Salter's unmarried mother was 15 when he was born in New York. She became a drug addict, and when he was four he and his younger brother were placed in care after being found wandering the streets.
During the rest of his childhood he had a total of 11 placements, some with his brother and some where they were separated; some in foster families, once in an adoptive placement which he terminated, two in group homes and one period when he lived with his birth father, who was a drug dealer. Some of the disruptions were because of administrative convenience, others were because of his progressively worse behavior. But when he was about 16 several encounters with concerned adults turned him from an angry, hurt, defeated and failing child into a young man determined to succeed.
He graduated valedictorian of his high-school class and graduated from college. He is now deputy director of For Love of Children, a Washington, DC child advocacy charity, and is president of the board of Adoptive Families of America.
He has five children, two of them adopted.
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