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Williamson County continues virtual adoptions until courtrooms are open

Judges work around coronavirus closures and make sure kids are still being adopted.

AUSTIN, Texas — Williamson County Judge for the 425th Judicial District Court Betsy Lambeth held her first virtual adoption recently and she said it was a bittersweet moment. Lambeth said she usually gets to meet the kids and paint their hands on an "adoption wall."

"It is a crazy time," she said. "The Williamson County courts are open and we're modifying how we do things, but we are not stopping the work of the courts. It's very important. We're just figuring out different ways to get our jobs done." 

Lambeth said she wants to get all the scheduled adoptions done in a timely manner and they plan to stick with their virtual adoption ceremony schedule until they can be back in the courtroom. 

"I did get to speak with a little girl on the camera and she played with me a little bit, but it was just exciting to be able to provide this service to the public at a time when things are so frightening and scary. They get to celebrate something," said Lambeth.

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She said it was less formal and the family was sitting on their living room couch during the ceremony. Lambeth has never done this before and said she's been on the bench for seven-and-a-half years. She's completed hundreds of adoptions, and the virtual adoption was a celebration because the family had been waiting for the adoption for a long time.

"I think, in terms of a society, I think it's a wonderful time to look at our families and spend time with our families and count our blessings," said Lambeth.

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