A lot of people focus on adoption as involving infants or small children, but one of my most rewarding experiences was working with clients who adopted three young men who had aged out of foster care, never having had found their “forever families.” My clients were a married couple who worked in the financial sector. Through their work, they joined a company-wide effort to mentor young people who had aged out of foster care. They met three young men of different racial and cultural backgrounds from them. These young men and my clients bonded after months of working together to assist them with college and work goals. My clients adopted two of them first, each of them having had absolutely no contact with their birth families since they were young children. The third came about two years later after he and his birth mother, with whom he had some relationship, agreed that the adoption would be a formal recognition of his chosen family and would provide him with the security he had not known as a child. Adoption, for them, was about legal and societal recognition of family, no matter how it was formed or when it was formed. There were a lot of tears of love and joy on both of these adoption days.
— Deb Guston is the Adoption Director and a Fellow of the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys practicing both adoption and ART law in New Jersey