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Six children to be adopted into Cass County families

Published 9:01am Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Four local families will enter the Cass County Circuit courthouse Tuesday afternoon, leaving not with a jail sentence or a fine, but with a new addition to their household.

Six children will leave the state’s foster care system and officially become part of new Cass County home during Michigan’s Adoption Day, which takes place this Tuesday. Held every year on the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, Adoption Day is a celebration of the final step in the foster care system.

In addition to finalizing a number of adoptions in participating county courts, parties will be held to celebrate the children’s entry into their adoptive families, and special guest speakers will be on hand to speak on the importance of adoption. The day is part of an effort by the Michigan Court System to educate about the state’s adoption process.

Tuesday will mark the 11th occasion that Cass County has participated in the celebration. Judge Susan Dobrich, Cass County’s probate judge, will officiate over tomorrow’s adoption ceremonies.

“She’s the one who initially started it here in Cass County,” said Donna Dodd, the county’s probate register. “I’ve been helping her with it since it began 11 years ago, and I can tell you she really cares about the day.”

While two of the children up for adoption tomorrow will be formally adopted by their grandparents, four of the children will enter entirely new homes, Dodd said. The kids will range in ages from one to six, she added.

Also on hand in the courtroom tomorrow will be officials with some of the state’s largest adoption agencies, like Bethany Christian Services and Lutheran Adoption. However, Dodd said that the main focus of Tuesday’s proceedings will be on the children and their new families.

“These children need the type of permanency that adoptive families can provide,” she said.

With 30 county courts participating Tuesday, Michigan is on track to have the largest adoption day of any state in the country. Around 80 children are expected to enter new adoptive families throughout the day.

According to the Michigan Department of Human Services, 13,402 of the state’s children are in foster homes, 3,000 of whom have a goal of adoption. In Cass County, an average of 30 adoptions take place every year, according to Dodd.

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