Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Harrison County Chancery Court celebrates Adoption Day

November 14, 2007

Harrison County Chancery Court will celebrate a special Adoption Day on Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Harrison County Courthouse in Gulfport. November is National Adoption Month.

Multiple adoptions of children in foster care are expected during the afternoon. The number of cases to be presented has not yet been determined.

Chancery Judge Margaret Alfonso, senior judge of the 8th Chancery District, will preside over hearings in chambers to finalize the adoptions.

Formal proceedings in any adoption case are closed to the public. No media coverage will be allowed in chambers as the adoptions are finalized.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the public celebration at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom Number 3 on the second floor of the Harrison County Courthouse in Gulfport. While no list for family interview contacts will be available in advance, members of the media attending the Adoption Day celebration can be put in touch with adoptive parents who may be willing to be interviewed.

Judge Alfonso will be available to talk to members of the media starting at 12:30 p.m. in her chambers behind Courtroom Number 3, or after the adoptions are finalized.

Judge Alfonso said all the children who will be adopted have been in foster care under the supervision of the Department of Human Services. These are children whose biological parents have had their parental rights terminated by the court. The adoptive parents have previously provided foster care for the children.

Judge Alfonso said, “Many of the children have been placed in the home as foster children for a period of time. Adoption makes the relationship permanent. For children who unfortunately cannot be returned to their biological families, adoption is the answer.”

Judge Alfonso said, “This will be a very joyful occasion.” In previous years, adoptive parents as well as members of their extended families have attended the Adoption Day celebration. “It’s wonderful to see that not only is a child getting parents, but the child is being embraced by a whole family. A child is getting a whole family.”

“They are going to loving and safe homes,” Judge Alfonso said. “That’s the goal of anyone who works in protective services for children.”