November is Adoption Awareness Month



Melissa DeGerolami, Associate Judge of the Child Protection Court of South Central Texas read a Virtual Adoption Month Proclamation via Zoom on Nov. 1. LISA LUNA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Melissa DeGerolami, Associate Judge of the Child Protection Court of South Central Texas read a Virtual Adoption Month Proclamation via Zoom on Nov. 1. LISA LUNA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

In honor of Adoption Awareness Month in November,

Melissa DeGerolami, Associate Judge of the Child Protection Court of South Central Texas, read a Virtual Adoption Month Proclamation on Nov. 1. The reading was held online via Zoom.

“We are all here today to recognize the work that’s been done over the past year and to recommit ourselves to working with families and children to find permanence through adoption,” said DeGerolami.

She said there is great work done in her court, with those taking part in the meeting serving as an integral part in helping the court achieve permanency for children through adoption. She thanked representatives with CASA of South Texas, CPS, Post Adoption Services, Belong serving Region 8B and the attorneys.

“I think it’s appropriate to recognize you all and thank you for your work.”

Together, they look to another year of creating new families and working hard to make that possible, added DeGerolami. She reflected on some wonderful things she has seen over the past year in her cases. Although they were not meeting in person, she said they were working to get to that point.

“For now, I really appreciate what the Zoom format has allowed me as a judge to do as far as adoptions are concerned. This year, I’ve been able to reside over adoptions that have taken place for families with children from my area who have been adopted in Minnesota, Montana and Hawaii,” said DeGerolami.

The Zoom calls have allowed her to preside over those hearings and see the families they have created in those new homes. Zoom also enables extended family members be present, who otherwise would not have been able to.

“It has opened up the process to really what adoption is about, creating families and a new community for our children in care.”

Another plus is that De- Gerolami reported seeing great progress with children who have been unable to achieve permanency. She had several children this year who were adopted after being in care and available for adoption for over five years. They also held beautiful adoptions for children with high-level medical issues.

“I even had an adoption hearing in which both children had their entire classes participate in the adoption hearing and they were able to clap and congratulate their newlyadopted classmate when the moment arrived and the adoption was official,” DeGerolami said.

“It’s been a wonderful year in my mind. We made some really incredible progress and you all are all responsible for that.”

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