Adoption Day celebrated across the state

Courtrooms don’t usually feature laughing children, beaming parents, Teddy bears or balloons. But on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, happy families will be seen celebrating in many Michigan courtrooms, along with judges, court staff and social workers.

In what is now a holiday tradition for many Michigan family courts, Michigan Adoption Day will be celebrated on November 26.

The event is held on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving each year, highlighting the importance of adoption and the needs of children in foster care. 

In Macomb County, a luncheon is scheduled at Macomb Intermediate School District offices in Clinton Township to highlight families who have chosen adoption, celebrate their role and bring together community agencies that support adoption.

Monique Goetgeluck, adoption caseworker with Macomb County Circuit Court Family Division, said speakers will include Michigan ?Supreme Court Justice David Viviano, a former member of the Macomb circuit bench, as well as Macomb County Circuit Court Chief Judge John Foster and Judge Kathryn Viviano.

Goetgeluck said the goal of the luncheon is to celebrate Adoption Day and build awareness “that Macomb County supports families every step of the way; the foster care process, adoption confirmation and post adoption community-based services.”

Elsewhere around the state, nearly three dozen counties have scheduled ceremonies to finalize the adoptions of about 80 children.

Michigan Adoption Day is co- sponsored by the Michigan Supreme Court, the state Department of Human Services and the Child Welfare Services division of the State Court Administrative Office.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. will join judges Gregory P. Iddings from Lenawee and Dorene S. Allen from Midland in finalizing adoptions in the Supreme Court courtroom in the Hall of Justice in Lansing.

The ceremony will include the presentation of the Daniel J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award. Allen is this year’s recipient of the award, which recognizes outstanding service to Michigan children and families.

Young said Michigan Adoption Day provides a valuable window into the adoption process.

“Adoption finalization hearings are usually private,” he said.  “But on adoption day, the participating courts open these hearings to the public.

We are allowed to witness the joy of the adoptive families, and to hear their stories. We hope the experience inspires others to consider adoption and will call attention to the needs of the young people who remain in foster care.”

“Every child deserves a safe, loving and stable home,” former justice and current DHS Director Maura D. Corrigan said. “Our department has undertaken significant reforms, doing our part to make that happen. Because of our efforts and those of our partners, we finalized 88 percent of the adoptions for eligible children in Michigan last year. It’s the highest rate in nearly 20 years, helping more children leave Michigan’s foster care system for permanent homes.” 

Statistics compiled by the state show that 13,402 children were involved in Michigan’s foster care system as of the end of September. The vast majority, officials said, are victims of abuse and neglect.

There are about 2,700 children in Michigan who have the goal of adoption. The courts and DHS work to find adoptive parents for these children.

About 2,300 children were adopted in Michigan during fiscal year 2013 through DHS or private adoption agencies. Most were adopted by their foster parents or relatives.

Many children who are available for adoption qualify for adoption assistance. About 27,000 adopted children receive ongoing support subsidies.


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