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Ministry Seeks Foster Homes
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— The —
Daily Prophet
Price One Knut
May 18th, 1889

Ministry Seeks Foster Homes
Displaced Stone Children Need Care

The number of children returned to animation after having been transfigured into stone by the late Victorian Hatfield has grown to fourteen. The original six children from the storefront have been joined by eight more who have been found in magical gardens around Wellingtonshire, after the owners of the properties wrote in to the Improper Use of Magic office to have their statues examined.

"We have an extensive list of houses to visit, based on those who wrote in," said one office employee. "We've only been able to get through the Wellingtonshire houses so far, but it's clear that we're looking at a much larger number of children than we originally thought. We still haven't even started going through her sales ledger."

Complicating the process of reuniting displaced children with their families is the fact that the children do not seem to have any commonalities in their background; some are reportedly magical, but at least two of the rescued children appear to have been raised by Muggles. Many of the younger children are able to give little, if any, identifying information about their lives prior to being turned to stone.

"There's also no way to know how old these children ought to be," pointed out a spokesperson for the Ministry. "Say they were abducted ten or twenty years ago, as a toddler. The statue wouldn't have aged — so the missing persons case may have been closed long ago, and there's no real way of knowing." Ms. Hatfield's sales ledger records only when statues left her shop, not when the children were acquired or any other details of their background.

The children are currently living in temporary boarding at the Ministry offices, but this has become unsustainable. Ministry officials are seeking homes in Hogsmeade or Irvingly who may be willing to foster a child for a period of several weeks while the Ministry attempts to locate the child's original family.

As the magical status of the children is not well established, homes that share close borders with Muggle communities are not able to take in children at this time. The Ministry is able to offer a small stipend to foster homes in order to offset the cost of caring for the children. Interested parties may apply to the Investigation Office, which has taken charge of the reunification efforts.

Those who believe they may be in possession of an affected statue are still encouraged to contact the Improper Use of Magic Office, who will continue to handle the reanimation proceedings.
Ian Pengloss
Written by Lynn


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