More than four dozen foster care children will be adopted during a series of hearings today at the Riverside Historic Courthouse in celebration of National Adoption Day.
For the fourth straight year, the Riverside County Superior Court is taking part in ceremonies, during which the adoption process will be finalized for 53 children and 28 families, according to court officials.
More than 300 adoption day events are planned in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
Since National Adoption Day began 11 years ago, more than 35,000 children have been adopted from foster care on that day, according to the National Adoption Day Coalition.
The event, traditionally held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is intended to raise awareness about the roughly 114,000 children in foster care who are eligible for adoption, according to organizers.
The court and county Department of Public Social Services are coordinating today’s proceedings.
During the hearings, slated to run all morning, judges and commissioners will complete the adoption process for the children, who range in age from eight months to 16 years old, court officials said.
With the consent of the adoptive families, the normally closed-door hearings will be open to the public, including media.
Refreshments will be served, and volunteers with the nonprofit group Building Bears for Other Kids will distribute Teddy bears to each adopted child, organizers said.