FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Circuit Court of Cook County supports National Adoption Day
Released On 11/16/2001
Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and County Division Presiding Judge Michael J. Murphy announced that today's adoption proceedings in the Daley Center will be held in support of the second annual National Adoption Saturday, November 17, 2001, a nation wide event in which 16 jurisdictions throughout the U.S. will expedite adoptions of hundreds of foster children with Saturday court sessions to help clear case backlogs. Last year's event finalized nearly 1,100 adoptions in the United States with more than 1,500 adoptions expected to be finalized this year.
National Adoption Saturday is organized by the Alliance for Children's Rights, a non-profit free legal services organization devoted solely to helping children living in poverty and in foster care. It is headquartered in Los Angeles. Adoptions will take place on November 17 in Dallas, Danville, Pennsylvania, Des Moines, El Paso, Fort Worth, Ithaca, New York, Los Angeles, New York City, Omaha, Pittsburg, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
"The Circuit Court of Cook County is fortunate not to have a case backlog where adoptions are concerned due to the streamlined adoption process employed in the County Division," said Chief Judge Evans. "The court is nonetheless delighted to take this opportunity to join jurisdictions across the United States in focusing public attention on the need for more foster adoptions."
Twenty-five adoption cases will be heard on November 16, 2001, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in County Division Courtroom 1703 in the Richard J. Daley Center, according to County Division Presiding Judge Michael J. Murphy, who added he will be alternating hearing adoption cases that day along with Child Protection Division Presiding Judge Patricia Martin Bishop, County Division Judge Marcia Maras and Juvenile Justice Division Presiding Judge Curtis Heaston. Murphy also said that Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown will perform the functions of courtroom clerk for the afternoon call.
Among the children whose adoptions are being initiated today are DCFS foster children of various ages, a three-year old girl from China, a set of one-year old twin girls from the republic of Azerbaijan and a six-month old Korean girl.
Judge Murphy explained that the County Division uses a one-day adoption process to eliminate multiple court appearances by the adopting family. "Our division's streamlined process allows for the efficient finalization of adoption cases," said Judge Murphy. Judge Murphy, whose own parents were both adopted, said that 4,069 adoption cases were finalized in Cook County in 2000.
Child Protection Division Presiding Judge Patricia Martin Bishop and Juvenile Justice Division Presiding Judge Curtis Heaston expressed the court's appreciation to Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, local adoption agencies, and the Office of the Sheriff for their participation in the court's National Adoption Day activities.
Judge Murphy also noted that teddy bears will be presented today to all children attending adoption proceedings. The bears were donated by Comfort for Court Kids®, Inc., a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Monterey, California. All family members will receive a tee-shirt donated by the Alliance for Children's Rights.