"Adoption Saturday" is turning into a joyful tradition in San Joaquin County. Every year the Court selects one Saturday in November to catch up on any backlogged adoption proceedings. This year the day is November 10, and the public is invited.
"It brings a lot of joy to see these people united forever," says Judge John Parker, who handles Juvenile Dependency cases. Last year Judge Parker united 10 local families on "Adoption Saturday."
Typically, Judge Parker handles as many as 250 cases in a year. He says there is a continuing need for people to adopt these children, most of whom have been removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. In 2000, it's estimated that more than 581,000 children were victims of maltreatment in California. About 17% of children in foster care in the State spend five or more years in foster homes, a transitional arrangement. November, designated Court Adoption and Permanency Month, is designed to reduce the amount of time children spend in foster care.
Judge Parker says that the adoption process in San Joaquin County is very efficient, because professionals in the County's Human Resources Department and the adoption attorneys are highly experienced and cooperate well with one another. As a result, Judge Parker says there are few contested cases.
People interested in adopting a child should call San Joaquin County Child Protective Services at (209) 468-1333.