Circuit Court of Cook County celebrates National Adoption Day

Released On 11/22/2021

The Circuit Court of Cook County on Friday celebrated “National Adoption Day” with the adoptions of six children, who officially joined their “forever homes” during a hearing in a courtroom at the Richard J. Daley Center. 

Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, who gave opening remarks at the adoption finalization hearing, said that adoption day is always a happy day, and that he always sees both smiles and tears on the faces of the children, parents, attorneys, and judges. 

“It’s the end of uncertainty for these families and it is the beginning of a bond, a seal, that is forever, that is going to put these parents and these children together and enlarge all of their lives at the same time,” said Judge Evans. 

“We want more children to be blessed with what you are being blessed with today,” Judge Evans said. “I thank you very much for what you’re going to do today and we want to see it multiplied about a thousand times times a thousand, so that every child has a family and every family that wants a child has one. “ 

Ashley Reed, chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Adoption Law Committee, who also spoke at the event, praised the Circuit Court for ensuring that families could get through the adoption process smoothly, even during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Hon. Sanjay Tailor, acting presiding judge of the County Division, which handles adoptions, noted that finalization hearings take place after all the heavy work required by each case is completed to the satisfaction of the court. Usually, adoption hearings are kept private, but for National Adoption Day, courts open up proceedings to the public to put a spotlight on the process and encourage others to consider adoption. 

“There is no more selfless act than opening your home and heart to a child,” Judge Tailor said. “Every child in foster care, whether a teen, tween, toddler or newborn, needs and deserves the foundation that only a loving family and home can provide. And the bond and joy of adoption can best be illustrated by this observation of an adoptive parent – ‘I have four children, two of which are adopted, but I don’t remember which two.’” 

One of the parents at Friday’s ceremony was Juanita Fuentes, who adopted her three grandchildren -- Alexis Ramirez, age 8; Madelyn Ramirez, 7; and Johnny Ramirez, Jr., 5. They were accompanied by the children’s uncle, Dominic Ramirez, who along with his fiance is helping to bring up the children. 

“They changed my life completely,” said Dominic Ramirez, in tears, to the Hon. LaGuina Clay-Herron, who oversaw the adoption. “They make me happy.” 

“I wish there were more people in the world that would save children and adopt them,” said Juanita Fuentes, of Rosemont. 

The Ramirez adoption was in person. A second in-person adoption was conducted by the Hon.  Maureen Ward Kirby, while a virtual adoption was conducted by the Hon. Patrick Stanton. 



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