Fort Lauderdale, FL – Talenfeld Law was proud to sponsor and celebrate National Adoption Day in Broward County, a special event dedicated to finalizing the adoptions for a record breaking 55 children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. These children have been in the care of Broward’s lead child protection agency, ChildNet, which has approximately 2,600 children under its supervision in Broward County. It was Judge John Bowman who conceived and attracted national attention for this annual event for 16 straight years, and now he has the help of the Broward County’s Chief Dependency Judge, Hope Bristol. The participating families have demonstrated that every abused and neglected child who has had their parental rights terminated can find a forever family. However, even though last year ChildNet was responsible for 348 adoptions, there is still much work left in locating foster and adoptive families.
Even though this event is one of the largest in the United States on National Adoption Day, there is still an extraordinary need to recruit even more adoptive parents. As Judge Kenneth Gillespie reminded us at the ceremony, “There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.” The Broward County National Adoption Day event took place on Saturday, November 17, 2018, at the Broward County Courthouse. The Broward event was the largest in Florida and one of the largest in the country. National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to find permanent adoptive families for abused and neglected children and to raise awareness so that thousands of other children in foster care can find permanent, loving families. The event was a memorable day for the children and adoptive parents in Broward County. After adoptions were finalized and commemorative family photos were taken, everyone celebrated with food, games, and a live DJ.
Joyce Quinn, an adoptive parent whose adoption was facilitated by 4Kids of South Florida, adopted her second child, Caiden. Caiden is a special needs child who has had multiple intestinal surgeries and is still being partially fed through a G-tube. He has had several hospitalizations, including two transplanted organs, and spent most of his almost four years of life in the hospital. Joyce reminds us all, “People say to me, he is a lucky kid to have you. They have no idea what unimaginable blessings he has brought to our life just because he is in it.”
“We were honored to participate in this important event which marks the critical successes of these finalized adoptions in Broward County’s child protection system to help raise awareness of the need for adoptions in our county,” said Stacie Schmerling, Partner of Talenfeld Law. “But our community needs to step up and find more parents for these children. National Adoption Day is an opportunity to raise awareness for the need for adoptions of children with and without special need so that more adoptive parents can find these most special children and experience the same blessings as Joyce Quinn.”
Talenfeld Law is Florida’s only law firm dedicated exclusively to protecting abused, disabled and injured children. The partners and staff at Talenfeld Law have long been supporters of children’s advocacy programs, such as Florida’s Children First and Legal Aid of Broward County. For more than 25 years, Howard Talenfeld and his team have represented foster care children and the developmentally disabled children who are victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect in pro bono and personal injury damage claims. Firm Partner Stacie Schmerling is a veteran child abuse case worker and investigator with 10 years of experience working in the child welfare systems in New Jersey and Florida, and has worked alongside Talenfeld since 2008.