Adoption Day 2018
More than two dozen families, including 36 foster children, formalize ‘forever homes’ in time for Christmas.
On Friday, Nov. 16, Baylor Law School, in partnership with McLennan County Department of Families and Child Protective Services, celebrated its 11th annual National Adoption Day with more than two dozen central Texas families as their adoptions were finalized.
Over the past ten years, Baylor Law’s Public Interest Legal Society has planned Adoption Day, making each year special for the children and their families by organizing the festivities around a theme. This year’s theme was “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” as the first floor of the Law School was transformed into a Christmas wonderland.
The 2018 Adoption Day celebration transported adoptive kids and their new families on a magical trip to the North Pole on the Polar Express. There were games, food, and fun for everyone involved. But the moment everyone was waiting for came when McLennan County Judge Nikki Mundkowsky finalized the adoptions of 36 children from foster care.
“We are so honored to have played a part in more than 300 adoptions in the past decade,” said Baylor Law Professor Bridget Fuselier, sponsor of Baylor Law’s Public Interest Society.
“So much more needs to be done,” she said. “Adoption Day is part of a nationwide effort to call attention to the more than 117,000 foster children across the country waiting for adoption.”
Approximately 30,000 children are in foster care in Texas alone, with nearly 4,000 waiting for adoption.
“Many will age out of the system without ever finding a permanent home,” Fuselier said.
The children whose adoptions were finalized during National Adoption Day were removed from their original homes by CPS, and parental rights were terminated. Several children who have officially found their “forever home” have been in foster care for many years.
“Being a small part of a system that can give a child a family – a loving, safe, and supportive family that every child deserves – is a great honor and the highlight of my job,” said Judge Mundkowski. “It is truly incredible to see and feel the culmination of the department’s work, in conjunction with the work of attorneys, others, and families on Adoption Day.”
Over the past decade, over 500 Baylor Law students have volunteered thousands of hours before, during, and after Adoption Day, one of the largest volunteer events at the Law School.