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A Message from Commissioner Dorantes...

Photo of Commissioner Dorantes in a mask and green coatThe safest place a child can be is in the arms of a loving family. 

These words came to life as we celebrated November as National Adoption Month! During Connecticut's Adoption Day, we brought the total number of adoptions this year to over 400! 

"We R Family" spelled in cutout letters with pink and turquoise paper flowers on a white backgroundAdoption is merely one form of permanency. During this prolonged pandemic response, we have safely reunified over 900 children — 475 of those in the 2021 calendar year. Approximately 400 additional children had their guardianship transferred to kin. Thousands of children have been able to safely remain in their own families. 

Adoption Day was an emotionally charged testament to all of the moving parts necessary that pour into the stability and wellbeing of children. Our sincere gratitude to our partners in the Judicial Branch, especially the Judges in the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters who opened their virtual courtrooms across the state so countless individuals logging in from CT and abroad to celebrate the finalization of children's legal permanency. 

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz with Alivia, Ms. Martin, and Commissioner DorantesWe also appreciate Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz who shared in attendance at an adoption celebration hosted by Office Director Dr Dakibu Muley and the hard-working staff of DCF’s New Haven Area Office. 

We can’t thank the members of the media enough…the press coverage was in full force to capture all the fabulousness of CT’s Adoption Day! Many many thanks!!!

What was Adoption Day like for these children and families? Read the embedded stories and videos…

Jovani kept busy by chasing a balloon as his mom and grandparents were nervously attentive to the Judge’s words solidifying their bond to each other. 

Padma had her entire class join in to watch her virtual adoption hearing. 

Statewide media followed Alivia and her journey to adoption by her grandmother.  She is also part of this month's Spotlight!

Kally and Zander stand in white shirts and jeans in front of a red barnThere was Zander, also highlighted in our Spotlight, adopted at 16 years of age, reinforcing that children of all ages need permanency. 

Antario was adopted at 12 years of age by the same family who adopted his older brother, 15 years earlier. Read more about the family.

Picture of Luke with his family after his hearing Luke proudly took a picture at the end of his hearing. Adopted by a special family who maintains contact with his birth parents, invites them to school events, holiday dinners and other important events in his life. 

Special thanks also to the Assistant Attorneys General and the children's attorneys for their committed advocacy throughout the entire court processes that was culminated on this symbolic day. 

The appreciation continued for the efforts of other stakeholder partners including school personnel, therapists and community-based providers who all work to form the "village" surrounding our children and families. The Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) is one support for families post adoption and guardianship. Please watch the video produced by the AAP for more information. 

The tireless efforts of the DCF staff who worked with each of these families was quite evident. Our work is not easy… yet the care, compassion and steadiness of all of the DCF personnel who make it all come together day in and day out are to be commended. 
Collectively, we have to double-down on eliminating the barriers to timely permanency for children— CT Adoption Day 2021 energized the commitment to be purposeful in those efforts. 

To sum it all up— 10 courts finalized 52 adoptions to anchor a lifetime of infinite memories to be created by these ‘forever families!'

As we celebrate with our own families during the holidays this year, everything described here allowed these children - and thousands of others - to be celebrating as well. 

Adoption Day and everyday where permanency is achieved for children, is a wonderfully successful day!


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