Record Number of Children Adopted into Forever Families

LAS VEGAS -- Abuse and neglect are two reasons thousands of children end up in Nevada's foster care system.

However, on Thursday, 102 children in that system were placed in a permanent home at Clark County's 12th annual adoption day.

The adoptions mean 61 new families were created, which is the most in Clark County on a single day.

For one Las Vegas family, it is a day that has been four years in the making.

"It is very exciting! Whew, I'm going to cry," new mom Susan Van Staden said.

Van Staden normally fights for the rights of kids in the foster care system, but Thursday she had a different role that of new mom.

Van Staden adopted 14-year-old J'avon McCarty after meeting him as a client. She felt a connection with him Dec. 9, 2009, after a house call at J'avon's foster home.

"I was walking out and I said, 'bye J'avon," and he said, 'bye mom,' and I'm like, 'oh! it's over,' and I called my mom and I was like, 'he needs to come,' I got licensed for him,'" Van Staden said.

Five minutes, some paperwork and the family of two became one.

"She is just always crying over the small things. I know this is a big thing but it was a big thing whenever I first came to her home because that is when I knew also that I was home and I'm never leaving again," J'avon Van Staden said.

Just like J'avon, more than 100 Clark County kids found a forever home. They were all surrounded by court appointed special advocates, case managers and supreme court justices like Nancy Saitta, who herself understands the magic in this moment.

"I was one of the lucky ones. I was adopted many, many years ago and I always knew I had a family that would love me," Supreme Court Justice Saitta said.

Saitta says more safe, permanent homes are needed for these little hearts, longing for love.

"She is a mom. She is the perfect mom. I can't say any more," J'avon Van Staden said.

Thursday's record adoption day makes 463 total adoptions all year for the Clark County Department of Family Services.


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