Night Out With Meaning: Building a Family

Night Out With Meaning

February 10, 2011Building a Family

Storyteller:  Sue Badeau

Sue and Hector Badeau have 22 children.  This is not a typo!  They have adopted children from all over the world with a variety of life circumstances and challenges.  They started out together with a plan of having a few children and adopting a few children.  They ended up having 2 biological children and adopting 20 children.  With their first adoption they told the agency that they wanted a child “most in need of a home and least likely to get one.”  This became their family-building motto.

The second Night Out With Meaning was held on February 10, 2011.  The topic was “Building a Family.”  Sue Badeau joined as our storyteller.  Sue has been working as a child welfare professional for over thirty years.

Sue has a degree in Early Child Development and Elementary Education from Smith College.  She is currently the Director of the Cross Systems Integration team within the Knowledge Management department of Casey Family Programs.  In recent years, she served as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Children’s Commission and as the Deputy Director of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care. In between, she had been a child welfare policy consultant for public and private agencies, universities and court systems.

Sue has worked in direct services at both the casework and supervisory levels in adoption and foster care in public and private agencies.  She has developed curricula on many topics used to prepare professional child welfare staff, adoptive and foster parents, judges, attorneys and youth.  She writes extensively on topics related to children, particularly those with special needs and is a frequent speaker at state, regional and national conferences.

Sue and her husband, Hector, are the lifetime parents of twenty-two children, two by birth and twenty adopted (two, with terminal illnesses, are now deceased).  They have also served as foster parents for more than 50 children in three states, and as a host family for refugee youth from Sudan, Kosovo and Guatemala.  Recently, their 30th grandchild and third great-grandchild were born.  They have won numerous awards for their work, including being recognized by President Clinton with an “Adoption Excellence” award for their work on behalf of adoption and children in foster care.

Sue and her family are currently working on plans to create The Badeau Family Bed & Breakfast and Retreat Center as a place of respite for parents and caregivers of children and adults with special needs.