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Media Advisory:
Circuit Courts in Maryland Celebrate “Happiest Day in Court” during National Adoption Day

(ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Nov. 7, 2014) National Adoption Day is Saturday, November 22, and Maryland’s courts will take part in celebrations throughout the week. Many judges have called adoption proceedings some of their happiest days in court.

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. Last year, National Adoption Day events were held in almost 400 U.S. cities, and judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates helped finalize the adoptions of approximately 4,500 children from foster care and celebrated all adoptive families. Since 2000, nearly 50,000 children have had their adoptions finalized during National Adoption Day events.

National Adoption Day activities in Maryland Circuit Courts include:

Prince George’s County
The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County will celebrate National Adoption Day on Wednesday, November 19, with a ceremony honoring past and present adoptive families. This year, more than 50 families finalized adoptions in Prince George’s County. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom M3400 at the Prince George’s County Courthouse, Upper Marlboro.

Seventh Circuit Administrative Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Judge Beverly J. Woodard, an adoptive parent herself, Judge Larnzell Martin, Jr., and Judge Cathy H. Serrette will preside over the adoption ceremony. Several guest speakers and sponsors will honor the achievements of families involved in the adoption process.

For more information, please contact Angela Means, Circuit Court Adoption Coordinator, 301-780-8033. Media wishing to cover the event should contact Lionel Moore, Family Division Director, 301-952-3024, by November 17.

Anne Arundel County
The Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County will commemorate National Adoption Day on Thursday, November 20, at 9 a.m. in the Annapolis courthouse, Courtroom 4C. Judge Ronald Silkworth will preside. Clerk of the Court Robert Duckworth will talk about his experience as an adoptee. A reception will be held in the fourth floor gallery following the courtroom proceedings for anyone present who wishes to take part in the celebration.

Still cameras for the media will be allowed on that day. Media are asked to call Robin Cummings, Assistant Chief Deputy Clerk, 410-222-1895, if they plan to attend or to arrange to bring video cameras, which must be approved by the court before the event.

Montgomery County
On Friday, November 21, Judge Cynthia Callahan, Judge Cheryl A. McCally, Judge Joan E. Ryon, and Judge Anne K. Albright will preside over the adoptions of several children, giving those children forever homes. The ceremonies will begin at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 4F of the Montgomery County Circuit Court’s new South Tower.

After the adoptions are finalized, the new families will celebrate together at a reception featuring food, activities for the children and families, face painter, balloon artist, and DJ hosted by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information, please contact Lili Khozeimeh, Circuit Court Adoption Coordinator, 240-777-9119.

Baltimore City
In Baltimore City, approximately 30 children will become members of their new families at the same time on Saturday, November 22. Baltimore City Circuit Administrative Judge W. Michel Pierson, Judge Robert B. Kershaw and Judge Yvette M. Bryant will preside jointly over the adoptions beginning at 10 a.m. 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 during a reception featuring face painters, a balloon artist, and arts and crafts activities. The newly adopted children will receive personalized gift bags with gifts for their siblings, as well. Baltimore City’s event has been coordinated with the Bar Association of Baltimore City, with support from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services.

Baltimore County
The Baltimore County Circuit Court National Adoption Day event will be held Saturday, November 22, and will begin at 11 a.m. in the Old Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom, 400 Washington Ave., Towson. Judge Sherrie R. Bailey and Judge Justin J. King will preside over the finalization of several foster care and private adoptions, after which a reception for the families will be held on the first floor of the Old Courthouse.

The reception, which will include light refreshments, face painting, balloon art, and gifts for every child, is hosted by the Baltimore County Department of Social Services, the Baltimore County Bar Foundation, and members of the Baltimore County Bar Association.

MEDIA 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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