Human Interest

First ever adoption over Zoom makes woman and sons from foster care feel ‘super awesome’

Zoom adoption

A foster mom in Ohio refused to let the COVID-19 pandemic prevent her from adopting her two boys and officially becoming their mother.

“My biggest fear was not being able to adopt them and having to wait,” Emily Erdman told NBC Nightly News.

With courts closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, Erdman still found a way to make the adoption happen. She was able to have the adoption finalized through a Zoom meeting with the judge on April 14 — the first to be done this way. Her boys — John Qezz (age six) and Jah’heem (age four) — were “very excited” and said it feels “super awesome” to finally be adopted after 1,288 days in foster care.


Erdman is currently on leave from her job as an occupational therapy assistant and said it’s been “a good opportunity for me to be home with my kids and keep us all safe.” The court offered her the opportunity to finalize the adoption through Zoom.

“Words can’t describe how great it felt to know that we would be this big family for the years to come,” said Erdman.

Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus told WLWT that “sometimes life’s most precious moments come during the most challenging times.”

To celebrate the adoption, friends and family organized a parade of decorated cars that drove by the family’s home, cheering and honking.

As pet shelters empty out during the pandemic because people want to foster animals, organizations working with foster children in Ohio are asking for good people to step up to foster children. “We need heroes right now,” said Lara LaRoche, intake director of children services. “If there’s any willingness to make themselves available, we need them.”

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