‘She loves me’: Woman adopts young granddaughter on Connecticut Adoption Day


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Friday is Connecticut Adoption Day, and the state is celebrating by letting the public witness the adoption hearings that are usually kept private. Every one of their stories is heartwarming, but one, in particular, starts with an awful lot of heartbreak.

Corrinna Martin has already been looking after her granddaughter Alivia Martin, 7, for the past four years.

“She loves me,” Alivia said. “She loves me wherever I go, whenever I go.”

But their relationship became official Friday.

“It’s really just starting the beginning of a beautiful chapter for Alivia and I,” Corrinna said.

Corrinna’s story has had some very dark chapters.

In 2013, Corrinna’s daughter, Alyssiah, was a student at Eastern Connecticut State University. She disappeared, and then her dismembered body was found in Trumbull. She had just broken up with her boyfriend, Jermain Richards. It took three trials, but he was finally convicted of her murder.

Just before the third trial, another of Corrinna’s daughters, ‘Nequea, was also murdered by her boyfriend, Anthony Rutherford. Rutherford also killed Nequea’s 9-year-old daughter.

‘Nequea’s other daughter, Alivia, survived.

“We’ve talked about how I’m not replacing my daughter, ‘Nequea,” Corrinna said. “But I’m actually just continuing on in her legacy to raise her as a parent.”

Connecticut Adoption Day marks a day of creating new families, or reuniting ones forced apart for various reasons.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been able to reunify 900 families,” Vannessa Dorantes, commissioner of the Department of Children and Families said. “And this year, at the end of the year, we’ll have completed 400 adoptions.”

Adoption hearings are done virtually these days. Alivia in a soft voice told the judge why her grandmother should adopt her.

“She’s the smartest and the kindest. And the woman that I know could be the right mom for me is her,” Alivia said.

Without a dry eye in the house, the judge made it official. In all, there were about 52 adoptions in Connecticut.

If you want to learn more about the adoption process, head to portal.ct.gov.

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