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Adoptions More Joyful Despite COVID-19

by Thunda

HILO, Hawaii — In a year when staying within your bubble and social distancing were the norm, adoption celebrations became more joyful because they could be shared with family, friends, and classmates in multiple locations, thanks to Zoom.

The Third Circuit Hilo Family Court celebrated National Adoption Day in late November by having 29 children achieve permanency by being adopted or placed into guardianships.

“Usually, the families gather in our courtroom for the adoption ceremony with their immediate family and representatives from the various agencies,” said District Family Judge Darien Ching Nagata. “This year, the proceedings were held virtually, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

“One child had seven classmates and two teachers appear virtually to support her during her guardianship hearing. Another child had more than 20 family and friends watch from multiple locations to be a part of this special day,” added Judge Ching Nagata, who appeared remotely from her courtroom.

This is the third year, the Third Circuit has collaborated with the Department of Human Services, the Department of the Attorney General, Children’s Law Project of Hawaii, and P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc. to finalize adoptions and guardianships in conjunction with National Adoption Day.

“District Family Judge Jeffrey Hawk and I were honored to preside over these adoptions and guardianship hearings,” said Judge Ching Nagata. “Just seeing the joy in everyone’s eyes and hearing the emotion in their voices just made my day!”

Judge Ching Nagata added that granting an adoption or guardianship for a child, means they will now be in a stable, permanent home with a loving family. “We call them their Forever Family,” she said.

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