For Immediate Release - November 20, 2015

National Adoption Day Events Held in Courthouses Across the State

BOSTON, MA -- More than 100 children who have been in state foster care were formally adopted in five courthouses across the Commonwealth today as part of the 13th annual National Adoption Day, an event to raise awareness of the thousands of Massachusetts children in need of adoptive families.

This year, the main media site location was at the Franklin/Hampshire Juvenile Court located at 116 Russell Street, Route 9, in Hadley. Hon. James G. Collins, First Justice Franklin/Hampshire Juvenile Court, hosted the event and delivered opening remarks introducing this year's speakers, including State Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, Trial Court Administrator Harry Spence, Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy L. Nechtem, First Justice of the Hampshire County Probate and Family Court Linda Fidnick, First Justice of the Franklin County Probate and Family Court Beth Crawford, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. Adoptions formally began after the opening ceremony and were presided over by Chief Justice Nechtem, First Justice Collins and Juvenile Court Judge Charles S. Belsky. Hampshire County Sheriff Robert J. Garvey conducted the formal opening and closing of court.

Children and their adoptive families also participated in adoption ceremonies at the Juvenile and Probate & Family Court courtrooms at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston; the George N. Covett Courthouse in Brockton; the Berkshire Juvenile Court in Pittsfield; and the Worcester Trial Court.

National Adoption Day is one of several projects supported by the Massachusetts Court Improvement Program, a federally-funded program administered by the Supreme Judicial Court. Members of the Adoption Day Planning Committee will speak at each of the events. Committee members include court leaders and personnel from the Juvenile Court and Probate & Family Court, as well as staff members from the Department of Children and Families and the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE).