On Friday, November 19th, Orange County joined courts across the country to commemorate National Adoption Day with a ceremony that united 8 new local families, with a total of 10 children adopted. Although held virtually for the second year in a row, it was a joy-filled ceremony as the adoptions were finalized and children were permanently placed into their forever homes.
Orange County Judge Alicia L. Latimore met each family privately for a virtual proceeding. After, she hosted a virtual ceremony and celebration for the children and parents, extended family members, friends and the public.
“Presiding over adoptions is truly one of my favorite parts of my job,” said Judge Latimore. “It’s an honor to be a part of National Adoption Day and help unite these children, who have been dealt a hard hand in life, with families who are so excited to be welcoming them in.”
While adoptions take place throughout the year, National Adoption Day, which began in 2000, raises awareness about the number of children in foster care who are in need of stable, loving homes. Embrace Families, the lead nonprofit agency overseeing foster care, adoption and child welfare services in Central Florida, plays a key role in connecting these children and families.
“Our priority is to provide as much normalcy as possible for these children who have faced a lot of turbulence in their childhood up to this point,” said Michael Bryant, COO of Embrace Families. “It’s heartwarming to see our mission play out on days like today, as these children are welcomed into loving forever homes in which they can thrive.”
Since its inception in 2004, Embrace Families has helped over 2500 children find their forever families.