In honor of National Adoption Day on Nov. 21, Middlesex County hosted its 13th annual National Adoption Day event on Nov. 18.
The adoptions of eight children and two adults were finalized during the event, including one family’s ninth adoption.
“While 2020 has been a year marked by uncertainty and sadness for so many, National Adoption Day ensured that it ended on a positive note for these 12 Middlesex County families,” Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said in a prepared statement.
Middlesex County’s National Adoption Day event is held each November during National Adoption Month with the goal of celebrating and promoting adoption in Middlesex County.
“Our family courtrooms see a lot of heartache throughout the year, but not on National Adoption Day,” Middlesex County Surrogate Kevin Hoagland, who established the event in 2007, said in the statement. “This was our 13th annual Middlesex County National Adoption Day and even over video conference it was as joyful as ever. We believe deeply in the importance and value of adoption for creating and completing families – and helping to facilitate that is an honor.”
The Middlesex County Surrogate acts as the Clerk of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part, for all adoptions. The Office of the Surrogate ensures that all necessary paperwork is completed, all necessary procedural requirements are met, and that court dates are scheduled in a timely manner. The Office of the Surrogate facilitates all types of adoptions, including stepparent adoptions, aunt/uncle and grandparent adoptions, private placement, DCP&P adoptions, agency adoptions, and adult adoptions.
Among the families with adoptions finalized on this year’s Middlesex County National Adoption Day was the McCarthy family of Monroe Township, who adopted their ninth child.
Frank and Maria McCarthy have adopted all nine of their children from Maria’s native Philippines, including two groups of siblings from the same orphanage. Adopted in 2011, 2015, and now 2020, the McCarthy children currently range in age from 12 to 23. While all nine children were adopted through Middlesex County, today marked the first time the McCarthy’s had an adoption finalized on National Adoption Day, according to the statement.
“It’s just how the timing worked out,” Frank McCarthy said regarding the family’s ninth adoption being finalized during Middlesex County’s National Adoption Day event, according to the statement. “We knew that November is National Adoption Month. It’s a nice thing to do to celebrate adoption. And there are so many kids who need homes. My advice would be: don’t be afraid to adopt an older child or a group of kids. I think, at least in our situation, it has worked out better.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s Middlesex County National Adoption Day was held via video conference rather than at the County Courthouse in New Brunswick. As in past years, the public portion of the event was open to the public while the actual adoption ceremonies remained private.