News and Tribune

December 29, 2013

Dolls on the docket in Jeffersonville

Clark County Court hosts adoption ceremony for local children

By BRADEN LAMMERS
braden.lammers@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — More than twenty adoptions took place Saturday morning in Clark County and those adopted included a bear, a chameleon and an abominable snowman.

Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael and several members of her court staff held ceremonies for children in Clark County to adopt their dolls. It was the seventh year Carmichael had hosted the adopt-a-doll program and the kids that adopted their dolls received a certificate and took an oath to love and care for the adoptee.

Carmichael said her court has been hosting the program since she was voted in as judge and it is part of a community outreach effort.

“I think it’s good because it gives people a sense of what goes on in a courtroom,” Carmichael said. “Courtrooms aren’t always scary places, sometimes good things happen in courtrooms. I think it gives kids a sense of obligation, a sense of, ‘I need to take care of something,’” she said of the purpose of the adoptions.

Jeffersonville resident Angie Monroe brought her three daughters and their dolls to the courthouse to see a courtroom and meet a judge.

Danielle, 11, was adopting her doll McKenna, and Kaitlyn and Lauren, both 9, were adopting their dolls Lucy and Aubrey.

“I just think it’s a cute process, I think it’s sweet,” Monroe said of the adopt-a-doll ceremony. “It’s an opportunity to come see the courthouse and meet the judge and just something sweet for kids.”

Monroe agreed that it was nice to allow the kids access to the courtroom so it becomes a less intimidating place. She said that she was also appreciative of the court’s and Carmichael’s time spent hosting the program.

“Judge Carmichael came in on a Saturday to spend time with children in the community and any time any public official does that it starts a good relationship with the community,” Monroe said.

While it was their first trip to the courtroom to adopt a doll, the girls agreed they have more dolls at home that they would like to bring in and adopt.

For many of the other attendees, including Summer Tait, 8, it was not the first time they had come in to adopt a doll.

Tait said she wanted to come back and adopt her stuffed animal Biscuit this year because it’s fun. Last year Tait adopted Pooh Bear.

“You actually get to adopt something and you get to see what a real courtroom looks like and what they do in it,” Tait said of why she wanted to participate in the program again.

Tait knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the process: She is an adopted child. She was adopted by her grandparents Deborah and Harley Read, Jeffersonville, who brought her to the courthouse Saturday.

“I think this is a great educational thing for kids,” Deborah Read said.

The Reads said it was their granddaughter’s choice to come back and participate again.

“She wanted to do it,” Harley Read said.

He said Carmichael passed out notice at church that the program was going to be held Saturday and the first thing Tait said was she wanted to do it again.