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November is National Adoption Month

FILE (VIA PIXABAY)

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and the S.C. Department of Social Services is highlighting the opportunity to create a forever family for one of the state’s waiting children.

There are 566 children legally available for adoption in South Carolina. That’s 566 young people who could make a couple a family, bring life into an empty home or become a big brother or sister.

“Every child deserves to be part of a loving family,” said DSS Director Susan Alford. “Adopting a child from foster care gives hope to all of South Carolina’s most vulnerable children.”

Several large adoption events are planned, including a day of final adoption hearings in Charleston on Nov. 3, followed by a celebration for all adoptive families from 2017.

DSS and the judiciary are working together on another “Adoption Day” in December, during which a large number of adoptions will be finalized in Anderson, Columbia and Conway on the same day.

Gov. Henry McMaster also issued a proclamation declaring November Adoption Month.

“There are hundreds of young people in South Carolina in need of a family, and we all know of the caring nature of the people of this great state,” McMaster said. “We ask that if you have ever considered adoption and believe it’s a viable option for you and your family, please contact DSS and see what options are available for you.

The average age of children waiting to be adopted is between 10-11 years old. In 2016, 438 families finalized adoptions, with an average for 2016-2017 of about 37 each month.

If you have ever considered adopting a child, make a call today. Here’s what you can expect in the five steps to a forever family:

·         Make the call to Heartfelt Calling, (888) 828-3555, and fill out an application. (www.heartfeltcalling.org)

·         Attend training to help identify the types of children that would best fit into your family.

·         Meet with an adoption specialist for interviews in your home. Submit medical forms and references. Complete your home’s fire and sanitation inspections.

·         Selection committee matches your family with a child and shares the full background.

·         Meet the child and begin visitation. When child and family are ready, the child is placed in the home. You are now on the way to your final adoption day!

You can find more information about South Carolina’s waiting children at www.scheartgallery.org  and www.dss.sc.gov/adoptions.

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