Thirteen area families have new additions as a result of National Adoption Day, celebrated last Friday in Monroe County Family Court. A record 15 children were adopted at the event, held at the Hall of Justice.
Family Court Judges Joseph G. Nesser and Dandrea L. Ruhlmann were the co-chairs and officiated at the event.
Kara and Kimberly Buholtz were there to adopt their fourth foster child, all of them this year. Katherine Bakrania, who was adopted by her grandparents, spoke at the event.
Special recognition went to attorney Margaret A. Burt for her hard work and dedication to adoption and individuals in their quest to become adoptive parents. She has been “recognized by the courts, individuals and her peers as the local expert in adoption law and practice,” and is known as a pre-eminent expert in adoption law in the U.S.
An Adoption Day proclamation, on behalf of Monroe County and the city of Rochester, was read by Amy Natale-McConnell, director of the Monroe County Department of Child and Family Services, and Jermayne Myers, executive assistant to Mayor Lovely A. Warren.
National Adoption Day, now in its 16th year, is celebrated in hundreds of courtrooms across the country to raise awareness of the 101,000 foster children legally freed for adoption and waiting for a family. In 2014, 4,500 children were adopted on National Adoption Day in over 400 cities across the country. Since its inception in 2000, 54,500 children have been adopted.
Don Alhart, news anchor, 13WHAM ABC, as in previous years, served as master of ceremonies.
– Photos by Vasiliy Baziuk