DETROIT (WWJ) – Courtrooms don’t usually feature laughing children, beaming parents, teddy bears or balloons. But on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, happy families will be seen celebrating in many Michigan courtrooms.
In what is now a holiday tradition for many local family courts, Michigan Adoption Day will be celebrated on November 26. Thirty Michigan counties will participate, finalizing the adoptions of about 80 children.
Lauren Howard, who is in charge of Juvenile adoptions in the Oakland County court system, said many courts will be finalizing adoptions and others will hold informational events to reach potential adoptive parents.
“All of our judges will take the bench and each one finalizes an adoption,” Howard told WWJ’s Laura Bonnell.
The statewide adoption day is something Howard said most judges look forward too all year.
“Judges always put a lot of effort into it and finalize adoptions, and then we have a big party for everybody,” she said.
Judge Dorene Allen, from Midland, said the annual event provides a valuable window into the adoption process.
“Adoption finalization hearings are usually private,” Allen said in a statement. “But on Adoption Day, the participating courts open these hearings to the public. We are allowed to witness the joy of the adoptive families, and to hear their stories. We hope the experience inspires others to consider adoption and will call attention to the needs of the young people who remain in foster care.”
For more information on adoptions, visit www.mare.org.