FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Juana Aguilera
DCFS Office of Public Affairs
On Saturday, Nov. 21, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the Superior Court of Los Angeles County and pro bono attorneys with the Alliance for Children’s Rights and Public Counsel will complete virtual adoption ceremonies for 149 children in foster care as part of National Adoption Day.
The latter offers an opportunity for child welfare agencies, local courts and communities to raise public awareness about the need to find adoptive families for youth in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt nationwide.
“These children will have a stable and loving family to call their own for the rest of their lives,” DCFS Director Bobby D. 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 one the largest public adoption agencies in the country. In 2019, 1,855 children in foster care were adopted. DCFS is committed to maintaining family connections by keeping siblings together, whenever possible, and placing children with relatives. More than 60 percent of the adoptions being finalized are for siblings including 36 groups of two or more siblings.
Last year, more than 50 percent of DCFS’ finalized adoptions were relative adoptions. Currently, there are more than 300 children still waiting for an adoptive family. In past years, families gathered in the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Courthouse for their adoption hearings amid a festive celebration including refreshments, entertainment and cherished family photo shoots. The COVID-19 pandemic required substantial changes to this year’s 21st National Adoption Day event to keep everyone safe.
By using an existing court-developed program to allow for the finalization of remote adoptions, hearings will be held safely using Webex to connect the judicial officers presiding in courtrooms to the families appearing from their homes.
“The court is pleased to continue our support for National Adoption Day during the pandemic,” Juvenile Division Presiding Judge Victor H. 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. 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.”
Judge Greenberg will lead off a recorded virtual news conference via YouTube scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21. To view the news conference, visit: https://youtu.be/PyLcwLTHKnw.