Circuit Courts in Maryland Celebrate National Adoption Day
(Annapolis, Md. — Nov. 12, 2008) Circuit Courts in Maryland will celebrate National Adoption Day – held this year on Saturday, Nov. 15 – with dozens of adoptions followed by celebrations to honor the new families. By noon that day, judges in the Circuit Courts for Prince George’s, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties and the City of Baltimore will have helped more than 70 children become members of permanent families during court proceedings that provide some of the courts’ most joyful moments.
National Adoption Day was established to raise awareness of the 129,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. Throughout the U.S., during last year’s National Adoption Day event, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies, and advocates helped to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children from foster care while celebrating all adoptive families.
National Adoption Day activities in Maryland Circuit Courts include:
Prince George’s County
The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County will celebrate three days early when it helps adoptive parents welcome eight children into their families during its National Adoption Day event on Wednesday, Nov. 12, in the Prince George’s County Court House, Room M3400, 14735 Main St., Upper Marlboro. The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. following formal adoption proceedings. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will give remarks, and state Sen. Rev. C. Anthony Muse will serve as the keynote speaker.
Prince George’s County Circuit Judges Larnzell Martin, Jr.; and Melanie Shaw Geter will assist Judge William D. Missouri, circuit and county administrative judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Prince George’s County, and chief judge of the Seventh Circuit, in the adoption proceedings.
The adoptive children and their families will take part in a luncheon hosted by the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services. The J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association and the Prince George’s County Women’s Bar Association will make presentations to each family at the event.
(Editor’s note: Members of the media are invited to attend the ceremonies that follow the formal adoption proceedings. Media should call Judge Missouri’s chambers at (301) 952-3728 to arrange to attend and bring cameras.)
Anne Arundel County
The Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County’s National Adoption Day celebration on Thursday, Nov. 20, will feature a “highland flair” when Court Administrator Robert Wallace plays the bagpipes to open the event.
Judge Michael E. Loney will preside over the adoption hearings at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 4C of the Circuit Court building, 7 Church Circle, Annapolis. Following the court procedures, the families, invited guests, and court personnel will gather in the 4th floor gallery of the courthouse for cake, cookies, and refreshments.
In Baltimore, approximately 50 children will become members of their new families at the same time. Baltimore Circuit Court Administrative Judge Marcella A. Holland, Judge Audrey J.S. Carrion, and Judge Edward R.K. Hargadon will preside together over the adoptions 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 and a teddy bear, with gifts for their siblings, as well. Baltimore’s event has been coordinated with the Bar Association of Baltimore City, with support from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services.
Baltimore County Circuit Judge John O. Hennegan, an adoptive father himself, will preside over 15 adoptions for 13 families on Saturday, Nov. 15, in the Old Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom, 400 Washington Ave., Towson. The event will begin at 11 a.m.
After the adoptions are finalized, Judge Hennegan will present the families with red roses and the children with teddy bears. Tiffany Frank, a student at the University of Baltimore who was adopted by her foster care family at the age of 12, is the keynote speaker. A luncheon for the new families will be held immediately following the court proceedings at the Towson Armory, with games, activities, and prizes for the children. The Baltimore County activities have been organized with the Baltimore County Bar Association.
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(Editor’s Note: For more information about any of these events, call the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488.)