Teen who spent most of his life in foster care gets adopted

About 80 friends and family watched the adoption court proceeding on Zoom.

News 12 Staff

Mar 12, 2021, 5:55 PM

Updated 1,173 days ago


A New Milford teen who spent most of his life in foster care now has a home to call his own.
A court proceeding over Zoom was held Wednesday for one of Education Without Wall's students. James Irish is getting adopted at 17 years old.
"He’s been with, I think, almost 16 different families and went to like nine different schools so there was never any permanency in his whole life," says Scott Haney, his adoptive father.
That is, until almost four years ago - when he came to live with Haney and Theresa McSpedon in New Milford.
It's been a new experience for the couple, too.
"My husband and I both just turned 60. We are first-time parents," says McSpedon.
It was one of McSpedon's parents who played a role in her expanding household. She met Irish while visiting her dad in Florida.
He was Irish's guardian ad litem down there.
"There’s this little boy among 40 or 50 children and... I just fell in love," McSpedon says.
She returned home to tell her husband.
"I said, 'Hon, we’re having a kid.' And I was 56 at the time and he looked at me like, that’s not even biologically possible, and I said, 'No, we’re having a teen,'" says McSpedon.
Haney was skeptical at first, but once he met Irish, felt the same.
"It was scary at the beginning. It really was, but it’s really gratifying to see somebody mature like that and become the person he’s become," he says.
They legally became a family Wednesday, though they’ve felt like one for much longer.
About 80 friends and family watched the adoption on Zoom. James also had plenty of support from his classmates, as they came to school wearing T-shirts that said "Family is More Than Blood."
"It’s been really nice. It’s definitely the only real household that I’ve been in," says Irish. "It also just means the second chance that I had hoped for is finally here."

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