By Ashley Browning
Saturday marked the celebration of National Adoption Day, which promotes the need for adoption and awareness of children awaiting adoption.
To honor of this event, the Indiana Supreme Court allows photographs and videos to be taken of uncontested adoption cases occurring around this day.
This unique opportunity allowed families, and even press, to capture the moment when children legally gained a family — a moment ordinarily prohibited due to restrictions on capturing courtroom proceedings.
Elyse McGill, a local adoptive mother, said relaxing the rules are a good thing.
“I think it’s awesome that they are allowing photography to document this,” she said. “It’s like bringing home your newborn child from the hospital; you want to remember it.”
McGill first met her adoptive daughter, Hannah, during her 25th birthday party, to which a friend had invited Dennis McGill, Hannah’s father and Elyse’s future husband. Hannah was 7 years old at the time.
Dennis and Elyse married two years later, making Elyse Hannah’s stepmother. Over the next five years, though, Hannah asked Elyse three times to adopt her.
Elyse initially resolved to give Hannah’s birth mother the opportunity to better her relationship with her biological daughter. When that didn’t work out, Elyse looked into adoption. After Hannah’s third request, Elyse called a lawyer to start work on adopting Hannah. The adoption was legalized in June 2015.
This is but one example of adoption. Each child has their own story and their own circumstances surrounding their adoption. It is for this reason that National Adoption Day was set in place, to draw attention to those children who still lack a family, and hopefully promote the practice of adoption.
Ashley Browning is a senior at Jennings County High School.