Tucson Adoption Day festival

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Most adoptions in Pima County take place in a courtroom, but once a year, the proceedings jump from the court to the playground.

This celebration at Udall Park may look like a gathering for a fall festival.


However, it's a lot more than that.

"We're joining families with children who need a family," said Judge Geoffrey Ferlan from the Pima County Juvenile Court.

About a hundred children were adopted by 70 families Saturday at the annual Pima County adoption day celebration.

Toni Chapman didn't even know her daughter was pregnant and was shocked to hear she had a grandson born last December.

But after little Jonathan tested positive for drugs, he was placed in foster care.

"His father wanted to leave him in foster care and I didn't feel that was appropriate when he has family," said adoptive parent Toni Chapman.

In April, Jonathan was placed in his grandparents care.

Saturday after a 15 minute court proceeding, Toni and her husband were finally granted custody.

"It's exciting now he's ours he belongs to us and nobody else nobody can take him he's ours it's just wonderful and watching him grow," Chapman said.

Max Munoz is one of three boys. His grandparents adopted his two older brothers.  But there was a chance Max could be separated from them.

"We've been through a lot this year with losing our daughter and now were getting the second sibling so that they didn't get separated so this is exciting for us," said Irene Munoz.

For both families, Saturday was the start of a new journey, one that has the power to change a child's life.

"Its great that we have people out there who want to help other kids because we have so many kids that have nobody," Ferlan said.  "Seeing families come together like this is one of the most satisfying experiences that I have had as a judge in juvenile court."

It was the 12th Annual Adoption Day event for Pima County Juvenile Court.   It comes just a couple weeks before National Adoption Day on November 19.