Arkansas family forced to finalize toddler’s adoption online amid coronavirus
An Arkansas family adopted 2-year-old Jaden, but had to finalize it online.(Handout)
Coronavirus has upended plans of varying degrees for most people around the world, but for one family in Arkansas, rather than adopting their beloved toddler with bells and whistles, they had to finalize the process online.
Kimberly Wieneke and her husband of Fort Smith — about 159 miles west of Little Rock — were excited to adopt 2-year-old Jaden on April 16, “standing there with the judge, everyone is smiling,” but instead had to do so over a Zoom video chat, Wieneke told KNWA.
“We missed out on our big hoorah!” she said. “Sometimes it feels like not real, I mean we sit and look at him and we’re like ‘he’s ours,’ but it’s like we didn’t get that experience.”
It was a particularly crushing blow given the couple has wanted to parent Jaden for nearly a year.
When they began fostering him in May 2019, Wieneke said, “In my heart, I already knew I wanted him."
Jaden was put up for adoption this February and though coronavirus-related safety measures prevented the family from celebrating the way they would have liked, they’re still a family.
“He’s ours," Wieneke said. “He has a forever home.”