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A new family is created after grandparents opt for adoption

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Family happiness and family tragedy were on display Thursday yesterday in the court of  Erie County Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin. Gemela and Leroy Peete were there to adopt their three-year-old grandchild Da'miyah, whose troubled mother was denied custody almost since delivery.

The Peete's have raised Da'Miyah almost since birth after Child Protective Services denied her mother custody. 

Gemela Peete recalled that time.

"That night, I think it was right before we had to make the decision, so he (Leroy) was like: No, we're not going to do this."

That stance changed after Leroy saw the baby at the hospital.

"We left the hospital and got back in the car, the first question was: Okay, what are we going to do. So,okay, we need to call them and let them know we are going to take her. Right?"

It was a tough choice between taking care of their granddaughter or seeing her go into the foster care system.

All doubts came to a conclusion Thursday with Judge Bloch Rodwin's official proclamation. 

"Upon motion of Mr. Daniel Hartman, I hereby order that the petition filed by Gemela and Leroy Peete for the adoption of Da'miyah is allowed and approved and her name henceforth shall be Da'miyah Serenity Cheyenne Peete," Bloch Rodwin pronounced amidst appreciative applause.

Da'miyah departed the court session with her new parents, her favorite teddy bear, a coloring book and the new over-the-shoulder purse given to her as part of the adoption ceremony.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.