A number of children will find their forever homes and forever families in Minnesota on Saturday as National Adoption Day gives them a chance for a fresh beginning.
National Adoption Day raises awareness of the 100,000-plus children in the United States who are in foster care and are waiting for someone to give them a permanent home.
And on Saturday judges across the country are giving up their time to celebrate the national day by confirming thousands of adoptions.
In Minnesota, Hennepin County says in an email press release that 30 children will be adopted by 19 families at the Juvenile Justice Center on Park Ave. S. in Minneapolis at a series of finalization hearings overseen by a district judge.
Among those adopting are Inver Grove Heights couple Sean and Laura Mulligan, who are adopting the brothers aged 3 and 4 they have been foster.
They said they "couldn't bear the idea of another transition for the boys," who had been moved around six foster homes before finding the Mulligans.
"They were a great fit with our kids and us," Sean Mulligan said in the release. "We fell in love with them really fast, so it was kind of an easy decision. They grew on us and became part of us."
Ramsey County meanwhile is putting on several activities to mark National Adoption Day as adoptions are confirmed in St. Paul on Saturday,
Mother adopts 5 siblings
One of the more remarkable adopters in Minnesota is Loushanda Battle, who FOX 9 reports adopted her 6-year-old son Jacarri in July, and "couldn't help" but take in four more when she realized he had 1, 2, 4 and 5-year-old siblings scattered in foster homes around the Twin Cities.
"It started with one and just multiplied,” Battle, who has three kids of her own, told the TV station. "I'd get calls from Hennepin County, ‘I got another one over here. We have another over there.’ Once I found out about all the kids I was like, ‘I'll do it.’ I don't know how to say no is what I think it is."
MNAdopt says there are still "hundreds" of children across the state currently in the foster system who are looking for a permanent home, you can find out more about these children here.
Hennepin County is predicting the number will grow as well, as the result of stricter child protection regulations put in place at state and county level, which is expected to result in 16,000 child protection calls in Hennepin County alone.
Many of these will result in children being removed permanently from their birth parents.