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

Jackson County adoption celebrations set for Nov. 8 and Nov. 19

November 6, 2019

Eighteen foster children in Jackson County will be adopted during two Adoption Day ceremonies scheduled for Nov. 8 and Nov. 19 at the Old Jackson County Courthouse in Pascagoula.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph will attend the ceremony which will celebrate the adoption of eight children at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 8. On Nov. 19 at 8:30 a.m., Commissioner of Child Protection Services Jess H. Dickinson, former Presiding Justice of the Supreme Court, will recognize adoptive parents and 10 children.

Sixteenth District Senior Chancellor D. Neil Harris, Chancellor Tanya Hasbrouck and Chancellor Mark Maples will approve the adoptions.

“It is a happy occasion,” said Judge Hasbrouck. “Our goal is to provide families to as many foster children as possible.”

Senior Jackson County Court and Youth Court Judge Sharon Sigalas said, “These are exciting days for these parents and children.” Judge Sigalas has monitored the progress of the adoptive parents and children through foster care.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, said Judge Harris. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week in 1984. President Bill Clinton declared the month of November as National Adoption Awareness Month in 1995.

Judge Harris said, “While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care.”

Courtroom proceedings in adoptions are ordinarily closed to the public. Media are invited to the ceremony. Media should ask the Court for permission before photographing or videotaping children.

Several courts scheduled mass adoption days during November. The Eighth Chancery Court held its Adoption Day on Nov. 5 in Gulfport. A total of 38 children were adopted that day, said Chancellor Margaret Alfonso.

Judge Alfonso said, “Many of these kids told me that they consider it their new birthday. The older children have looked forward to this day. They were excited. They got a new last name. It was a joyous occasion for the families and the extended family, CPS workers and CASAs that were present.” CASAs are court appointed special advocates for children.

Many of the Eighth Chancery adoptive parents started their journey through Rescue 100 at Michael Memorial Baptist Church in Gulfport, said Judge Alfonso. Rescue 100 began in 2015 as an effort to recruit and train foster parents. The Rescue 100 program spread across the state as a way to meet the need for licensed foster parents. Rescue 100 was a collaborative effort among government, the faith-based community and the private sector.