By Brittany Hardy
National Adoption Day is Saturday, Nov. 20. Locations around the nation will be celebrating it -- and Baylor Law School is no exception.
For the law school, however, the Adoption Day celebration is scheduled to take place on Friday, Nov. 19, from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. For the third year in a row, Baylor Law School will celebrate with entire families as their adoptions become finalized. This year 14 families will be finalizing the adoption of their 26 children.
"It's one of our biggest years," said Bridget Fuselier, associate professor of law and faculty sponsor of the Baylor Law's Public Interest Society.
The Public Interest Legal Society has primarily organized Adoption Day, from soliciting donations for the gift baskets to decorating the morning of Adoption Day and to entertaining the children and serving food for the families.
The children who will be adopted were removed from their original homes by CPS and parental rights were terminated. Many of the children who are being adopted have been in foster care for many years.
"It's a new start with a family who loves them and really wants them. It's really an honor on our part to get to participate in the big day," Fuselier said.
For these families, and all who are involved in the event, it is not simply a judicial process, but an occasion for celebration. Judge Gary Coley will be presiding. As each adoption is finalized, Coley encourages the child to get up on the bench and excitedly bang the gavel, then officially become a part of a new family.
This year the theme is "Toy Story." "Toy Story"-themed gift baskets will be given to each of the families. The "Toy Story" movies will be playing in the student lounge. Baylor's Kappa Omega Tau fraternity, who performed a "Toy Story" skit for Pigskin Review, will be on hand in their costumes to take pictures with the children. Additionally, Bruiser (Baylor's costumed mascot) will make an appearance.
Each family also receives an individual cake so that the celebration will continue, a bit more privately, when they return home.
Judicial proceedings will take place in the Kronzer Court Room at Baylor Law School, while other activities will take place in the Student Lounge.