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Kings County Family Court finalizes 40 adoptions on Adoption Day

November 18, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Hon. Richard Ross, Hon. Susan S. Danoff, Rosie Miesner, Hon. Judith Waksberg, Hon. Amanda E. White, Hon. Ben Darvil, Jr. Photos by Rob Abruzzese.
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The Kings County Family Court held its annual Adoption Day program, “Honoring Forever Families” in Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday morning. The event coincides with National Adoption Day, a collective effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care.

In Brooklyn, Hon. Ben Darvil, Jr., Hon. Judith Waksberg, Hon. Richard Ross and Hon. Susan S. Danoff finalized approximately 40 adoptions that morning. Afterward, there was a ceremony held for both those families and other families who had adoptions finalized in Kings County this year.

“Our work here in the Kings County Family Court is often tinged with sadness or conflict and it can be easy to let those difficult cases overshadow some of the really wonderful and happy moments that we have in Family Court, which is why we all look forward so much to adoption day,” said Amanda E. White, supervising judge for the Kings County Family Court.

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“Adoptions bring smiles to all of our faces and we love seeing our families grow and our children receive loving and permanent homes,” Judge White continued. “Your coming back today helps us to see where our work goes and inspires us to continue the work that we do so I thank you for that.”

As part of the ceremony, Adoption Day Committee co-chairs Hon. Ben Darvil, Jr. and Hon. Judith Waksberg each made brief remarks.

“Everyone here added to their family in the past year, some today,” said Hon. Judith Waksberg “What’s so special about the families here today is not just [that] they love each other. The parents have come to court because they wanted to make a commitment to their children to promise to be there forever.

“We wish you all the best love, success and happiness to all of the forever families here today.”

Julie Farber, deputy commissioner at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, spoke to the families briefly and the keynote speaker was Rosie Miesner — a graduate student researching special education policy, practitioner collaboration and the achievement gap — who was adopted at birth.

“I had the opportunity to sit on a couple of adoptions in Judge Waksberg’s court this morning and one of the children, when the judge asked him to confirm his new name, requested a last minute name change to Spider-Man,” Farber said. “That’s a great moment, children being children and that’s what today is about. This work is hard and these are the good days so we have to soak this up.”

In her keynote speech, Miesner stressed that while families don’t always get along, having family is a permanent source of support throughout your life that doesn’t exist with co-workers or classmates.

“Sometimes love isn’t the front-and-center emotion,” Miesner said. “Sometimes it’s frustration when telling your son for the umpteenth time that the trash goes out on Wednesday. Or disappointment when you get that call home from the principal and your little angel is being the exact opposite to their classmates. Or even disbelief when you experiencing personal struggle and your mom isn’t responding sensitively.

“I think this is a really important distinction because while family [is] based in love, [it] is also based on the idea of permanence. Your families are there forever.”

There have been a total of 378 children adopted from the foster care system in Kings County in 2016 including the 40 adoptions finalized on Thursday. The court expects that it will finalize more than 400 adoptions by the end of the year. There are currently over 100,000 children in the foster care system awaiting adoptions nationwide, according to


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