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Cora Iverson

Family is the cornerstone of Cora Iverson’s life. “I love being part of a family!” she said with a beaming smile and arms spread out wide.

Yet life wasn’t always untroubled for her. She first entered foster care when she was 8 years old and spent time in 12 foster homes. She struggled and endured the pain of an earlier adoption that dissolved. At one point, she said, “I closed my mind off to adoption.” When she reconsidered, she said, “I was not excited about the possibility of a single dad.” Yet, Chris Iverson was single and eventually adopted her in December 2012 to become her dad.

Since then, life has been more stable. She reads, goes to church and spends time with friends. She’s had more support for extracurricular activities, including theater, which she’s very involved in, she said, and she was working hard toward getting her driver’s license. “I’m happy,” she said.

Her father describes Cora as charming, funny and a joy with her cousins. She’s also adventuresome and thoughtful, he said. “For my parents 50th anniversary, she made a board game about her grandparents’ lives. She put a ton of energy into it.”

The father-daughter team spoke at the 16th Annual Celebrate Adoption: A Circus of the Heart event, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and its county, and private and nonprofit agency partners in 2013. As one of 520 children adopted from the foster care system that year, Cora was congratulated, with others who were adopted, at the celebration.

Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea and former Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson spoke briefly at the beginning of the event, honoring the families who adopted, and encouraging others to consider adoption, particularly of teens and sibling groups.

For more information about adopting children under state guardianship, contact your county social service agency or visit the Minnesota Adoption Resource Network’s website,, or call 612-861-7115 or 866-303-6276.

Photograph of  Cora  Iverson
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