UNION COUNTY, NJ — The happiest day of the year at Union County Courthouse may have been on Friday, Nov. 20, as newly adopted children and their families kicked off a new era in their lives during Union County’s 8th annual Adoption Day celebration.
“Every year, the goals of our event are to finalize multiple adoptions, to have a celebration for and of the families who adopt, to publicize the need for adoptive homes as well as adoption as an option,” said Jane Phillips, a Court Services Supervisor. “We also invited families in Union County, who had adopted throughout the year, for the celebration.”
The festive, lively event was one of many statewide in anticipation of National Adoption Day, which was on Saturday, Nov. 21, and featured the finalization of 12 county adoptions, which were presided over by three of the courthouse’s judges.
All of the children were presented with gifts, and not only by event organizers. A girl who was adopted at last year’s celebration became an author in the interim, writing a book about her experiences as an adopted child for her Girl Scout Silver Award.
When she returned to the courthouse for another edition of Adoption Day, she handed out copies of the book and read aloud to a rapt audience.
“She was very positive about her life, as an adopted child, and her message resonated with the children,” said Phillips. “You couldn’t hear a pin drop in here.”
Across the state, 678 children were adopted on the eventful day, with Essex County’s 101 cases leading the way.
But as of Wednesday, Sept. 30, there were 7,288 children with the status of “out of home placement” in New Jersey, according to Phillips. That’s why Union County’s Adoption Day featured a bevy of information booths, said Phillips, so that everyone is aware of the important statistics concerning adoption.
“Agencies are here, family and child services are here, to provide post-adoptive counseling to the families,” said Phillips. “In addition, we have an adoption information fair in the front rotunda. We have representatives from 11 adoption agencies here, with information to families on the services they provide.”