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NAD - with princess smallIn a very special court proceedings, Health and Human Services Secretary Polanowicz was joined by other officials in the Patrick Administration’s celebration of the 11th Annual National Adoption Day. At the Edward Brooke Courthouse in Boston, Secretary Polanowicz remarked that the day not only marked a new life for the children, but “for the families adopting today, they will be realizing their own dreams for a new sense of joy and completion within their families.”

The Edward Brook Courthouse was one of six courthouses that participated in the event and finalized the adoptions of 35 of the 136 children and youth, from infancy to 15 years old, across the Commonwealth in one day.

Nationally, roughly 100,000 children are waiting for adoption, 7,000 of those children are living in foster care in Massachusetts. While most of those in the Commonwealth will return to their birth parents,  over 500 of those children and youth still need a permanent, loving family identified.

Over the past 13 years, 45,000 children have been adopted on this day, giving them stable and safe permanent homes. This celebration highlighted the importance of adoption nationwide and the Commonwealth’s commitment to permanency for all children in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Massachusetts continues to be a leader in providing permanency for children, and DCF’s Permanency Planning Policy provides guidance for casework practice to ensure that safety, permanency, and well-being are accomplished for children in foster care in a timely manner.

“We hope that today’s events will promote awareness and inspire others to get involved, and find about more about how they can help a child in foster care find a loving family” Secretary Polanowicz remarked.

The Commonwealth has a proud history in promoting awareness around the need for adoptive families. In 1976, Massachusetts was the first state to declare Adoption Week. After growing in popularity, President Reagan proclaimed the first-ever National Adoption Week in 1984. Eleven years later, in 1995, President Clinton expanded it to the entire month of November. National Adoption Day is now a national effort to raise awareness of the 114,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families.

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