November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about the value of adoption, especially of children and youth in the foster care system. This year Wednesday, Nov. 20, was designated as “Adoption Day” in Allen County, a special day to celebrate and honor families who adopt. The Allen County Department of Child Services (DCS) and Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division, collaborated with local agencies to celebrate the adoptions of more than 32 local children.
Adoption ceremonies began at 8:30 am in Room 208 of the Allen County Courthouse.
Special permission was given by the Indiana Supreme Court permitting media to photograph, video record, and broadcast the hearings. One adoptive family consented to have its adoption hearing at 11 a.m. filmed.
Judge Charles Pratt, Allen Superior Court, stated that “Allen County was the first community in Indiana to participate in National Adoption Day when the Allen Superior Court established the observance in 2007. The day is important for the community as we are all given the opportunity to learn about foster care and the blessings of adoption. But it is far more important because more than 32 children became part of a forever family on this day.”
The new adoptive families enjoyed light refreshments during a reception, compliments of Indiana Adoption Program. Funding for books and other gifts was provided by the Indiana Court Improvement Project. Many other community partners participated, including: Project Linus (providing hand-made blankets), SAFY, Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES, Allen County CASA, Hands of Hope, Indiana Adoption Program, Jockey, Star 88.3, Therapy Dogs, Shindigz, and the Fort Wayne Komets.
The day will also includes all-day showings of Allen Superior Court and Great KIDS’ music video, “Shine”, which celebrates adoptive families and puts a spotlight on foster care adoptions, especially of hard to place children (older kids, special needs, sibling groups.) Several Allen County adoptive families are featured in the video. View it on the Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES YouTube channel.
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming an adoptive parent may contact Michelle Nell, Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP) Specialist, Department of Child Services at 219-851-3174.