For Immediate Release - November 21, 2014

National Adoption Day Celebrated in Courthouses Across the State

BOSTON, MA -- In celebration of National Adoption Day, Juvenile Court and Probate and Family Court judges in five courthouses across the state today legalized the adoptions of over 100 children who have been in state foster care at events that aim to draw attention to the thousands of children currently in state care who are in need of adoptive families.

At the Boston event at the Brooke Courthouse, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey said, "As we celebrate National Adoption Day, we hope to get the message out that there are so many kids in foster care who need homes. We hope that this worthwhile event encourages more parents to consider adopting kids who are in foster care."

Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence said of National Adoption Day, that it is a "day where the entire courtroom is filled with joy and love," and he noted the "enormous gift" of love that the children were giving to their adoptive families.  

Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy Nechtem, speaking on behalf of herself and Probate and Family Court Chief Justice Angela M. Ordoñez, said they were "thrilled to be part of the celebration" and thanked the families "for opening their hearts and homes" to their adopted children. Chief Justice Nechtem said that as a Juvenile Court judge, she had presided over many adoptions over the years, and that she recalled one parent say of their adoptive children that, "they may not have my eyes, and they may not have my smile, but they sure have my heart."

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Lieutenant Governor-elect Karyn Polito both gave remarks at the start of the Boston ceremony in the Brooke Courthouse, which was moderated by Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson.

Other speakers included First Justice of the Suffolk County Juvenile Court Terry Craven, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange Executive Director Lisa Funaro, Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz, Department of Children and Families Interim Commissioner Erin Deveney, and Zebulon and Sabrina Heisey, an adoptive family.

Children participated in activities throughout the day, with games, toys and refreshments generously donated by local and national businesses. Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster made a special guest appearance at the Boston event, greeting the children and posing for photographs with them.

In addition to the Boston event, National Adoption Day activities were held in the George N. Covett Courthouse in Brockton, the Franklin/Hampshire Juvenile Court in Hadley, the Hampden County Juvenile Court in Springfield, and the Worcester Trial Court complex.

Members of the National Adoption Day Planning Committee and Trial Court staff organized the event. National Adoption Day is one of several projects supported by the Massachusetts Court Improvement Program, which receives federal funds and is administered by the Supreme Judicial Court.