BEAUMONT, Texas -- It was an exciting day at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
The courthouse was decked out in all things Wizard of Oz for the children who found their forever families. The children followed the "Yellow Brick Road" to the "Mayor of Munchkin City," better known as the 317th District Court Judge Larry Thorne's courtroom.
Eighteen kids in all were adopted Friday.Their ages ranged from 1 to 16.
Anthony Berry, 16, is now with his forever family after he asked his teacher, Bennie Berry to adopt him.
Anthony had never wanted to be adopted. That is until he met Ms. Berry. She says she was surprised to learn he wanted her to adopt him.
"Well at first I thought he was making jokes until he actually explained the situation. And then we struck a deal, finish an assignment and then you can show me the website."
It was probably the fastest assignment he had ever completed.
Anthony was the oldest child to be adopted in Jefferson County on Friday. Even though he is one of the older ones finding his forever family, he thinks its never to late to start looking.
"If you have ever thought about adoption or didn't want to be adopted, actually try it cause you never know. Take into consideration that someone that doesn't love you, there is always someone that will love you."
According to a press release from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services:
Texas Adoption by the Numbers
• 5,395 – The number of children adopted from DFPS in fiscal year 2017.
• 6,685 – The number of children in DFPS care who were awaiting adoption as of September 2017 (latest data). Some of these children are already matched with an adoptive family and some are not.
• 3,939 – The number of children awaiting adoption who were not living with a family that intends to adopt them as of September 2017.
• 21 – The minimum age you must be to adopt a child in Texas.
If you are interested in adoption, would like to see the children awaiting adoption, or would like to learn more visit AdoptChildren.org.