Teen who aged out of foster care, was adopted by Bradenton caseworker, gets big surprise on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Last month, our sister station reported the heartwarming story about a teenage girl who was adopted by her caseworker and mentor in Bradenton.

Well, on Monday, the new mother and daughter are set to make an appearance on the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

Monyay was placed in a group home at age 11 and spent all her teenage years in foster care. Leah Paskalides had worked as Monyay’s caseworker and mentor with the Safe Children Coalition. But because of her job, Leah wasn’t able to adopt Monyay until she aged out of the foster care system.

Paskalides formally adopted Monyay in April, and Safe Children shared video of the adoption ceremony on Facebook.

“I am so pleased, so honored, to sign this official document. With my signature, it is official,” Judge Teri Dees said.

After the judge declared the adoption official, the two shared a hug for the first time as mother and daughter.

“I made her a promise that I would find her an adoptive family. I just didn’t know that I would be the adoptive family,” Leah Paskalides said.

“Throughout Monyay’s journey in care, they remained in contact and sharing a close connection,” Safe Children posted on Facebook. “We are so happy for them.”

Video of the adoption ceremony quickly went viral, touching hearts nationwide and catching the attention of Ellen Degeneres.

Monyay and Leah sat down with the talk show host to discuss their special bond and got a huge surprise.

You can watch the big reveal in the video player above. The show airs at 3 p.m. Monday, May 24 on News Channel 8.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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