National Adoption Day in Tarrant County

November 24, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas -- National Adoption Day is a nationwide event and effort to raise awareness for more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for a permanent and loving family.

Texas A&M School of Law Students at National Adoption Day in Tarrant CountyTexas A&M School of Law students were part of National Adoption Day at the Tarrant County Family Law Center.
Photo by Erin Vande Zande (Purpletree Studios)

On Nov. 21, Texas A&M University School of Law students took part in Tarrant County’s National Adoption Day, serving alongside practicing attorneys for the families, finalizing many adoptions. During this annual event, courts and attorneys waive all fees to consummate adoptions for dozens of foster children at the Tarrant County Family Law Center in downtown Fort Worth.

Texas A&M Law 2L Amanda Martinez, who was adopted on National Adoption Day in 2006 at the age of 16, was one of the students to help at the event. “Volunteering, to me, gave me a sense of purpose,” Martinez said.

“When I met my attorney ad litem, and I saw how hard he fought for my sisters and me, I knew I wanted to be that person one day.” Martinez hopes to one day open her own solo law firm that specializes in same-sex adoptions, CPS cases and reproductive law.

“National Adoption Day is important because I feel people forget what these children have been through,” Martinez stressed. “Many have bounced around from home to home, and they have lived lives that they did not choose. This day means all that can come to an end, and the children being adopted can begin a normal childhood.”

In total, 63 children were adopted into 45 forever families during this year’s event in Tarrant County.

Hands-on Experience

The Aggie law students participating in National Adoption Day gained significant hands-on training in family court adoption proceedings while donating valuable pro bono service hours to the community. The students, standing with the children and their new families, proved-up the adoptions in front of the judge. During the fall semester, they prepared the legal adoption documents under the supervision of mentor lawyers.

The 21 Texas A&M Law students taking part in National Adoption Day:
Jessica Juarez, Mildred Ashley, Danielle Bateni, Danielle Bonanno, Blake Campbell, Kayla Carroll, Ashley Conyers, Syble Davidson, Alexis Garcia, Carrie Green, Ryan Gubler, Emily Hindman, Candice Hughes, Tricia Inting, Adrian Jackson, Chelsea Johnson, Amanda Martinez, Chanel Rafie, Cassie Rosales, John Setzer, and Kirby Wallace

Texas A&M School of Law students Adrian Jackson and Amanda Martinez with the Tarwarter family at National Adoption Day in Tarrant County
Texas A&M School of Law students Adrian Jackson (top left) and Amanda Martinez (bottom left) with the newly expanded Tarwarter family. The Tarwaters adopted the three brothers, keeping them together, at the National Adoption Day event.
Photos by Christy Cleger, Texas A&M School of Law Marketing Coordinator
Texas A&M School of Law student Chelsea Johnson assists during National Adoption Day
Texas A&M School of Law student Danielle Bonanno assists during National Adoption Day
In courtrooms filled with balloons and new families, Aggie Law students Chelsea Johnson (top) & Danielle Bonanno (bottom), prove-up the adoptions before the judge.