Rhinelander Kids Witness Real Courtroom Action

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The courtroom was moved to the second-grade classroom at a Rhinelander elementary school for this very special legal proceeding.

Classmates at Pelican Elementary were witnesses to the adoption of seven-year-old A-J Hoffman yesterday.

Oneida County Judge Robert Kinney explained to the kids that they were witnessing an actual court session, even though they were in school.

A-J has been Jeff and Esther Hoffman's foster child. They decided to hold the adoption at school because it has been a stable part of A-J's life of upheaval.

The Hoffmans have three other children -- 23, 21 and 17. Esther Hoffman, a social worker, says A-J just fit in so well with their family, they couldn't let hi+m go.

A-J's classmates wore special white adoption ribbons, serenaded the Hoffmans with a song and made the congratulatory cake disappear.