Madison County's court system will participate in National Adoption Day on Nov. 23, where nationally, thousands of adoptions of children currently in foster care are finalized.
Associate Judge Martin Mengarelli, presiding judge of Madison County's Juvenile Division and chair of this year's Adoption Day ceremony, said the observance is a celebration for children who have found their "forever" homes and to raise awarenss of the 123,000 children in foster care throughout the country.
“Putting the pieces together to create a new family is one of the most important services the Courts can provide," Mengarelli stated in a press release.
Mengarelli said this will be Madison County's fourth year celebrating the occasion and "we are excited to see the event grow bigger each year.”
The release also indicated this year's observance will see an unprecedented number of courts and communities in all 50 states participating.
It goes on to state that many children in foster care wait three or more years before being adopted and that one in five children will age out of foster care without ever being adopted.
In 2017 and 2018 Madison County’s National Adoption Day were the largest events in the State of Illinois and second largest in the nation with 45 children being adopted each year on that day.
In addition to Judge Mengarelli, Circuit Judges David Dugan and Sarah Smith and Associate Judges Maureen Schuette, Veronica Armouti, A. Ryan Jumper and Ronald Foster will be presiding over the adoptions this day.
Mengarelli will open the proceedings in Courtroom 327 at the Madison County courthouse at 10 a.m. The courthouse will open at 9 a.m.
Tom Cinque, from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, will be performing magic for the children, there will be superheroes walking the halls, face painting, balloon artist, children ID’s and refreshments.