NEW BRUNSWICK – Robert Karabinchak is not new to speaking engagements as a politician.
He has served as an assemblyman for District 18 since 2016 and previously served as an Edison Township councilman for eight years.
On Nov. 16, Karabinchak was invited for a speaking engagement on a topic that he essentially has lived all his life, but it was the first time he spoke publicly about the topic.
“I was adopted in 1956,” he began.
Karabinchak learned he was born in Rosenheim, Germany. At 6 months old, he was flown to the United States and placed with his adoptive parents. Five years later, he became a naturalized citizen of the U.S.
“All of the records from my adoption were sealed at that time, even today they are still sealed,” he said.
Karabinchak joined Middlesex County as it hosted its 15th annual National Adoption Day event. This year’s Adoption Day event saw the adoptions of seven children finalized. Since the beginning of 2022, Middlesex County has finalized approximately 64 adoptions, according to a press release through Middlesex County.
“I didn’t know I was adopted until I was 16 years old,” he said. “Once I knew I was adopted, I had questions. Some I have answers and some I will never have answers. Trying to find out anything was extremely difficult especially with an international adoption.”
Karabinchak said he was able to learn the names of his biological parents after a simple conversation about the origin of his last name with Gov. Phil Murphy and his wife Tammy. He said during the conversation he explained the origin of Karabinchak and briefly told them that he was adopted.
“They so graciously went out of their way to help [me find out more information], and I will always thank them, and it will always be in my heart,” he said.
Karabinchak said he has since learned his biological parents have since passed away.
“What I believe is, it is extremely hard for any mother to give up their child,” he said. “I also believe that it’s so gracious and honorable for the parents who are adopting today.”
Karabinchak encouraged the parents to share their story with their children.
“Everyone’s lives has its ups and downs,” he said. “There are always challenges and everyone has different levels of successes.”
Even though, he admitted, he didn’t always do good in school, Karabinchak said he found his niche as a carpenter. In 1985, he started his own business. He has also been giving back to his community for more than 25 years.
“I ‘thank God’ every day for the unbelievable life that my adoptive parents have given me,” he said. “I thank them for raising me and giving me the guidance that parents do for their children.”
Karabinchak said he has always worked hard to make his adoptive parents proud.
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, facilitated throughout the year by the Office of the Surrogate, according to the press release.
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 for adoptions. The Office of the Surrogate facilitates all types of adoptions, including stepparent adoptions, aunt/uncle and grandparent adoptions, private placement, Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) adoptions, agency adoptions, and adult adoptions, according to the press release.
Sharing the significance of the annual Adoption Day event and the positive impact it has on the County were speakers also including Claribel Cortes, Middlesex County Surrogate; Attorney Jack Gillick, of the Middlesex County Bar Foundation and who served as Master of Ceremonies; Middlesex County Superior Court Assignment Judge Michael A. Toto, Middlesex County Superior Court Presiding Judge Deborah J. Venezia, Family Division Middlesex County Court; State St. Joseph Vitale (D-19), and Laura Jamet, interim assistant commissioner of the DCP&P.
“Since it began more than two decades ago, National Adoption Day has promoted and celebrated the value of adoption, and for the past 15 years, our Middlesex County National Adoption Day has done the same. Adoption has the power to change lives, and not only the lives of adoptees, but the lives of the families they join,” Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios said. “I want to thank County Surrogate Claribel Cortes and her office, as well as the Middlesex County Superior Court, for all of the hard work they put in to make this year’s National Adoption Day a success. National Adoption Day offers an opportunity for people like me, who do not witness adoptions every day, to see the beautiful moment when families are created, expanded, or completed through adoption”
Cortes, who participated in her first Adoption Day event last year, said she was “truly honored” to be part of the celebration once again.
“It’s a privilege to celebrate all the growing families not just today but every day as the Middlesex County Surrogates Office plays an important role in the adoption process here at the County. I’m honored to witness so many families celebrate unity and the start of a new life for so many children. Everyone deserves a loving family, and adoption can make that a reality,” she said.
Middlesex County’s 2022 Adoption Day event was sponsored by the Middlesex County Superior Court, the Middlesex County Surrogate’s Office, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners, the Middlesex County Bar Foundation, and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Middlesex County.
For more information on the services provided by the Middlesex County Surrogates Office, please visit www.middlesexcountynj.gov.