Adoption is a beautiful way for a family to provide for a youth in need. There are children of all ages in need of a forever home. Making sure children are in safe, loving, and permanent families is an important way DSS strengthens families in South Carolina.

The average age of children waiting to be adopted is just under 11 years old

As an adoptive parent you can do so much for a youth:

  • Provide a permanent home and a lifelong commitment to a youth in need.
  • Provide for a youth's emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs.

Your family can give a youth the joy of lifelong love and connection.

Anyone interested in becoming an adoptive parent may call 1-888-828-3555.

The Process of Becoming an Adoptive Parent

Are you ready to learn more? Start by contacting your regional office and trained staff can answer all of your questions about the process. DSS screens all potential adoptive parents and supports approved individuals and families with training and supportive services.

If you’d like to apply to become an adoptive parent, you can expect the process below to unfold with the support of a DSS Adoption Specialist:

  • Make the call and attend an orientation to learn more about the process.

  • If you decide to move forward, attend training to help identify the types of children that would fit into your family.

  • Complete paperwork and home inspections. Submit medical forms and references. Meet with an adoption specialist for interviews in your home as part of the home study process.

  • Join the other approved families being considered for youth with an approved adoptive home study.

  • Selection committee match your family with a youth and shares the full background.

  • If you decide to move forward, meet the youth and begin visitation. When the youth and family are ready, the youth is place in the home.

  • Begin the post placement period, which can continue up to a year.

  • Finalize the adoption in Family Court.

Adoption Preservation services are available upon request after the finalization of the adoption.
Because adoption is a lifelong process, counseling and other referral services may be available to the family as needed at the families’ request.

Additional Resource

SC Heart Gallery

Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.