November is National Adoption Month, and the Kings County Family Court celebrated in grand style.
On Nov. 21, Brooklyn Family Court Judge Franc Perry ushered in what was the largest adoption ceremony of the five boroughs that day. “I understand the emotion of this day,” Perry said to the more than 25 families waiting to adopt new members. Perry, the father of two adopted children, recounted his adoption day ceremonies, stating, “I was in tears, grateful and thankful to add new members to my family just as I am for you.”
An adoptive parent and co-founder of HelpUsAdopt.org, an organization designed to help families pay for the fees and costs associated with adoptions, advised parents that “as soon as [the judge] hits the gavel, it will feel as if this child left your body.”
Adoption ceremonies are more than merely formalities. After verifications of paperwork and confirmation that nothing has changed in the adoptive parents’ household, the adoptive child verifies their official name change. “Sometimes, especially with younger children, the child and/or the adoptive parent wishes to change not only the last name but their first name as well,” said Kimberly Stern, the Child Welfare Court Improvement Project liaison.
“Every person deserves the chance to learn and grow,” Perry said, quoting President Barack Obama. “We stand alongside every child still looking for warmth and the stability of a loving home.”