ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It will be an extra special holiday next week for dozens of children in the metro area who will be giving thanks for their new families and forever homes.
Thirty-four families finalized 39 adoptions at Children’s Court on Saturday as part of National Adoption Day. It’s an effort to raise awareness about the foster care system, and about all of the children still waiting to find a home.
Judges, adoption agencies and children’s advocates alike look forward to National Adoption Day.
“It is a happy day because it’s a new beginning, it’s bringing certainty to children who want to know that where they are now is where they’re going to be and they don’t have to move,” Children’s Court Presiding Judge John Romero told KRQE News 13.
Many families have been waiting years for this.
“It’s the culmination of really five years of thought process and effort to get to this point,” Philip Saunders said.
Three months after Philip Saunders and his family brought 6-year-old Vaughn home from Uganda, they made the adoption final.
“We found someone and hopefully we can give as much to him as he’s already given to us,” Saunders said.
Some of the families were matched through private agencies, while the bulk of the adoptions came through the state’s abuse and neglect system.
After fostering Robby for more than two years, the Chans got a piece of paper confirming what they already knew: that Robby is their son.
“We picked him up from the hospital when he was 15 days old,” Stacey Chan recalled. “It’s been a very long road, but very happy it’s finally here.”
According to the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department, there are more than 500 children in the system in New Mexico who are available for adoption.