National Adoption Day




            On Friday November 16, 2012, Massachusetts will celebrate National Adoption Day, with an emphasis on adoption of children from state foster care.  The celebrations will take place at four courthouses across the state, including the Brooke Courthouse in Boston where I spent my time as a judge.

           The Brooke Courthouse is shared by Boston Juvenile Court, Boston Housing Court, Boston Municipal Court and the Suffolk County Probate and Family Court.  These four courts are often places of pain and sorrow.  The pain can hang in the air, throughout the corridors, in the elevators, and inside the courtrooms.  You can see pain in the faces you encounter.  You hear it in the sounds echoing though the hallways:  “Why is that woman crying?”  “Please stop yelling!”  “Call security!”  “Why? Why? Why?” 

            The one day a year when National Adoption Day arrives, it is as though a lamp has been placed in the center of the courthouse and the lamp fills every corner with light, warmth, and love.  Organizations donate balloons and gifts for the children.  The Probation Department of the Probate and Family Court, so accustomed to issuing stern warnings and maintaining order, shows its softer side – donating “Beanie Babies” to the children. There is enough light and love and positive energy generated on National Adoption Day to purge the pain from the building and reenergize the staff for another year.

            In the Boston courthouse, you see the attorneys and social workers of the Department of Children and Families almost daily, doing professional and caring work under the strain of enormous caseloads.  National Adoption Day is their day as well, a testament to their efforts.   

           To learn more about National Adoption Day and adoption from foster care in general, visit the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) website,, or contact MARE at 617-54-ADOPT (617-542-3678) or 1-800-882-1176.  Information on the nationwide celebration is available at

            Here are some photos from the National Adoption Day ceremonies held at the Brooke Courthouse in 2007.  The photos are from the Public Information Office of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.





  An explosion of confetti fills the air of the Brooke Courthouse atrium in celebration of National Adoption Day.
 Suffolk Probate and Family Court First Justice John M. Smoot with adoptive family

Suffolk Juvenile Court Judge Terry M. Craven with family following adoption

Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster entertains adoption advocate Eliot Tatelman of Jordan’s Furniture (second from right) and an adoptive family.

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