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Circuit Court of Cook County Supports
National Adoption Saturday

CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2000 -- Cook County Chief Judge Donald P. O’Connell today announced the Circuit Court of Cook County will participate in National Adoption Saturday by holding adoption proceedings in the Richard J. Daley Center on Saturday, November18, 2000. “The aim of National Adoption Saturday is to draw attention to the need for more foster child adoptions,” said Chief Judge O’Connell. “The Circuit Court of Cook County is proud to join jurisdictions across the United States in support of this worthy effort to encourage prospective parents contemplating adoption to first consider a foster child.” National Adoption Saturday is a nationwide celebration of the adoption process planned by The Alliance for Children’s Rights, which is based in Los Angeles, California. Other jurisdictions that have agreed to participate in National Adoption Saturday include Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; Omaha, Nebraska; and Washington, D.C. Ten adoption cases will be heard on National Adoption Saturday, November 18, 2000, beginning at 10 a.m. in County Division Courtroom 1703 in the Richard J. Daley Center, according to County Division Presiding Judge Michael J. Murphy, Child Protection Division Presiding Judge Patricia Martin Bishop, and Juvenile Justice Division Presiding Judge Curt Heaston. Judge Murphy explained that the County Division uses a one-day adoption process to eliminate multiple court appearances by the adopting family. “Our Division’s streamlined process allows for the efficient finalization of adoption cases,” said Judge Murphy. Judge Murphy, whose own parents were both adopted, said that the number of adoption cases in cook county has more than doubled in the last five tears, from 2,231 in 1995 to 5,231 in 1999. Child Protection Division Presiding Judge Patricia Martin Bishop and Juvenile Justice Division Presiding Judge Curtis Heaston expressed the court’s appreciation to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, local adoption agencies, the Office of the Clerk and the Office of the Sheriff for their cooperation in making National Adoption Saturday possible. Joining Judges Murphy, Heaston and Martin Bishop for the announcement of the Circuit Court’s participation in National Adoption Saturday were the following Juvenile Justice Division judges: Judge Martin S. Agran, Judge Rodney Hughes Brooks, Judge Christopher J. Donnelly, Judge Stuart F. Lubin and Judge Richard F. Walsh. The following County Division Judges also attended: Judge Marsha D. Hayes, Judge Marcia Maras and Judge Edward P. O’Brien. Also present was Jess McDonald, director, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. At the conclusion of today’s announcement in the Circuit Court’s waiting room for adoptive families, Circuit Court judges presented a stuffed toy teddy bear to each child whose adoption case was scheduled for today. The large, spacious waiting room provides a pleasant area in which adoptive families may wait for their cases to be called. Cheerfully decorated in soft colors with a large mural depicting families of all races, the room contains child-sized tables and chairs, toys, books and two computers with games. Other amenities include a kitchen where baby bottles ma be stored and warmed, a private restroom with a diaper changing station and a large window that looks into the adoption courtroom to give children a chance to become familiar with the courtroom before they enter. Seating is also available for adults. The teddy bears presented today were from the Comfort for Court Kids, Inc., a nonprofit corporation headquartered in Monterey, California. Children adopted on National Adoption Saturday also will receive the stuffed toy teddy bears.

For Further Information Contact: Communications Tel: 312-814-6847 Fax: 312-814-2783

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