For Immediate Release - November 18, 2016

On National Adoption Day, Trial Court Chief Justice Carey Asks, "What greater gift could one give?"

BOSTON, MA -- It was a day of celebration for more than 100 children who were adopted today in ceremonies in three courthouses across the state as part of National Adoption Day--an annual event to raise awareness of the thousands of Massachusetts children in state foster care who are in need of adoptive families.

On Friday morning, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey addressed a crowd of children and families in the George N. Covett Courthouse in Brockton.

"I would like to direct my words to those parents and families who have chosen to adopt a child," Chief Justice Carey said. "Many people go through life talking about helping others and making a difference; you have actually done it, and you have done it in a big way. You have given a child or children a new lease on life. You have chosen to bring a child into your home and your life and to embrace them as your own. What greater gift could one give? Your willingness to open your hearts and your homes is humbling and inspiring."

Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy Nechtem said that National Adoption Day, "is a day that we in the Juvenile Court family look forward to."

"We could not make the heart-wrenching decisions we are called upon each day to make in the Juvenile Court without the confidence in the heroes among us: all of you here today who welcome these beautiful children with open arms into your hearts and homes," Chief Justice Nechtem said.

Other speakers and attendees in Brockton included First Justice James J. Torney of the Barnstable County Juvenile Court; First Justice Kathryn A. White of the Plymouth County Juvenile Court; Judge Kevin R. Connelly of the Plymouth County Probate and Family Court; Department of Children and Families Commissioner Linda S. Spears; and John and Kimberly Gagne, an adoptive family.

At a ceremony at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston, Probate and Family Court Chief Justice Angela Ordoñez said that "for all of the judges who participate in National Adoption Day, it is the best day."

"Today's event makes the dreams of these children come true, as well as the adults who are opening their hearts and their homes. Together we are creating new families, with all of the responsibilities and joys involved in raising children," said Chief Justice Ordoñez.

Other speakers and attendees in Boston included State Representative Daniel Cullinane of the 12th Suffolk District; Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson; Judge Joseph Johnston of the Suffolk  County Juvenile Court; Bridget Chiaruttini, Associate Director of Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange; Kathy Lopes, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Assistant Commissioner for Foster Care, Adoption and Adolescent Services; and Bill and Jill Akins, an adoptive family.

At a ceremony at the Worcester Trial Court, First Justice Carol A. Erskine of the Worcester County Juvenile Court delivered remarks and introduced speakers, including State Senator Michael O. Moore of the Second Worcester District; Robb Zarges, PhD, Executive Director of CASA Project Inc.; Natarsha Webster-Lester, Regional Clinical Director of the Department of Children and Families; and Megan Anges, an adoptee.

After the speaking portion at every location, formal adoption ceremonies began. Children and their adoptive families participated in activities at each of the courthouses throughout the day.

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. The Adoption Day Planning Committee is comprised of court leaders and personnel from the Juvenile Court and Probate & Family Court, as well as staff members from the Department of Children and Families, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and community volunteers.