Joyful families filled California courthouses in November as hundreds of adoptions of children in foster care were finalized during Court Adoption and Permanency Month. Events took place throughout the state, with many taking place on and around National Adoption Day on Nov. 18.
Chief Justice Guerrero Celebrates Adoptions in the Birthplace of Adoption Saturday
At the Los Angeles Superior Court, California Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero joined judges, court staff, pro bono attorneys, and representatives from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to celebrate the adoption of 232 children. Los Angeles County was the first county to celebrate “Adoption Saturday” in 1998 in response to the growing crisis of children and families waiting for their adoption paperwork to be finalized.
“What you started here not only contributes to the well-being of hundreds of children and families taking part in adoption—but events like these also help put a spotlight on the critical need for safe, loving, and permanent homes for the thousands of children in foster care still waiting for their forever homes,” said Chief Justice Guerrero.
“What makes it feel nice is that we have two of the best big sisters and two of the best parents,” 11-year-old Samantha told NBC4. Samantha was referring to her new adoptive parents Eddie and Victoria Ogaldez, who have two biological daughters and adopted three other foster children along with Samantha. The Ogaldez family’s adoptions were also featured on CBS Los Angeles and in global media through KameraOne.
Los Angeles also holds additional adoption events outside the month of November.
The Santa Clara Superior Court finalized 23 adoptions for children ranging in age from 1 to 13 years old at its Adoption Day event.
“Each adoption story is unique, and although children and families come to adoption through diverse paths, they all endure the process with open hearts,” said Presiding Judge Beth McGowen. “It takes patience, flexibility, and a willingness to learn as an adoptive parent and an adoptee. We are grateful for all those who play a role in finding permanency for children in need of a family.”
To our adoptive parents and adoptees, your patience, flexibility, and eagerness to learn pave the way for lifelong connections. We extend our gratitude to all involved in providing children in need with a #ForeverFamily.#AdoptionDay Press Release: https://t.co/MFPTiHSAq2 pic.twitter.com/t11yrE9t5x— Santa Clara County Superior Court (@SCSCourt) November 20, 2023
Elsewhere, at the Sacramento Superior Court:
Dozens of Sacramento Superior Court staff members were joined by community partners and judicial officers who volunteered their time over the weekend for Adoption Day 2023. This year, 34 adoptions were finalized during Adoption Day proceedings.#NationalAdoptionMonth pic.twitter.com/6OjXpvROu7— Sacramento Superior Court (@SacramentoCourt) November 8, 2023
At the San Bernardino Superior Court and SB Co. Children & Family Svcs. 23rd annual adoption finalization day, Juvenile Court Supervising Judge Lynn Poncin congratulated families and supporting family members and friends before joining three other judges in special courtrooms to conclude the families' journeys to being forever families.
At its November business meeting, the Judicial Council acknowledged Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero’s signing of a resolution proclaiming November as Court Adoption and Permanency Month. The resolution recognized the ongoing efforts of California’s juvenile courts and their justice partners to provide children and families with access to fair, understandable judicial proceedings leading to timely, well-informed, and just permanency outcomes. The resolution also noted that state laws require courts to ensure that social services exercise due diligence in locating and engaging relatives and extended family members as the preferential placement for children.
The council also provides general information on its self-help website about the different ways to adopt someone in California. For some types of adoption, there are step-by-step instructions on how to complete the adoption process.
California Foster Care and Adoption Statistics
• 49,176 children are in out-of-home care
• 15,386 children are waiting to be adopted
• 6,242 foster care adoptions are finalized each year
• Over 3,000 youth age out of foster care each year
*Source: U.S. Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, state-by-state-AFCARS data