On a single day for the last 20 years, the lives of thousands of children in foster care have been forever changed. Saturday, November 23 is National Adoption Day. Thanks to the efforts of adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and attorneys, nearly 70,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day.
Locally, a National Adoption Day Celebration is being celebrated at the Cass County Courthouse on Saturday, November 23. On this day, ten children will have their adoptions finalized with five families. The children are matched with their forever families through the Adults Adopting Special Kids (AASK) Program which is a collaborative program of Catholic Charities North Dakota and PATH ND, INC. In fiscal year 2018, 214 children had their adoptions finalized through the AASK Program. At any given time, the program is working with many children who are currently in foster care awaiting adoption. In 2018, the Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Services (PPAS) Program of Catholic Charities North Dakota placed 15 children into their forever families. Throughout the year, the PPAS program works with women and men experiencing an unintended pregnancy, offering them education and support including parenting resources and adoption information.
Adoptions finalized during the National Adoption Day Celebration in Fargo will be presided over by Honorable John Irby in a rare Saturday morning court session. A press conference is being held at 10:15 a.m. with remarks from Julie Hoffman, ND Department of Human Services, Chip Ammerman, Cass County Social Services and Honorable John Irby, Cass County District Court. The program will feature a speech from an adoptive family who has experienced adoption first hand.