Three adoptions highlight new venue for the Department of Children
MIDDLETOWN Three adoptions took place at the Middlesex Superior Court on Monday as a part of National Adoption Month.
The Department of Children and Families hosted the event at the Middletown Superior Courthouse, which involved the adoption of three children starting at 2 p.m. This was the first time adoptions have taken place at the Superior Court due to new laws going into effect on Oct. 1. Previously adoptions had been handled in the Probate Court.
The first adoption was of a 7-month-old boy who is joining his three biological siblings. Jenn and Marc Cioto have previously adopted 5-year-old Anthony, 3-year-old Kathleen and 2-year-old Isabella, who are all full biological siblings. 7-month-old Nicholas is the last biological sibling, and the adoption was finalized Monday.
Also adopted in the family is 13-year-old Ashley, who is a stepdaughter. Marc Cioto said they have had Nicholas since he was two days old, and he has always been part of the family.
Judge Constance Epstein with the Cioto family following the finalized adoption of 7-month-old Nicholas. He joins biological siblings Anthony, Kathleen and Isabella and 13-year-old Ashley. Jenn and Marc Cioto adopted all four siblings to keep them together. Lauren Sievert/Middletown Press
“We couldn’t leave one floating,” Marc Cioto said about Nicholas, “I am happy we were able to keep them all together.”
Judge Constance Epstein presided over the adoption, which was also her first adoption to be a part of in the judicial system.
“A parent is a unique person who puts the child first,” Epstein said during the proceedings, “Parenting is one of the most difficult things in life, but also one of the most rewarding experiences.”
All of the siblings and grandparents were in court to celebrate the occasion, which was followed by a celebration with cake and balloons. Epstein presented the parents with a certificate of adoption, and said a new birth certificate will be sent to them for Nicholas listing them as the only parents.
“This is a terrific blessing to have them all together,” Jenn Cioto said about her children.
Information provided by DCF worker Denise Lopez-Sawyers said the number children adopted within 24 months has risen in the past few years. In 2011 507 finalized adoptions took place, and so far in 2012 there have been 415 finalized adoptions. The event at the Middlesex Superior Court was one of three events taking place in the state on Monday. Two other adoptions also took place in Middletown. A 17-year-old girl was adopted by a family, and she was their first adoption. A 16-month-old boy was also adopted by a first-time family.
DCF reports that as of October there are 20 children waiting to be adopted in Connecticut. Nine of the children are between 6-12 years old, and 11 children are over 13 years old.
DCF advises it takes about 10 weeks of training to become an adoptive parent, but total about three to four months to become licensed, including the training, home-study and background checks. Those looking to become an adoptive parent or find out more information are asked to call 1-888-KID-HERO or visit www.ctfosteradopt.com