On Friday, November 18, McLennan County celebrated Adoption Day, where 36 children in foster care realized their dream of finding a forever family at Baylor Law before McLennan County Judge Nikki Mundkowsky.
McLennan County Department of Families and Child Protective Services, in partnership with the Baylor Public Interest Legal Society (BPILS), Baylor Law faculty, students, staff and friends, organized a Christmas-Holiday-themed event for the dozens of soon-to-be families and friends who waited for their opportunity to finalize their adoptions. This year’s celebration, “Welcome Home for the Holidays,” marking the return of Adoption Day to the law school for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, saw the first floor of the law school converted to a winter wonderland with games, food, and fun activities.
In the Kronzer Courtroom at Baylor Law, applause, laughter, and tears of joy resounded as Waco Mayor Dillon Meek presented a proclamation from the City of Waco and Judge Mundkowsky pronounced each adoption finalized, even allowing many of the adoptees the opportunity to ‘bang the gavel,’ signifying the end to their foster care journey.
“It is an honor for us to once again host this community event here at the Law School,” said Bridget Fuselier, professor of law and faculty sponsor of BPILS. “Many of the kids joining us here today have been dealt a pretty unfair hand in life, but these foster and adoptive parents have shown tremendous love and support for these children and have chosen to make them part of their forever families. We are honored that these adoptive families allowed us to celebrate the culmination of their adoption journeys with them. It was a day of love, joy, and blessings for all involved.”
Since launching its first Adoption Day in 2008, the Law School has seen almost 400 children adopted into more than 200 families.
In the past year, 4,452 children were adopted in the state, including 778 in Central Texas, and 132 in McLennan County, according to the DFPS. 9,607 children throughout the state were removed from their homes as a result of abuse or neglect, including 1,660 children in Central Texas and 171 in McLennan County. More than 2,700 Texas children are still waiting to find permanent homes.
Families looking to adopt can go to AdoptChildren.org for more information.
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Established in 1857, Baylor Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,800 living alumni. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools, Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. Baylor Law boasts among its notable alumni two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court, and members of the Texas Legislature. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as among the best in the nation at No. 2. Baylor Law School also is ranked No. 48 in the magazine’s 2020 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the “Best School for Practical Training” and No. 4 in the nation in its most recent “Best Law School Facilities” listing. Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since its inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law
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