More than 130 children were adopted in Los Angeles County on Saturday morning as part of a number of adoption ceremonies held across the country.
The event commemorating National Adoption Day was started by a coalition of organizations to raise awareness about the tens of thousands of children awaiting adoption from foster care in the United States.
Saturday’s adoption proceedings at Edmund D. Edelman Children's Court in Monterey Park were performed in person and virtually by officials with Los Angeles County, and pro-bono attorneys from Public Counsel and the Alliance for Children’s Rights, groups that advocate for youth and provide legal services.
“Adoption provides children with the love and permanency they deserve and enriches the lives of the adoptive families who are fortunate to welcome them,” said Akemi Arakaki, juvenile presiding judge at Edelman Children’s Court.
Alison Canetty of Torrance celebrated the adoption of her 2-year-old son, Pierce. Canetty has raised Pierce since he was 2 days old, along with the boy's biological sister, Ellie, who is 3.
Canetty, who is raising the siblings and four other children on her own, has been a foster parent since 2016. She plans to open an agency to help children in the foster care system.
“It’s a long journey … but it’s worth it,” she said. “You see how much you can give back and how much you can help another human being.”
She wants other families to consider acting as foster parents.
"Sometimes it's hard because you have to give them back or they find a family member," she said. "But at the end of the day, the ones that are meant to be with you, will eventually be with you forever."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.