Two married gay male couples were among 22 new families whose adoptions of 31 children were given final approval on Saturday, Nov. 17, during the city’s 32nd annual Adoption Day ceremony at the D.C. Superior Courthouse.
Among those participating in this year’s event were D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who brought her recently adopted nine-month-old daughter Miranda, and about a dozen Superior Court judges who took turns signing the adoption papers for the parents whose adoptions became finalized.
“This event is one of the highlights of our year – it’s so wonderful to see so many smiles in our courthouse,” said Chief Judge Robert Morin. “As we see every year at these ceremonies, the parents are at least as excited, as joyful and as proud as the children about having their adoption finalized and officially becoming a family,” Morin told the gathering.
Among those whose adoptions were signed at the event were human resources professional Whitney Miller, his husband, physician Dwight Miller, and their newly adopted 5-year-old son Cory.
“I’m just overwhelmed with joy and with love that this day is finally here and that we are finally an officially legal family,” Whitney Miller told the Washington Blade. Miller talked to the Blade shortly after D.C. Superior Court Judge Tonya Jones Bosier signed Cory’s adoption papers.
The couple has had custody of Cory as foster parents since he was two weeks old, according to Whitney Miller. “We’re very excited about this,” he said. “And we hope that by us being a same-sex couple that we can spur on and at least give hope to a lot of other same-sex couples in D.C. that are interested in adopting or potentially in foster care in D.C.”
Another married gay male couple who asked to be identified only as the “Campbell and Coleman family” had their adoptions approved at the event for a 6-year-old girl and her 4-year-old biological brother.
“For me to receive this honor at this time right before Thanksgiving it’s in the spirit of being thankful,” Campbell told the Blade. “And it’s a privilege to be these kids’ parents.”
Among those joining them at the ceremony was D.C. Council member Robert White (D-At-Large), whose wife is Coleman’s niece.
“Those are my uncles by marriage,” White told the Blade after the ceremony. “And when they were matched with the siblings that they adopted we were just really, really overjoyed,” he said.
Campbell and Coleman told the Blade they are in their early 50s, have been married for seven years and have been a couple for 12 years.
Similar to the Millers, Campbell and Coleman said their respective parents and family are fully accepting of their role as same-sex parents and have embraced their children with love and affection. Both the Millers and Campbell and Coleman said they will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with their families.
The annual Adoption Day event is organized jointly by the D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), which arranges for D.C. adoptions.
“Currently there are over 800 D.C. children in foster care,” a joint Superior Court-CFSA statement released at the event says. “CFSA is currently seeking permanent, loving adoptive homes for 75 of those children,” the statement says. “Adoptive parents can be single, married, any race, religion or orientation, so long as they are a loving adult with room in their home.”
Bowser told the gathering she was happy to have shared the experience of adoption that the new parents were experiencing at the Adoption Day event.
“Like me, you are here to celebrate the many, many wonderful ways that family in all its wonderful forms will change our lives,” she said. “Our stories demonstrate that families are made in beautiful ways. Our stories demonstrate that all children are deserving of a wonderful and forever home,” she said.
“And our stories demonstrate that it is us, the adults, who are the lucky ones to have been chosen and to have been blessed with this opportunity to raise these wonderful children,” she added. “We’re the lucky ones.”