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15 children adopted at Halloween-themed ceremony

Ceremony took place at Duval County Courthouse

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was an exciting moment for several families.

Fifteen children were officially adopted into 11 families during a Halloween-themed ceremony Friday afternoon at the Duval County Courthouse.

It was an emotional day, with many wiping away tears, and children beaming with joy that they’ll finally have a forever family.

“I can’t express how happy I am for them, and I’m glad they’re happy,” said Annie Hayse. “So I couldn’t express that enough.”

“We have wonderful families adopting these kids, giving them the love, stability they so desperately need,” said Judge Michael Kalil. “It’s a beautiful event.”

Now almost age 2, the Chance family had cared for Lacy since she was a newborn child. They brought their extended family, including their four biological children, to witness the adoption.

“If you can foster, please. If you can help your community and help the children -- foster,” said Paul Chance.

Jackelyn McCormick used to babysit Isabella for the foster family who once cared for her. Now, Isabella is permanent part of her family.

She’s happy her little girl will grow up in a stable home with love and a big brother.

“We’re excited that she’s part of our family now and we get to keep her,” McCormick said.

In Duval and Nassau counties, there are approximately 2,000 children in care. Of these children, more than 250 are in foster homes waiting to be adopted by a loving family. For more information, visit FSSjax.org.