Circuit court to celebrate Michigan Adoption Day

On Tuesday, Nov. 23, the Family Division of the Oakland County Circuit Court will conduct its annual Adoption Day celebration along with many other Michigan counties through out the state. Family Division judges will participate with adoption agencies and advocates in a program intended to bring special attention to the fact that foster children need permanent families.

The event will take place in the Commissioners Auditorium at the Oakland County Courthouse, 1200 North Telegraph Road in Pontiac. The program begins at 9 a.m. and will last for about an hour. It will include remarks from Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan, who this year is being honored as the recipient of the "Arthur Eugene Moore Champion of Children" award for her special and significant role in developing the adoption forum groups.

Corrigan has been the driving force behind the adoption forums that have taken place in Lansing since 2008. Oakland was one of the original 13 counties invited to participate. Through her work with the forums and with the Department of Human Services (DHS), Corrigan has made sure that the courts do not contribute to delays in the placement of foster children into permanent homes. She is truly a champion of children in the most positive and direct way. In Oakland alone, the backlog of children awaiting permanency was reduced by half.

The Oakland County Circuit Court Family Division, DHS, private service agencies, attorneys, and Court Appointed Service Advocates (CASA) of CARE House, created the "permanency docket" to quicken the permanent placement of children in child protective proceedings. The Permanency Docket remains a successful course in reducing delays in court process and procedure as it pertains to adoptions in these types of cases.

Foster children, like any child, need stability and love. On average, a foster child in the United States will be moved three times over a three year period while in foster care. When the child turns 18 or 19 and "ages out" of the foster care system, life becomes even more difficult. Lacking adult support and guidance in matters of education, finance, and housing, they are at high risk for poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, and domestic violence.

Corrigan and the new families will be joined by the judges, adoption department staff, DHS agencies, and private service providers for refreshments afterwards in the lobby of the Commissioners Auditorium.

The Family Division courts, in participation with the DHS, finalized 412 adoptions last year, nearly half of which were children from abused or neglected homes. Currently in Oakland County, there are over 300 children whose parental rights have been terminated and are permanent wards of the Court, some of which are now available for adoption.

Published: Tue, Nov 16, 2010

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