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National Adoption Day: 150 Los Angeles foster kids adopted

On Friday, local parents finalized the adoptions of 150 foster children, who now have families to call their own.
November 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
This Thanksgiving holiday will have special meaning for some local families. On Friday, they finalized adoption of 150 foster children, who now have families to call their own.

The Rigsby family was in court with teddy bears and dozens of smiling friends and relatives crowding in to celebrate as they made their son Angel's place in the family official. They are just one of the families giving 150 Los Angeles kids permanent homes on National Adoption Day, which is celebrated in cities around the country.

"That means it's for real, and they'll be well taken care of. It's awesome. I wouldn't change it for the world," said parent Adrian Martinez.

Adrian and Lori Martinez are adopting two of their biological grandchildren. They've adopted six grandchildren so far.

"The rewards are 100 times more than what you would go through to have these children, and to just see the kids smile and have fun and be happy, that's worth it. That's all it's about," said Lori Martinez.

Sisters Aliya and Alisha Spagnola got dressed up for their adoption on Friday. Their parents couldn't be happier.

"I feel happy for them because I know that their life is going to be more stable and they're going to be happy. They've been happy. They've been with us for three years," said parent Paul Spagnola.

Singer-actress Rachel Crow, who was adopted herself, performed at Friday's event, which celebrated the bright futures of 150 children and their families.

"I've talked to so many grandparents who've taken their children. They've put aside their hopes and dreams for a retirement in Arizona or moving to the Caribbean to take care of their children, and I think that's demonstrated today," said Philip Browning, director of the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services.

Officials say 23,000 teens turn 18 every year without a forever family. In Los Angeles alone, there are more than 17,000 kids in foster care -- that's more than anywhere else in the country.

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