Nebraska’s Engagement in National Adoption Day Exceeds Most States

Nebraska’s Engagement in National Adoption Day Exceeds Most States

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Only Michigan, Texas and Washington engaged in more celebrations than Nebraska, according to the events listed on the NationalAdoptionDay.org events webpage. Nebraska held Adoption Day celebrations in eight communities across the state. Two counties, Lancaster and Lincoln, celebrated on November 3, and events in Omaha, Norfolk, Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney occurred on November 17, the day generally recognized as National Adoption Day. Scottsbluff held their event on December 8, this year.

Douglas County marked the 19th consecutive year celebrating National Adoption Day at the Douglas-Omaha Civic Center. The Omaha event was hosted by Judge Elizabeth Crnkovich and included 39 adoptions as well as a celebration and fun family activities. Promiseship was involved in event planning and told one family's story on their website.

Hastings also hosted 27 children and their families that finalized adoptions over the past year. The celebration gave families the opportunity to play carnival-themed games and enjoy treats at the Adams County Courthouse.

All of these events, as well as those in KearneyGrand Island and Norfolk, give families a chance to meet and share their similar experiences with others in similar situations.

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says the focus is to reunify families whenever possible, but when that can't happen, adoption into a stable and nurturing family is the next best alternative.

The idea of National Adoption Day began over 20 years ago when Judge Michael Nash, then presiding judge of the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court opened the court on Saturdays to reduce the backlog of adoptions in one of the busiest courts in the nation. He called on court personnel to volunteer their time to assist in finalizing these adoptions.

Nash’s effort caught the attention of several non-profits, including the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. In 2000, the Foundation encouraged cities across the nation to follow suit and open courts for adoption finalization on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Seven cities took part in that first year.

In Nebraska, 542 children were adopted in 2017, throughout the year. Nationally, more than 5,000 adoptions were finalized in 2017 on National Adoption Day, with more than 70,000 children finding forever families on National Adoption Day since its inception.