Pennsylvania Parents Adopted Their Son's Best Friend Who Was In Foster Care

Photo: (Photo : Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

A pair of Pennsylvania parents have legally adopted their son's best friend, who needed a lot of love and stability in his life. Nate Rosas, 16, knew of Rita Marlow and Seth Lentchner and their son, Zachary, for nearly a decade, but as of July 13, they have become a family officially.

Marlow told Today that she's still in shock about becoming a parent to Nate, who befriended Zachary over a game of soccer when they first met as kids. The mother shared that the boys had been inseparable from the start, and they soon had this ritual of picking up Nate from his biological family's house so he could hang out with them.

Nate's home life details aren't clear, but as the boys got older, Nate spent more time with his best friend and his parents.

Considering Foster Parenting

A few years ago, a caseworker handling Nate approached the Pennsylvania parents to ask them if they were interested in becoming foster parents. Marlow said they had considered this for some time, but they were unsure if it was also what Zachary wanted.

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Not surprisingly, Zachary was receptive to the idea of having Nate live with them since he knew that they have to help his best friend. Marlow was even more determined to provide Nate's roof and loving guidance when they learned in 2016 that he has to be removed from his house. The social workers also wanted the Pennsylvania parents to keep Nate active in soccer.

Marlow admitted that she had some initial concerns about their finances and felt nervous because she didn't want to fail their foster son. However, it took a village to raise the child as the community was supportive of the Pennsylvania parents when they learned that Nate would be under their care. Many soccer moms, neighbors, and friends of the family donated items for Nate to use in his new home.

"We provided the roof, but along the way, so many people have been here," Marlow told Today.

The Boy Chose Them

It was Nate who decided that he wants to be with Zachary's family at 13 years old. From taking him as a foster child, the family soon started with the adoption process. However, Marlow said that it wasn't without any challenges because Nate still has his birth mother.

But on Thanksgiving in 2020, hope came to light when they got a call from the case manager advising them that the adoption process might soon be completed.

In a post on social media, Marlow confirmed that the court has ruled that they are now Nate's parents. Some 52 of their friends and family celebrated with them in the courtroom. Marlow's sister, Joan Cullen, also shared a post to say that the family is truly happy for Nate, whom Joan had been calling her nephew for the last five years.

According to reports, the boy has been looking forward to his adoption confirmation for some time. Lentchner, on the other hand, told the press that they are filled with an "overwhelming sense of relief," knowing that they can finally begin planning what they want as a family.

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