Today is a special day for four families in Starke County as Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall will be finalizing adoptions for those families.
A ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. CT today when the public is invited to listen to several speakers concerning adoptions. At 1:30 p.m., the adoption hearings will begin. WKVI will be there to witness the adoptions as the Indiana Supreme Court has allowed the proceedings to be covered by the media when they are usually closed to the public.
Starke Circuit Court is one of three courts in Indiana that has been granted permission to allow the media into the courtroom to witness these events. Starke County CASA Director Rhonda Adcock said this is a first.
“It’s very rare for news media to be able to come in and take pictures and be able to even film these final adoption hearings,” said Adcock. “The great thing about that is that this is the happiest thing that ever happens in a courtroom. A child is finally put into a forever family. They’re going to know, once and for all, that this is where I’m going to live for the rest of my life, these people are going to take care of me. For the media to be able to come in and cover that is very exciting.”
Besides the adoption hearings, several organizations will have booths set up on the third floor of the courthouse so visitors can learn more about the adoption process. The Indiana Heart Gallery will be one of those organizations and will feature a display that shows all of the children who need adoptive families. The Indiana Department of Child Services uses the Heart Gallery to help raise awareness about children in foster care in need of a forever home. There are approximately 1,100 foster kids in Indiana currently eligible for adoption and while many will be adopted by a relative or foster parent, DCS is actively seeking adoptive families for a number of them.