November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about the value of adoption, especially of children and youth in the foster care system. This year Thursday, November 17 has been designated ‘Adoption Day’ in Allen County, a special day to celebrate and honor families who adopt. The Allen County Department of Child Services (DCS) and Allen Superior Court, Family Relations Division, are collaborating with local agencies to celebrate the adoptions of 27 local children. Adoption ceremonies will begin at 8:30 am at the Allen County Courthouse.
Judge Charles Pratt, Allen Superior Court, stated that “Allen County was the first community in Indiana to participate in National Adoption Day when the Allen Superior Court established the observance nine years ago. The day is important for the community as we are all given the opportunity to learn about foster care and the blessings of adoption. But it is far more important because 27 children will become part of a forever family on this day.” The new adoptive families will enjoy light refreshments during a reception, compliments of Indiana Adoption Program. Many community partners will participate, including: Project Linus (providing hand-made blankets), Bow-Tie the Clown, Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES, and SAFY.
This year, Allen Superior Court and Great KIDS produced a music video in celebration of Adoption Day. The video “Shine”, celebrates adoptive families and puts a spotlight on foster care adoptions, especially of hard to place children (older kids, special needs, sibling groups.) The music was written and performed by Fort Wayne band 4 Clicks North. Travis Tracey, guitarist in the band, was adopted as an adolescent. The video is loosely his story, but is also very much the story of many children needing an adoptive home. The message is that these young people have great potential and many talents/passions/interests, and that the love and support of adoptive families is what often allows these kids to “SHINE.” The video was shot primarily at the Allen County Courthouse by 22 year old filmmaker Josiah Duncan, a recent Ball State graduate. The musicians all have ties to IPFW, as current students or recent grads. Also featured in the video are several Allen County adoptive families. The project was funded in part by a grant from Foellinger Foundation and through the Indiana Court Improvement Project. The video will be shown throughout the day and can also be viewed the Great KIDS make Great COMMUNITIES YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClLTv8Y8rPj2KlGHjeSsBDQ
Allen Superior Court is one of sixteen Indiana trial courts celebrating National Adoption Day this year. Special permission has been given by the Indiana Supreme Court for families to record the adoption of their child and to permit local media to record and broadcast the hearings. VIEW SUPREME COURT ORDER: https://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-other-2016-94S00-1606-MS-327.pdfOne adoptive family has consented to have their adoption hearing filmed. Media are invited to attend this hearing at 8:30 am. Other opportunities will be made available as families throughout the day are offered this option.
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming an adoptive parent may contact Jennifer Savage, Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP) Specialist, Department of Child Services at 260-463-3451 x11710.