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Santa Clara County Social Services Agency and Superior Court to Host National Adoption Day

Celebrations to include 50 Adoptions, Recognition of Adopting Families

WHAT:
On the 50th anniversary of Santa Clara County as a public adoption agency, Santa Clara County Social Services Agency and Santa Clara County Superior Court are joining forces to celebrate National Adoption Day. The goal of this day is to enhance public awareness of the need for adoptive parents, to educate would-be parents about the adoptive process, and to celebrate the local families who have opened their lives to children in need of permanent homes. Santa Clara County has been performing adoptions for 50 years, in which 7,102 children have been placed for adoption.

On National Adoption Day courts and communities in all 50 states come together to finalize thousands of adoptions of children and to honor adopting families. Santa Clara County’s Superior Court judges and staff will forgo their regular duties to turn the Downtown Courthouse into “Adoption Central,” where special procedures will be set up to expedite the processing of paperwork and to finalize the placement of up to 50 children into adoptive homes.

WHO:
California State Assembly member Jim Beall
County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors
Santa Clara County Superior Court Presiding Judge Jamie Jacobs-May
Santa Clara County Social Services Agency, Department of Family and Children’s Services, DFCS
Local Adoption Agencies and Adopting Families

WHEN AND WHERE:
“Adoption Central”
Friday, November 19, 2010. Opening Ceremony: 8:30 a.m.
Downtown Courthouse - Jury Assembly Room (First Floor)
191 N. 1st Street, San José, CA
27 judges will finalize approximately 50 adoptions assisted by a cadre of Department of Families and Children’s Services and Court staff.

Annual National Adoption Month Celebration
Saturday, November 20, 2010, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Children’s Discovery Museum, 180 Woz Way, San Jose, CA
(As space is limited, only families who register with Social Services by the November 10 deadline will be able to enjoy full access to the museum celebration).
Department of Families and Children’s Services new and former adoptive parents and their children will join Santa Clara County Social Services in Celebration of National Adoption Month.
Expected: Approximately 400 people, including 60 new and former families with children adopted through DFCS Santa Clara County public adoption agency

Books, toys and activities for children and families. Refreshments at both events.

WHY:
The National Adoption Day Coalition estimates that there are over 510,000 foster care children in the United States, and over 129,000 of them are waiting for adoption.
Since 1987, the number of children in foster care has nearly doubled, and the average time a child remains in foster care has lengthened to nearly three years. Each year approximately 26,000 children in foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a permanent family.

BACKGROUND:
Residents interested in becoming foster parents or adoptive parents should call (408) 299-KIDS. The process includes participation in a 10-week training program called PRIDE and completing a home study program with assistance from the Department of Families and Children’s Services staff. Families and other interested in the foster parent or adoption process can visit the Court’s website at http://www.scscourt.org/self_help/probate/adoption/adoption_home.shtml or the check DFCS information at the Social services Agency’s website: http://www.sccgov.org/sites/ssa

Although proceedings are generally confidential, the Court is allowing media coverage during National Adoption Day to increase public awareness about the adoption process in Santa Clara County. The hearings themselves will be closed, but the court will notify participating families that there will be media representatives present after the hearings and family members may be asked to comment about their experiences, for publication or broadcast. Only those who agree to media interviews will be wearing tags with colored balloons printed on them. The County asks the media to respect individual’s decisions and only approach those who are wearing the balloon tags.

MEDIA DISCLAIMER
Media organizations requesting permission to photograph, record or videotape this event must submit the completed forms MC-500 and MC-510 (Rule 1.150, California Rules of Court) prior to the event. Requests must be faxed to the Court Administration Office at (408) 882-2779 by Thursday, November 18 before 5:00 p.m.


Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Jean Pennypacker, Family Court Resources SCC Superior Court (408) 882-2718; Nicole Huff, Social Services Agency (408) 491-6750
Posted: November 16, 2010