Circuit Courts Celebrate National Adoption Day in
Baltimore and Baltimore County
(Annapolis, MD — November 8, 2007) Courts in the City of Baltimore and Baltimore County will celebrate National Adoption Day on Saturday, November 17, with dozens of adoptions followed by parties to honor the new families. By noon, four judges will help more than 50 children become members of permanent families during court proceedings that provide some of the court’s most joyful moments.
“Adoption days are happy days,” said Circuit Judge John O. Hennegan, who will preside over the Baltimore County proceedings on November 17. “There are children in our neighborhoods who need loving permanent homes, and the people who open their homes and their hearts to these kids are truly heroes.”
It may be called National Adoption Day, but the effects are felt locally, Judge Hennegan explained. “It’s our way of making more people aware of the opportunity to work with us to become an adoptive parent,” he said. “Frankly, we want more local residents who have thought about adopting a child to take that next step and start the process of becoming an adoptive parent.”
The Baltimore County activities have been organized with the Baltimore County Bar Association. In Baltimore, the events have been coordinated with the Bar Association of Baltimore City.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight and celebrate adoptions of all kinds, independent adoptions as well as adoptions of children who have been in foster care,” said Baltimore Circuit Judge Audrey J.S. Carrion, who, with Baltimore Circuit Judge Edward R.K. Hargadon, will preside over adoptions in Baltimore City that day.
National Adoption Day activities in Baltimore and Baltimore County include:
--Baltimore City: Adoption proceedings will begin at 10 a.m. in Room 400, the Ceremonial Courtroom in the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., Courthouse, 110 N. Calvert Street. Judge Carrion and Judge Hargadon together will preside over more than 40 adoptions, after which the new families will celebrate at a reception featuring face painters, a balloon artist, and arts and crafts activities.
--Baltimore County: Adoption proceedings will begin at 11 a.m. in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County on the second floor of the Old Courthouse, 400 Washington Avenue, Towson. Judge Hennegan, who himself is an adoptive parent, will finalize 10 adoptions. The families then will welcome new members and celebrate together in a special event at the Maryland National Guard Towson Armory, 307 Washington Street, Towson.
In 2005, the Circuit Court for Baltimore County became the first Maryland court to participate in National Adoption Day, which is celebrated annually throughout the United States on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Last year, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies, and advocates helped to finalize the adoptions of more than 3,300 children from foster care, and events were held throughout the country to finalize adoptions and to celebrate all families who adopt.
Elsewhere in the state, the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County will celebrate National Adoption Day with a special event at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 15, at the Prince George’s County Court House, 14735 Main St., Upper Marlboro. Judge William D. Missouri, Judge Graydon McKee, Judge Larnzell Martin, and Judge Melanie Shaw Geter will preside over the adoption ceremonies in that court.
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(Editor’s note: Members of the media are invited to attend and are welcome to bring cameras. For more information about any of the events, call the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488.)