Virtual adoption ceremonies will be held Saturday as part of National Adoption Day for 149 foster children who have found their permanent homes amid a pandemic.
Ninety-two families will participate, and more than 60% of the adoptions being finalized are for siblings.
“These children will have a stable and loving family to call their own for the rest of their lives,” Department of Children and Family Services Director Bobby Cagle said. “Today, foster parents will legally become parents, reminding their child that they deserve to be loved, protected and most importantly, that they are not alone. With this foundation, their futures are immeasurably brighter.''
DCFS is committed to maintaining family connections by keeping siblings together whenever possible and placing children with relatives. Last year, more than half of DCFS' finalized adoptions were relative adoptions.
However, many more adoptive families are needed and more than 300 children are still waiting for an adoptive family, say Los Angeles County child welfare authorities.
“The court is pleased to continue our support for National Adoption Day during the pandemic,” Juvenile Division Presiding Judge Victor Greenberg said. “To ensure social distancing and public health, we are unfortunately unable to celebrate together in person at the Edelman Courthouse this year. However, the most important aspect of this event is the formation of new families for children and their adoptive parents.”
Families have typically gathered in the Edmund D. Edelman Children's Courthouse for adoption hearings, but this year's proceedings will be held virtually, connecting judicial officers in courtrooms to families at home.
“While we may not be able to enjoy National Adoption Day in our usual environment, we are together in this moment, and remain dedicated to pursuing permanence for every child we have the privilege to serve.”
DCFS is one of the largest public adoption agencies in the country. In 2019, 1,855 children in foster care in Los Angeles County were adopted through DCFS.