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National Adoption Month in South Carolina Highlights Need for Families for Older Youth

Contact: 803-898-7602


November 1, 2021

National Adoption Month in South Carolina Highlights Need for Families for Older Youth

Columbia, S.C. - Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed November as Adoption Month and the state is recognizing Monday, November 22 as Adoption Day in South Carolina. The day is set aside for day-long hearings in South Carolina’s Family Courts to finalize adoptions in four judicial circuits. Sixty-three (63) children are scheduled to be adopted by 43 families on that day in courthouses in Anderson, Charleston, Horry, and Sumter Counties.

As National Adoption Month begins, 168 children in the state’s foster care system are legally free for adoption and waiting for a permanent place to call home – a forever family. The South Carolina Department of Social Services reports that 118 of these youths are ages 10-17 and represent the agency’s greatest need of providing permanency to this population.  

“Every child deserves to live and grow in a loving, caring, and supportive home,” said Michael Leach, DSS State Director. “We are grateful to those who take children in and make them part of their forever family. We also recognize the great need for families to adopt older youth, who often age out of the system before finding homes. Making these connections help them to become independent, productive adults.”

All year long, SCDSS works diligently with community partners to find families that best match the unique needs of every child awaiting adoption. November offers the chance to join the U.S. DHHS Children’s Bureau’s efforts to increase awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children and youth in foster care. This year’s national theme, “Every Conversation Matters,” emphasizes the need to secure safe and stable family connections for older youth and teens.

“Adoption Month is an opportunity to recognize those who choose to adopt while amplifying the numerous ways South Carolinians can get involved in the adoption process,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “I encourage all South Carolinians to learn more about the adoption process and the joy that comes from providing for a child in need.”

Here are key steps in becoming a forever family for a young person:

  • Make the call to HeartFelt Calling, (888) 828-3555, and fill out an application or visit
  • Attend training to help identify what makes your family the best fit for a waiting young person.
  • Meet with an adoption specialist for interviews in your home. Submit medical forms and references. Complete your home’s fire and sanitation inspections.
  • A selection committee matches a young person with your family and shares their full background and unique needs.
  • Meet the young person and begin getting to know each other with visits and overnight stays. You are now on the way to your final adoption day!

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.

Throughout the month of November, DSS will be highlighting the stories of parents who are opening their homes and hearts and expanding their families through adoption on the agency’s social media channels.

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Editor’s Note: For planning purposes, SC DSS will not be coordinating media coverage at the courthouses on Adoption Day, November 22nd. If a media outlet would like to attend Adoption Day, please call Court Administration at (803) 734-1584. To set up interviews with adoptive families, please contact or 803-898-7602 and the agency will help outlets connect to an adoptive family that wishes to participate.

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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.