Summary List Placement
About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year and the number is even higher internationally, according to 2013 data.
Many more are still looking for families — on any given day, an estimated 428,000 children are in foster care. National Adoption Day, which falls on November 21, seeks to raise awareness for the thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for their permanent homes.
We’ve rounded up some of the most heartwarming photos of newly adopted children and their families.
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Deryck Blake gave the judge a thumbs up as his adoption papers were finalized.
After three years of fostering 16-year-old Deryck Blake, Michael and Kay Wolfe adopted him in 2011.
Fourth-grade teacher Sophia Kuzia was ecstatic after adopting her daughter, 16-month-old Isabella, on National Adoption Day in 2011.
Attorney Sasha Stern captured the moment on camera as they left the Los Angeles courtroom.
Kerri House hands her husband, Murray, their newly adopted daughter for the first time.
The Australian couple also has another adopted child and a biological son.
Soul clapped with his parents after his adoption papers were finalized in 2012.
Katie and Dennis Whitaker first fostered their son Soul one hour before his first birthday. Two years later they officially adopted him.
“It was surreal,” Katie Whitaker told the Los Angeles Times. “I had the image of when I first held him two and a half years ago.”
Lance Cpl. Christopher Mohedano-Hernandez, who was adopted by his stepfather on Christmas Eve 2013, greets another adoptee.
Lance Cpl. Christopher Mohedano-Hernandez, second from left, and members of his family greet another newly adopted child, 4-month-old Chinaza Thornhill, and her adoptive mother Chinyere Thornhill, left, after an adoption ceremony.
Placeda Era sits with her newly adopted daughter, Ke’miyah Era, during a ceremony at the Miami Children’s Museum on National Adoption Day 2015.
Judges from Miami-Dade County Juvenile Court officiated the finalizing of more than 50 adoptions in courtrooms set up inside the museum on National Adoption Day in 2015.
Nathalie Ogando embraces her adopted cousin, 5-year-old Lean Martinez, after she was adopted in 2015.
National Adoption Day strives to raise awareness of the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care waiting to find permanent families.
Grace Gonzalez sits with her newly adopted daughter, Bella Gonzalez, who was 2 at the time.
Bella Gonzalez was one of the 50 adoptions finalized at the Miami Children’s Museum in 2015.
Lisa Alvarez hugs her foster child, Lola Rial, before she is adopted during a ceremony on National Adoption Day in 2015.
The smile on Lisa Alvarez’s face says it all.
Giselle Malagon kisses her adopted daughter, Alyssa Malagon, out of happiness that her adoption is now official.
Giselle Malagon and her husband, Victor, adopted Alyssa in 2015.
Siblings Destiny, Jamar, and Ke’miyah Era pose for a pic after being adopted in 2015.
Adopt US Kids writes, “For many children in foster care, their brother or sister has been the only constant presence in their lives. A brother or sister may be the only person who understands and shares their experiences and can help them make sense of their new lives.”
Davion Navar Henry Only and his adoptive mother and former caseworker Connie Going laugh during their formal adoption ceremony.
Davion’s story of being in the foster care system all of his life gained worldwide attention when he stood in front of a church congregation in 2013 and begged for someone to adopt him.
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse sued the state of Michigan in 2012, initially challenging the state’s restrictions on joint adoption and later the ban on gay marriage at the time.
DeBoer and Rowse, a same-sex couple from Michigan, have jointly adopted five children, closing a case that started when they challenged the state’s restrictions on adoption and helped pave the way for the landmark 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision to guarantee the right to gay marriage.
Alexandra gives her new dad, Angel Rubio, a high-five following her adoption in 2015.
Angel and Sandra Rubio had waited almost two years for the adoption of their daughter Alexandra to go through.
“It’s great to have a day like this; I wish we had more,” Judge Daniel Swords told The Boston Globe.
Rebeka Romero cried as she got hugs from her sons after their adoption was finalized.
Rebeka Romero and her husband, Travis, fostered Joseph, left, Travis, right, and their younger sister Lily (not pictured) for 22 months before adopting them. The couple was also fostering two other children at the time of this picture who they planned on adopting.