Arizona couple touts successful story amid shortage of foster parents

Arizona has a shortage of licensed foster care parents. There are 14,000 children in the state's foster care system, and only 3,000 licensed families to support them.

Amid the shortage, however, is one success story from a same-sex couple in Mesa who were once discouraged from fostering.

Banica and Liz Olmeda have fostered over a dozen children, and they are advocating for other families doing the same.

The Olmedas have a picture-perfect family, but they didn't get there in a traditional way. They attended an informational session to become foster parents, and (as mentioned above), it didn't go as planned.

"In regards to same-sex couples, on how we would not be able to do it at all or how it would be extremely hard for us to foster or then even adopt, and if anyone was willing to take us under their agency, then they would only acknowledge one of us. They wouldn't acknowledge both of us as their parents," Banica recounted.

For Banica, it was discouraging, to say the least.

"I felt defeated," Banica said. "I wanted to walk out."

Officials with A New Leaf's foster program stepped in, however, and immediately wanted to work with Banica and Liz.

"They were a loving couple," said Kristina Gonzalez with A New Leaf's foster care program. "They had a passion and desire to help children to grow their family, to offer a good loving home to children in need of it, and that's exactly what we're looking for."

Bianca and Liz now have fostered over a dozen children, and adopted seven siblings. Banica hopes their story paves the way for other non-traditional families to give children in need a loving home.

"There's always a way, and there's agencies who will work with you," said Banica.