Adoption Day 2023

On Friday, November 17, 2023, the sound of pitter-pattering steps filled the halls of the Circuit Court of Cook County. These happy feet belonged to the children of seven families appearing at court to finalize their forever families on Adoption Day. November is National Adoption Awareness Month. This recognition was created to raise awareness about Youth in Care who are available for adoption in every state. In Cook County, Illinois, Greenlight Family Services is proud to sponsor the National Adoption Day celebration every year at the Richard J. Daley Center in Chicago.

This year, Acting Presiding Judge Maureen Ward Kirby thanked Greenlight as waiting youth eyed the many gift bags overflowing with toys and goodies ready to be taken home. Judge Kirby stated, “The world will not change if you adopt a child, but for that child, their world will change.” We couldn’t agree more. Greenlight CEO Dr. Maria Nanos, LCSW, PhD, took to the podium next and remarked,  “In what other court are we happy when we leave?” It was a fact that defined the uniqueness of the joyous occasion.

Each family approached the judge’s bench with their attorney to finalize their child’s long awaited adoption. Karin Carli, Greenlight’s Staff Attorney, brought Jayden and his grandfather to meet Judge Araceli De La Cruz. Despite the pair only having met Judge De La Cruz through virtual meetings previously, the Judge shared, “When I watched the two of you, I could truly see the happiness and joy and that you truly love each other.” After hearing about how Jayden was thriving under his grandfather’s care, and his many extracurricular activities like cooking and playing percussion, Judge De La Cruz finalized the adoption and wished the new forever family a “lifetime of happiness.” 

Adoption is a momentous occasion to celebrate, especially considering the many steps and complicated journeys that youth in care often endure before adoption. Greenlight specializes in kinship care, especially grandparents raising their grandchildren. Read more about grandparents raising grandchildren here and click below for news coverage of the event:

ABC7 Coverage

If you are considering adoption or guardianship, call Greenlight at 773-728-7800 or email for a free consultation.