VIDEO: Hundreds of adoptions finalize on National Adoption Day 2016

Love, joy and the promise of happily-ever-after filled the air on Saturday, Nov. 19, as more than 300 children finalized their forever families at Maricopa County Juvenile Superior Court in celebration of the 17th National Adoption Day.

National Adoption Day raises awareness of children in foster care, and Maricopa County’s event is the largest in the country. Emotions ran high in courtrooms spanning three crowded hallways as children spent their last moments as a foster child. Hundreds of families who opened their hearts and homes to foster children flocked from throughout the Valley (and far beyond) to join in the celebration and create an extraordinary day to remember.

The mass adoption ceremony provided an abundance of activities for families including a bounce house, crafts, face painting, entertainers and television and movies characters for photo opportunities. Parents affectionately joined their new children in the fun and games, surely taking many photos.

To recognize the strength and courage of children and families, Southwest Human Development offered a superhero-themed photo booth complete with masks, capes and props and a cityscape backdrop. Families had the opportunity to dress up and take a Polaroid photo as a special keepsake from the day. Southwest Human Development’s Foster Care and Adoption services worked with over 20 families who finalized during National Adoption Month.

Each child’s adoption has a unique story, but they now have one thing in common: A place to call their forever home.

While hundreds of children have concluded their adoption journey, more than 100,000 children in the United States are awaiting the same opportunity. In Arizona alone, roughly 18,000 children are in the foster care system. More than 23,000 children from around the country annually age out of the foster care system without ever finding their forever family or having a permanent home. Southwest Human Development aims to combat these numbers and provides foster care and adoption orientations on the third Monday of each month (excluding holidays).

For more information about our Foster Care and Adoption program, please contact Sabrina Shabal at (602) 633-8482 or sshabal@swhd.org.