question, “Where do babies come from?” was, “The airport.”

Their adopted children include some with special needs, like five-year-old Bria, who suffered something called “amniotic banding” while in utero, which inhibited her development. Although she is missing all but two fingers, Deanne Walker says, “It takes all four of my fingers to do what she does with one. She can do anything and everything you do. She can draw, she can write, there’s nothing she can’t do. OK, she can’t play on the monkey bars. But I don’t know if there’s anything else she can’t do besides the monkey bars.”

The Walkers also made a difficult choice when they adopted their son Gideon from China. Gideon was born with a heart condition so serious that doctors doubted that he would even survive the trip from China to Utah. But this made the Walkers want to do all they could to help Gideon even more. They brought him home and showered all the love they could on him until he finally passed away after 10 months. Doug Walker says, “The understanding of the adoption, if you’re not looking at it from a spiritual perspective at all, why would you bring a child into your home that isn’t going to last?” But with the eternal nature of things, we don’t care if he’s only with us for a day. He’s ours. It wouldn’t have changed our decision.”

While the LDS Church recently chose to stop matching adoptive parents with available children, the Walkers decided to start a charity to do just that. Their organization, My Gift of Love, will help birth mothers find suitable LDS families for their children and make adoption more affordable.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of family law, including adoption. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.


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