Thirty children will take their first step into a new life on National Adoption Day, a day where Lake County Juvenile Court is open to the public to witness and celebrate with families and their newly adopted kids.
It's a day that Tracey Miller, the adoption champion for Lake County, said is cherished for the rest of the children and family's lives.
“The energy in the Lake County Juvenile Justice Center is contagious and like no other day of the year,” Miller said. “Some of these children have been waiting years to be adopted and for them to finally know they are wanted and loved unconditionally is a great reason to celebrate.”
From 8:30 a.m. to noon on Nov. 16, the Lake County Juvenile Court will open its doors for National Adoption Day, with refreshments and a guest speaker.
Miller said the public, adoptive parents, children, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and case mangers from the Indiana Department of Child Services and Court Appointed Special Advocate come together every year for the event.
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While 30 children seems like a lot, it's only a small dent compared to how many children are in need of adoptive families.
“The need for children looking for forever families in Lake County is great,” Miller said. “There are over 150 children in foster care in Indiana waiting to be adopted. Their parents' rights have already been terminated. A large portion of those kids are from the Region, although families in Lake County can adopt children from anywhere in the state.”
Miller said people who are interested in adopting can visit www.adoptachild.in.gov for more information on the process. To witness the real-life joy of adoption, Miller said there's no better day than Nov. 16.
“Being there in the courthouse with all the families evokes feelings like nothing else,” Miller said. “As the adoption champion for Lake County, I work for the Indiana Adoption Program with DCS all year long informing the public and recruiting parents for the children waiting to be adopted. This day of adoption affirms the work that all of us put into these children. I feel inspired, elated, passionate and pure joy for the families.”