SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. — Today, the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency joined together to celebrate National Adoption Day, and help place 48 children into 36 permanent homes. Their goal is to increase public awareness of the need for adoptive parents, to educate would-be parents about the adoptive process, and to celebrate the local families who have opened their lives to children in need of permanent homes.
“This is truly one of the Court’s most special and joyous days of the year,” said Presiding Judge, Hon. Brian C. Walsh. “The overwhelming excitement and pure happiness that comes from the starting of so many families is palpable. Of the many rewarding judicial duties, we hold this one incredibly fond and dear.”
With help from Superior Court and Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services staff, this year 12 Santa Clara County Superior Court judges will forgo their regular duties and turn the Downtown Courthouse into “Adoption Central,” expediting the processing and finalizing of 48 local adoptions.
“The well-being of our children is one of the County’s primary goals,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Chair of the Board’s Children, Seniors and Families Committee. “It is very fulfilling to help facilitate the adoption process and showcase the dedication and devotion of families that provide a safe and nurturing environment for children.”
According to preliminary 2012 information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 399, 546 children are in the foster care system in the United States and more than 107,719 of them are waiting for adoption. Santa Clara County has processed more than 7,000 adoptions in the past 51 years. Last year, the Department of Family and Children’s Services finalized 87 adoptions.
“It is such a rewarding experience to be instrumental in the creation of new families through the adoption process,” said Social Services Director Bruce Wagstaff. “This is a win-win situation for everyone involved.”
Celebrations for Adoption National Day will continue on this Saturday, November 23, 2013, at the Children Discovery Museum. This event will be attended by newly formed and former families of children adopted through the Department of Family and Children’s Services, as well as the Santa Clara County adoption public agency and their families.
Residents interested in becoming foster parents or adoptive parents should call (408) 299-KIDS. The process includes participation in a 10-week training program called PRIDE and completing a home study program with assistance from the Department of Families and Children’s Services staff. Families and others interested in the foster parent or adoption process can visit the Court’s website at http://www.scselfservice.org/probate/minor/adoption.htm or the check DFCS information at the Social Services Agency’s website: http://www.sccgov.org/portal/site/ssa
MEDIA NOTES AND DISCLAIMER
Although adoption proceedings are generally confidential, the Court is allowing media coverage of the activities within the courthouse to increase public awareness about the adoption process in Santa Clara County. The majority of the hearings will be closed to media; however, four families have agreed to allow media to capture the actual adoption ceremony proceedings. The court has notified participating families that there will be media present. Those who agree to media interviews will be wearing badges to identify them. The Court asks the media to respect individual’s decisions and only approach those who are wearing these badges.
ABOUT NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY
Every year, more than 100,000 Children in foster care are available for adoptions. On National Adoption Day, courts and communities in all 50 states collaborate to finalize thousands of adoptions of children and to honor adopting families. More than 350 community events are held each year to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care and celebrate adoptive families. According to the National Adoption Day Campaign, since its inception in 2000, the National Adoption Day effort has helped over 25,000 children find permanent, loving families.
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Stanley Lee, Santa Clara County Social Services Agency (408) 755-7773; Joe Macaluso, Superior Court of Santa Clara County (408) 882- 2715.
Posted: November 22, 2013