(Nov. 15, 2011) National Adoption Day is Saturday, Nov. 19, and Maryland’s courts will take part in celebrations throughout the week. By noon on Saturday, after court proceedings that they say provide some of the courts’ most joyful moments, judges in circuit courts throughout the state will have helped dozens of children become members of permanent families. Following many of the adoptions, receptions will be held to honor the new families.
Circuit Courts in Maryland Celebrate National Adoption Day
National Adoption Day was established in 2000 to raise awareness that there are more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. During last year’s National Adoption Day event, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies, and advocates throughout the U.S. helped to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children from foster care while celebrating all adoptive families. Since 2000, more than 35,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day.
National Adoption Day activities in Maryland Circuit Courts include:
Anne Arundel County
The Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County will hold its fifth annual National Adoption Day on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 4C of the courthouse, 7 Church Circle, Annapolis. Retired Court Administrator Robert Wallace will return to play his bagpipes for the event, when children ranging in age from 1 to 13 become permanent members of their new families. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony in the 4th floor gallery. Several area professional adoption service organizations will be on hand to join in the celebration, providing flowers, teddy bears and backpacks. Cameras and recording devices will be allowed; notify security personnel when you arrive at the courthouse that you are attending National Adoption Day. It is assumed that media will get consent from any person being photographed, etc.
In Baltimore, approximately 35 children will become members of their new families on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. Baltimore City Circuit Administrative Judge Marcella A. Holland, Judge Yvette M. Bryant, and Judge Robert B. Kershaw will preside together over the adoptions in the Ceremonial Courtroom in the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., Courthouse, 100 N. Calvert St., Baltimore. After the adoptions are finalized, the new families will celebrate together at a reception featuring face painters, a balloon artist, and arts and crafts activities. The newly adopted children will receive personalized gift bags. Baltimore’s event has been coordinated with the Bar Association of Baltimore City, with support from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. The court welcomes photography and videotaping of the event. Families are encouraged to bring their cameras.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, adoptive parent and Baltimore County Circuit Judge Sherrie R. Bailey will preside over almost a dozen adoptions in the Old Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom, 400 Washington Ave., Towson. The event will begin at 11 a.m. Immediately afterwards, light refreshments will be served on the first floor of the Old Courthouse. The Baltimore County Bar Association and the Baltimore County Department of Social Services have organized the activities. Cameras will be permitted in the courthouse.
Harford County celebrated National Adoption Month on Monday, Nov. 14, and Tuesday, Nov. 15. On Monday, retired Harford County Circuit Judge Maurice Baldwin presided over 10 adoptions in Courtroom 2-02 at the Harford County Circuit Courthouse; 20 West Courtland St., Bel Air. Each child adopted was given a new teddy bear to mark the occasion. The new families will celebrate together at an open house hosted by the Harford County Department of Social Services on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 4-8 p.m. “Alumni” families of all children adopted through the Department of Social Services within the last year, as well as attorneys, judges and Harford County Council members, were invited to join in. Only families adopting are invited to bring cameras, video cameras, and recording devices into the courtroom.
The Circuit Court for Montgomery County will celebrate National Adoption Day on Friday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom, 50 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Judge Cynthia Callahan, Judge Richard E. Jordan, Judge Cheryl A. McCally, and Judge Katherine D. Savage will preside jointly over the finalization of adoptions for eight children. Speaking at the event will be a family who recently adopted a teenager from Montgomery County. The families will then celebrate at a reception hosted by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. Press will be admitted to National Adoption Day but must identify themselves as press by wearing press credentials and will only be able to photograph or use recording devices in Courtroom #1.
Prince George’s County
The Circuit Court for Prince George's County will help adoptive parents welcome 14 children into their families during its National Adoption Day event on Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Prince George's County Court House, Room M3400, 14735 Main St., Upper Marlboro. Administrative Judge for the Seventh Circuit Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Judge Larnzell Martin, Jr., Judge Cathy H. Serrette and Judge Beverly J. Woodard (an adoptive parent herself) will preside over the adoption proceedings at 10:30 a.m. The children and their families will then take part in a reception hosted by the Prince George's County Department of Social Services. Cameras and recording devices will be allowed for personal use by the families only.
CONTACT: For more information about any of these events, call the Maryland Judiciary Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (410) 260-1488.
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