AROUND NJ

National Adoption Day Creates New Families

By Lauren Wanko
Correspondent

Today Step-dad Adam Fearon loses the step in his title. That’s because he’s adopting 7-year-old Justin.

“I just love this kid so much,” Adam said.

For Justin, the feeling’s mutual.

“I love him more than from all the way from outer space and beyond the galaxy,” Justin said. “I know he wouldn’t let anything happen to me.”

Justin’s one of 27 children whose adoptions were finalized today at the Monmouth County Courthouse.

“Normally we deal with conflict, divorce, stress of family life. This is our one joyous day of the year,” said Judge Kathleen Sheedy.

Sheedy says National Adoption Day sheds light on the Safe Haven Law.

“The Safe Haven Law is where desperate parents who feel they have no other option within 30 days of birth can take that child to a police station or firehouse or hospital no questions asked and surrender that child to Division of Child Protection and Permanency,” Sheedy said.

The Division then finds an adoptive home for the child, says the judge.

The Department of Children and Families tells NJTV News there were 1,021 adoptions that took place in New Jersey last year.

“It’s important to them because they’ve tried everything, they’ve tried everything to have a child and it hasn’t worked,” said Adoption Clerk Bonnie Petrula.

“It’s a dream come true. We never thought this day would happen for us,” said parent Kimberly Johnson.

The Greif family is headed back home to Florida with 3-year-old Bella.

“We have three older children, all girls, so we have done this before. So it’s shaking off the cobwebs,” said David Greif.

Nineteen-month-old Rebecca couldn’t help but smile with all the attention.

“It means a lot, it really does, to know it’s official, to have that birth certificate,” said Ryan Green.

It’s an emotional day for mom Tara Crenshaw.

“It makes you value your children,” she said.

“It’s nice to know they’re not going anywhere, they are here forever,” said parent Linda Devlin.

The Devlins are adopting three sisters today.

“It’s really great knowing we’ll be with them forever,” said Karla Devlin.

As for Justin, he’s proud of his new last name.

“I say I was always a Fearon and he was always my real dad because I’m happy I’m in the Fearon family,” he said.

With Thanksgiving less then a week away, these families will have a lot to be thankful for.