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Maryland Judiciary
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
2011-D Commerce Park Drive
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
For Immediate Release

Angelita Plemmer

Media Advisory:
Circuit Courts in Maryland Celebrate National Adoption Day

(Nov. 14, 2012) National Adoption Day is Saturday, Nov. 17, and Maryland’s courts will take part in celebrations throughout the week.

National Adoption Day was established in 2000 to raise awareness that there are more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. During last year’s National Adoption Day event, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies and advocates throughout the U.S. helped to finalize the adoptions of thousands of children from foster care while celebrating all adoptive families. Since 2000, nearly 40,000 children have had their adoptions finalized during National Adoption Day events.

National Adoption Day activities in Maryland Circuit Courts include:

Baltimore City
In Baltimore, more than 30 children will become members of their new families Saturday, Nov. 17 at 9:30 a.m. Baltimore City Circuit Administrative Judge Marcella A. Holland, Judge Robert B. Kershaw, and Judge Yvette M. Bryant will preside together over the adoptions in the Ceremonial Courtroom in the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr., Courthouse, 100 N. Calvert St., Baltimore. After the adoptions are finalized, the new families will celebrate together at a reception featuring cake, balloons, face painting, and arts and crafts activities. The newly adopted children will receive personalized gift bags. Baltimore’s event has been coordinated with the Bar Association of Baltimore City, with support from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. The court welcomes photography and videotaping of the event. Families are encouraged to bring their cameras.

Baltimore County
Guests arriving for the Baltimore County Circuit Court National Adoption Day event Saturday, Nov. 17, will be greeted with music by the Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra, which will perform at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the Old Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom, 400 Washington Ave., Towson. Judge Sherrie R. Bailey and Justin J. King will preside over approximately 12 adoptions by 11 families. Robert W. Lazzaro, president of the Baltimore County Bar Association (BCBA) will welcome the families, and the keynote speaker will be adoptive father Gregory Wm. Branch, M.D, director of Health and Human Services for Baltimore County. After the adoptions are finalized, a reception for the families will be held on the Old Courthouse first floor. The reception, which will include light refreshments, face painting, crafts and gifts, is hosted by the Baltimore County Department of Social Services and the members of the BCBA.

Prince George’s County
On Thursday, Nov. 15, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County Administrative Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Judge Beverly J. Woodard, an adoptive parent herself, and Judge Larnzell Martin, Jr., will preside over adoptions, after which families who have finalized adoptions will be formally presented to the court. Public officials and guest speakers include Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and Gloria Brown, director of the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services. Other speakers include adoptive parents Courtnay L. Williams and Mr. and Mrs. Donte Lofton. After the ceremony, a reception will be held for the families, including a presentation of gifts from several bar associations, law practitioners and community businesses and organizations. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom M3400 of the Prince George’s County Courthouse, Upper Marlboro. Cameras and recording devices will be allowed for personal use by the families only. For more information, contact Cheryl Willis, Circuit Court adoption coordinator, (301) 780-8034.

CONTACT: For more information about any of these events, call the Maryland Judiciary Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (410) 260-1488.

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