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DSS Reports Record Number of Adoptions in 2019


February 5, 2020


Catherine Fulford

(803) 898-7835



DSS Reports Record Number of Adoptions in 2019


The South Carolina Department of Social Services reports the highest number of adoptions in over five years, with 570 children finding their forever homes in 2019.


These numbers show an increase of 108 more adoptions between 2018 and 2019, which reflects a 23% increase in adoptions over the course of one year.


DSS State Director Michael Leach said, “Every child deserves the chance to grow up in a home where they feel safe, loved and protected and many would benefit from adoption.”


As the state enters into a new decade, more than 4,300 children are in the state’s foster care system and hundreds of them are currently legally free for adoption and waiting for a permanent place to call home – a “forever family.” The SC Department of Social Services reports that many of these children are older youth, primarily ages 10-15.


Additionally, children who are medically fragile, those who require higher levels of care, adolescents and older youth are consistently among those who remain in the foster care system for longer periods of time. “It’s a fact that fewer families adopt older youth, who linger in foster care and are most likely to age out of the system without the support and safety net they need,” Leach said.


Families interested in adoption can view online profiles of South Carolina’s waiting children at SCDSS Adoptions, the SC Heart Gallery, and AdoptUSKids. SCDSS has improved services and timeframes by creating a new system that responds to families within three days of an initial inquiry. Now, families already approved to adopt are notified within two weeks if they are a potential match with a child and final selection from all potential matches are made within 30 days.

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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.