Families rejoice at 'Adoption Saturday'

November 20, 2016

STOCKTON — Ralph and Lisa Butler knew they were adopting two of their grandchildren the minute they were placed in foster care. “I’ll never forget it,” 51-year-old Ralph Butler said. On Saturday, Ralph and Lisa were one of the 18 families at the San Joaquin County Courthouse during the annual "Adoption Saturday" event, a nationwide day where courts open their doors to families waiting to have their adoptions finalized. The San Joaquin Superior Court and Human Services Agency hosted the event at the Stockton Family Law Courthouse at 540 E. Main Street and placed 35 children with their “forever families.” Nearly 60,000 children have been adopted across the U.S. on National Adoption Day since the event’s inception in 2000, according to National Adoption Day Coalition. The Butlers adopted Shamarie, 8, Princess, 5, and 2-year-old Zion, who they’ve been caring for since he was two days old. Lisa Butler said she didn’t want her grandchildren to end up in the foster care system. “They need to be raised together,” she said. Ralph Butler added: “We’d do it all over again if needed to make sure the family stays together.” In San Joaquin County, approximately 1,400 children are growing up in the foster care system. Adoption Saturday is one of the few happy occasions in the court, said San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Barbara Kronlund, who...

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