The Baylor Public Interest Legal Society (BPILS) hosted the eighth annual Adoption Day celebration at Baylor Law on Nov. 21. Faculty, students and friends joined in celebrating the adoption of twenty-five children in McLennan County by their new families before the Hon. Gary Coley of the 74th State District Court.
After watching a little boy interact with his new father at Adoption Day the previous year, Lindsey Van Osdell, president of BPILS, says "It was a perfect example of how special Adoption Day is because these families are able to match the legal title of father and mother to their already existing roles as daddy and mommy to these children."
November is National Adoption Awareness month and Baylor Law joins the nationwide effort to call attention to the 129,000 foster children awaiting adoption in the United States. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there are currently 130 children in McLennan County alone who are waiting to be placed with forever families.
"It brings me great joy to be able to play a small role in making sure this day is perfect for these families." said Osdell.
Each year BPILS develops a theme for Adoption Day involving a children's book or movie. This year's theme, "Adoptable Me" was based upon the movie series Despicable Me in which the main character, Gru, adopts three little girls. Baylor Law hosts the event at the law center and creates a fun, celebratory environment for the children and their new families.
Baylor Law students volunteered their time and dressed as several of the film's characters, including the "Minions." The creative and talented law student John Nasta, a former police officer, designed and built an elaborate replica of Gru's home that stood outside of the courtroom for the children and families to walk through and enjoy.
"During my last twenty years as a police officer I have seen the tragedies that many children go through. This was a positive way to help these children start a new life," said Nasta.
Last month, the American Bar Association recognized the Baylor Public Interest Legal Society, under the direction of Professor Bridget Fuselier, for its outstanding public service to the community, and notably, for its work with Adoption Day.
"Practicing law is not just about the law part, there's a big human part to what we do as well. Adoption Day is where you see a very direct impact on someone's life and future by what we have been able to do. At Baylor Law, we believe "to whom much is given, much is expected" and the students continuously rise to that occasion by volunteering and hosting events like Adoption Day," said Professor Fuselier.
To support future Adoptions Days by making a monetary gift or assisting in funding gift baskets, please contact Bridget Fuselier at Bridget_Fuselier@baylor.edu.