The Family Courthouse at 1801 Vine Street in Philadelphia is a place families mostly want to avoid at all costs. Juvenile dependency and delinquency cases fill the dockets and families are torn apart rather than put back together. Except for one courtroom, where cases end in applause and parties leave beaming. I’m referring to Courtroom K, where all of the adoption cases take place.

A case can end up in Courtroom K for an adoption from a few different origins. A case could have come through the dependency system and permanency with a family is finally achieved for a child. A pair of grandparents or other family member might be finalizing an adoption of a child who has been in their care. Or, a second parent adoption might be taking place, where a step-parent or same-sex spouse is adoption their partner’s biological child. Whichever the beginning, these cases all reach the same happy ending.

With all of the paperwork and waiting done, families approach the court on their finalization day to receive that final seal of approval. Most come dressed in their best and brimming with excitement. They’ve waited for this day sometimes for years and are thrilled to finally be completing the adoption process and move forward with their lives.

After a brief hearing on the record before the presiding judge, the courtroom usually applauds and congratulates the family. They are often invited up onto the bench to pose for pictures with the judge and capture the moment. One regularly practicing adoption attorneys even gives his clients a disposable camera to take pictures with throughout the day, a memento to save and look back on in the future.

All in all, an appearance in Courtroom K is the happy side of family law and adoptions bring families together.

For more information on the adoption process in Philadelphia, contact our office to set up an initial consultation