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!