Sutoya Burke didn’t know she had a grandson until he was two weeks old. The hospital called her when her daughter was nowhere to be found. “We met him on Monday, and brought him home on Tuesday,” she said. “We had to rush to get everything, adjust schedules. It was surreal.”
While little Skylar, now two years old, has never known any mother but her, Burke and her husband formally adopted him last Friday on National Adoption Day.
As the Burke family worked their way through the complex system of kinship care and adoption, they connected with our grantees Alliance for Children’s Rights. “They told me what to expect, and they submitted the paperwork,” she said. “Everything was so smooth. They really prepared us for this day.”
The Alliance for Children’s Rights provides free legal services and advocacy to ensure children have a stable home and access to healthcare and education. The Eisner Foundation supports their efforts to support kinship caregivers, like the Burke family, caring for a grandchild or other relative child. These families often struggle adapting to their new situation and navigating the various benefits available.
But thanks to the Alliance, the Burke family was prepared and finalized everything on the happiest day the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court has all year.
On National Adoption Day, every courtroom in the building hosts adoption hearings for the whole day. The halls fill with balloons, stuffed animals, snacks and smiling families. Families who adopted in previous years return to volunteer. Judges and courtroom staff grin through the celebratory chaos. “Today’s been so exciting,” Burke said. “It’s been great to see all these families also adopting children.”
And as Thanksgiving approaches, the Burke family has one more thing to be thankful for.Back to Eisner Journal Directory