Beth Cooper said she expects 45 children to be adopted at a local event Friday.

"It's gotten bigger than we thought, and we're really excited about that," said Cooper, a foster care/adoption recruiter in Muskogee and McIntosh counties. "When we started planning, we had 18 kids who were adopted last year. We were striving for 35 kids this year."

A party planned Friday will celebrate the children whose adoption will be finalized in Judicial District 15. November is National Adoption Month. Following Friday's adoptions, a party is scheduled to be held at Grace Episcopal Church, 218 N. Sixth St.

Judicial District 15 covers Muskogee, Cherokee, Wagoner, Adair and Sequoyah counties. Friday's party will be at Grace Episcopal Church, 218 N. Sixth St. Grace Episcopal was picked, because it is the church of District Judge Thomas Alford, who oversees adoption hearings in Muskogee. He will be one of four judges who will be conducting hearings this week.

"It's going to be about 20 families and some are two-, three- or four-sibling groups," Cooper said. "And some of the adoptions will have just one child. Each adoption takes about 30 minutes."

The day starts at 10 a.m. and then breaks for lunch. During lunch, Mayor Bob Coburn will present the following proclamation, "National Adoption Day in Muskogee" at approximately 12:45 p.m. The adoptions, Cooper said, will end at 2:30 p.m. and then the party for the children and their parents will be held at the church.

The private party will have a superhero theme, Cooper said.

"When we started, we thought about what kind of party did we want to have," she said. "Somebody suggested superheroes because even they get adopted. I did a little research, and Superman was adopted from Krypton. We're going to have shirts made that will say: 'Superheroes were adopted and they turned out just fine.' "

Area businesses will be providing food or money for the party.

The original online version of this story has been corrected to say the adoption party is private and not open to the public.

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