For the past 22 years, National Adoption Day is celebrated on the Saturday before the Thanksgiving holiday. For the year 2021, the Los Angeles County Court System celebrated on November 20, along with the rest of the country. However, for the second year in a row, the courts celebrated virtually, due to Covid 19, with the adoptions of 158 children into 105 families.
According to the National Day Calendar, “A Coalition of national partners including The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children’s Action Network, Freddie Mac Foundation, and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption started National Adoption Day in 2000. In November of 2000, the sponsors worked with law firms, state foster care agencies, child advocates, and courts to complete hundreds of foster care adoptions in nine jurisdictions nationwide.”
It must also be noted that the current National Adoption Day Celebration was inspired by the work by a program developed by former Los Angeles County Presiding Judge of Juvenile Court Michael Nash, in collaboration with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Public Counsel and DCFS. Judge Nash (ret.) is now the Director of the County’s Office of Child Protection.
Helping to ensure the success of Los Angeles County’s adoption day, there were 11 volunteer judicial officers from the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, pro bono attorneys with the Alliance for Children’s Rights and Public Counsel, and staff from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
According to Los Angeles County Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor, “National Adoption Day is a heartwarming annual event showcasing the power of adoption in the lives of children and families throughout LA County. The Court is proud to continue this annual tradition and wishes all of the newly formed families a wonderful holiday season as they begin this new chapter.”
According to the Presiding Judge of Juvenile Court Akemi Arakaki, “The Court is delighted to conduct this National Adoption Day. Though we are disappointed we [were] again unable to celebrate the creation of forever families in person due to the ongoing pandemic, the essence of National Adoption Day endures – to establish permanence and stability in the lives of children through the finalization of loving and lasting homes with adoptive parents. Thank you to our partners at the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Public Counsel and DCFS for their commitment to make this happy occasion possible for these LA County families.”
According to Cynthia J. Billey, director of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, “Despite unprecedented hardships posed by the pandemic, hundreds of families in Los Angeles have persisted in pursuing adoption and providing safety, security and permanency for the children in their care. Today, we celebrate their resilience and commitment, and congratulate them on building a family through adoption.”
Congratulations to all the newly-adopted children and their forever families!