A toddler who was unable to have a traditional, courtroom adoption due to stay-at-home orders was adopted over a Zoom call while in quarantine.
Kimberly and Todd Wieneke of Fort Smith, Arkansas, officially became parents to 2-year-old Jaden over the video chat app on April 16. The mom and dad of three had been fostering Jaden since May 2019.
"We've had about 30 kids come through our home -- we loved them all. And with Jaden, as soon as I met him, there was such a connection," Kimberly Wieneke told "Good Morning America." "He's such a funny little guy. He keeps us on our toes and makes us laugh a lot. We can't imagine life without him."
Jaden was born in prison and had been living with an extended family member until being placed into foster care, Kimberly Wieneke said.
When no one showed up for Jaden in court, parental rights were terminated and the Wienekes were then able to adopt him.
"We will tell him his story when he's older," Kimberly Wieneke said. "I cry for his mom because I can't imagine her not having him. I'm just happy that we were able to step in and be his mom and dad."
Adoption specialists at the Division of Children and Family Services (DHS) in Arkansas, who worked with the Wieneke family, said judges have been thinking outside the box by conducting adoption hearings via Zoom.
Other families around the country have been following suit.
"We are so grateful that they are finding ways to keep the process going as every child deserves a safe, stable and loving home," the DHS told "GMA."
Kimberly Wieneke said Jaden's adoption was initially put on pause until she was informed that it'd instead take place via Zoom.
She, her husband and daughter Emily appeared on camera as the virtual hearing took place.
"On this day everyone was smiling throughout the whole process," Kimberly Wieneke said.
When it's safe to do so, the Wienekes hope to meet with the judge and adoption specialists to take photos with Jaden.
2-year-old officially adopted over Zoom video chat originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com