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Department of Children and Families (DCF) and New Jersey Courts to Finalize Over 130 Adoptions at Events Taking Place Across the State

TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Administrative Office of the Courts are celebrating National Adoption Month this November by co-hosting numerous events across the state to honor adoptive families and to finalize the adoptions of approximately 137 children in foster care throughout the month.

While adoptions occur all year, many of this month’s events, stretching from Cape May County to Passaic County, will be held on Friday, November 19, with at least 12 counties finalizing 123 cases on the eve of National Adoption Day, which is Saturday, November 20.

“Having the opportunity to celebrate alongside our partners and newly formed families is something we look forward to each year. It’s heartwarming to be able to celebrate the culmination of the journey of love with these children and families as they officially become a forever family, ” said DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer, who sent a special video message to be shared at the adoption day finalizations and celebrations being held across the state.  “And year after year, this is made possible thanks to a very special group of individuals, Kinship Care and traditional foster families, who courageously step up and step in to provide children in foster care a loving, stable and supportive family to call their own.”

The DCF’s primary focus is to keep families intact, safely, empowering them with important supports and services necessary to thrive.  In the rare occasion that this is not possible, the department’s goal is for children to live with relatives or familiar people like a neighbor, family friend or teacher, which is called Kinship Care.  Almost half of this year’s adoption finalizations are with Kin.

“Research, child welfare experts, and our daily case practice demonstrates that Kinship Caregivers help to reduce trauma, and disruption to a child’s schooling, religious practices, social connections, and community; connections that are all vital to a child’s social and emotional well-being,” said Carmen Diaz Petti, Assistant Commissioner for the DCF’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency.  “We’re thrilled to see these relationships blossom for the children and for them to achieve the safety, security and love they deserve.”

In instances when Kinship Caregivers are not identified or unable to care for a child, the state’s robust network of resource families plays a significant role by temporarily nurturing and supporting kids in care, while a permanency goal is pursued, whether that includes reunification or adoption.  

This year, it is anticipated that approximately 495 adoptions will be finalized in New Jersey, with 384 adoptions having already taken place, as of October 26, 2021.

Since potential kinship and foster families go through the same resource family licensing protocols, the transition from fostering to adoption is typically a seamless process.

Each court vicinage develops its own adoption day programming to recognize and honor the unification and finalization of families.  Events vary from drive by parades to zoom parties, photo shoots, and outdoor events.  This year’s celebrations include adoption finalizations for kinship families, adolescents and sibling groups, among others.

Reporters and media outlets interested in sharing adoptive families’ stories or covering one of the many Adoption Month events taking place throughout the state should be aware of the following:

  • Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and in compliance with current health and safety protocols and regulations, the majority of court adoption finalizations will be held on the Zoom virtual platform and the number of attendees will be determined by the presiding judge.
  • If the press is interested in covering a National Adoption Month event or families in their coverage area, please email the DCF Press Office at , for further information.
  • Some counties are also celebrating private adoptions that are not conducted through the state’s child welfare system.

For more information on adoption, call 1-800-NJ ADOPT (992-3678) or visit the DCF adoption Web site at


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