By Patrick McCauley | Visual Communications Specialist, Office of Communication, Education, and Outreach
To celebrate National Adoption Day in November 2018, more than 30 judicial officers allowed families and press the opportunity to photograph and videotape certain uncontested adoption proceedings. The Supreme Court first issued an order authorizing cameras in court in 2012 for National Adoption Day to increase public awareness of the value of adoption.
This year approximately 270 children joined their ‘forever families’ in 25 counties across Indiana. The counties participating this year included Adams, Allen, Clark, Crawford, Delaware, Elkhart, Fountain, Grant, Hamilton, Jennings, Johnson, LaPorte, Marion, Monroe, Porter, Shelby, and Tippecanoe.
Porter County Magistrate Gwenn Rinkenberger commented, “Just to see the looks on the kids’ faces, it’s really exciting. They get to dress up, receive gifts, and make a change in their lives. They are able to have some permanency: homes, parents, loved ones.”
Several counties coordinated party-planning aspects of the day through The Children’s Bureau, Court Appointed Special Advocates, or the Department of Child Services. Thanks to these partnerships, many children left the courtroom not only with a family, but also with gifts such as homemade blankets, books, balloons, and flowers to take back to their new homes.
Indiana trial courts resolve disputes in over 1.3 million cases each year, and adoptions are just one case type. Each year there are about 3,600 adoptions in the state.
View Adoption Day photos on Flickr.