EDWARDSVILLE – For the second year in a row, the Madison County Courthouse in Edwardsville will join hundreds of courthouses across the country and open their doors on Saturday, November 18 for a very special reason – to finalize the adoptions of 45 children in foster care who have been waiting for permanent, loving homes on National Adoption Day.

Chief Circuit Judge David Hylla, Judge Maureen D. Schuette, Judge Sarah D. Smith, Judge Janet R. Heflin, Judge Martin J. Mengarelli and Judge David W. Dugan, adoption attorneys and Illinois DCFS staff will come together to make the day memorable for these new families. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. and the finalizations will begin at 10 a.m. A celebration, including refreshments and activities for the children, will follow.

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"Since last November, Illinois DCFS has helped more than 1,700 children find forever families," said DCFS Acting Director B.J. Walker. "We are excited to celebrate the families that are becoming complete today and encourage others to adopt."

National Adoption Day, held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is a collective, national effort to raise awareness of the more than 110,000 youth in foster care who are waiting for families to call their own. National Adoption Day events are also taking place in Rockford and Chicago.

National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies, advocates and policymakers to finalize adoptions and create and celebrate adoptive families. Since its inception in 2000, National Adoption Day has helped nearly 65,000 children across the country move from foster care to forever families. Last year approximately 4,700 children were adopted on this special day.