A Windham teen is the first juvenile adopted under a new state law that expands the family court's role in such matters, authorities say.
State Attorney General George Jepsen and Joette Katz, commissioner for the Department of Children and Families, said Tuesday the adoption finalized Monday in the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters in the town's Willimantic section was the first under a new state law that took effect Oct. 1.
The new law gives the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters the authority to conduct adoption hearings and authorize the adoption of minor children whose biological parents' rights were terminated by same court. Before the change, adoptions ordered by the juvenile matters court were finalized in probate court.
"This change allows the parties involved in the proceedings, from the attorneys to the judges to witness the happy conclusion of new families being created," Jepsen said in a statement.
Commissioner Katz said, "Juvenile Court Judges are already very familiar with the case and know about the care the child has received by the proposed adoptive parents."
Three more adoptions are scheduled this week in Juvenile Matters courts in New Haven, Waterbury and Hartford.
November is National Adoption Month.