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, November 18, 2021 was designated ‘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 34 local children. Adoption ceremonies began at 8:30 am at the Allen County Courthouse.
Special permission was given by the Indiana Supreme Court permitting local media to photograph, video record and broadcast the hearings. Three adoptive families consented to having their adoption hearings filmed. Media were invited to attend these hearings at 9:15 am, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 pm.
Allen Superior Court Judge Lori K. Morgan said that National Adoption Day was initially observed in 2007 with Allen County being the first community in Indiana to participate.
“The day is an exciting one for our community as it is a day when more than 34 children will become part of a forever family,” Judge Morgan said. “We have a lot of wonderful things planned to make this day an amazing one for these very special children and their families.”
The new adoptive families enjoyed light refreshments during a reception, compliments of Indiana Adoption Program. Funding for books and other gifts were 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, Allen County Department of Child Services, Hands of Hope, Indiana Adoption Program, Jockey, Fort Wayne Tin Caps, Children’s Bureau + Families First Individual & Family Services, Hands of Hope, Shindigz, Three Rivers Visiting Dogs and Going Through Ministries.
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.