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Brooklyn Family Court celebrates National Adoption Day

November 24, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn’s Family Court celebrated Adoption Day by finalizing nearly 70 adoptions last Thursday. From left: Hon. Adam Silvera, Hon. Franc Perry, Commissioner Gladys Carrión, Hon. Jeanette Ruiz, Demetrius Johnson, Hon. Amanda E. White and Hon. Susan S. Danoff. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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Family Court can at times be an unsettling place, but for nearly 70 Brooklyn families that made the trip last Thursday, it was a dream come true and a memory they’ll cherish forever.

That is because last Thursday was Adoption Day at the Kings County Family Court and nearly 70 children were officially adopted in celebration of National Adoption Day.

“Kings County Family Court is proud to join all of the states in recognizing Adoption [Day] as a national celebration of adoptive families, and we welcome the opportunity to finalize nearly 70 adoptions here today,” said the court’s Supervising Judge Amanda E. White. “By giving a permanent home to the children being adopted, you are giving these children a strong foundation, a home, a family to love and a safe place to grow.”

National Adoption Day was established in 2000 with nine events throughout the country. Last year, more than 400 cities recognized it and there were nearly 54,500 adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day in 2014. In New York City, there were 1,045 children adopted throughout 2014 including 184 people between the ages of 18 and 24.

After a ceremony in the Kings County Family Court, Judges Franc Perry and Adam Silvera finalized nearly 70 adoptions with the help of Judges Susan Danoff and Richard Ross. Adoption Clerks Sherry Barnes, Angela Gammone and Rocco Spanno also spent many hours prepping files.

“When I was interviewing to become a judge, the panel asked me what made me so different,” Perry said. “Honestly, I said, I sat on the other side of the bench. I am adoptive father. I understand the joy and happiness that you feel going through this long process wondering when, and if, it was going to happen and being so filled with elation when it did because your families are now complete.”

Judge Silvera, who co-chairs the Adoption Day Committee with Judge Perry, Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Gladys Carrión and a young man named Demetrius Johnson also spoke during the program.

Johnson, who is 21, is months away from finally being adopted himself. He described going in and out of 25 foster families during his life. But he said that it was always around the holidays when he realized that something was missing from his life.

“When I was downstairs waiting in line to get checked in there was a young lady and two children who will be her adopted children behind me and she just kept saying how happy she was,” Johnson said. “That really resonated with me as a young person who spent 21 years of his life in the foster care system and nearly gave up on ever finding a forever family.

“In a few months, I’m not going to be in this courthouse, but I’ll be sitting in these young people’s shoes,” Johnson added. “It gave me hope. Now during the holidays, I have too many places to go and just to know that my adopted parents are there for me is an amazing feeling.”

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