PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2016
National Adoption Day Events to be Held in Three Courthouses Across the State
More than 100 children who have been in state foster care will be formally adopted in three courthouses across the Commonwealth as part of National Adoption Day, an annual event to raise awareness of the thousands of Massachusetts children in need of adoptive families.
This year, the main media site location is at the George N. Covett Courthouse in Brockton. First Justice James J. Torney of the Barnstable County Juvenile Court, will host the event and deliver opening remarks introducing this year's speakers, including Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey, Juvenile Court Chief Justice Amy L. Nechtem, 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 the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston, Bridget Chiaruttini, Associate Director of Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, will deliver opening remarks. Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, will speak and moderate the event, and will introduce this year's speakers, including Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh; Probate and Family Court Chief Justice Angela Ordoñez; First Justice Terry Craven of the Suffolk County Juvenile Court, State Representative Daniel Cullinane of the 12th Suffolk District; and Kathy Lopes, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Assistant Commissioner for Foster Care, Adoption and Adolescent Services.
At the Worcester Trial Court, First Justice Carol A. Erskine of the Worcester County Juvenile Court will deliver remarks and introduce 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 will begin. Media should be advised that each site will have designated “media families” who are willing to be interviewed and have their photos taken before and during the adoption ceremony, but permission should still be sought from individual families. Children and their adoptive families will participate 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. 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, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and community volunteers.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Opening ceremonies will begin at the times listed below at each courthouse. Formal adoptions in Juvenile and Probate & Family Court courtrooms will follow the ceremonies:
Brockton (media site) – George N. Covett Courthouse at 9:30 a.m.
Boston – Edward W. Brooke Courthouse at 9:30 a.m.
Worcester – Worcester Trial Court at 9:15 a.m.