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National Adoption Month In South Carolina Highlights Needs for Teens, Sibling Groups via Public Adoption

Contact: Will Batchelor


National Adoption Month In South Carolina Highlights Needs for Teens, Sibling Groups via Public Adoption

November 1, 2022 - Columbia, S.C. – The month of November is recognized as National Adoption Month in South Carolina, and in addition, the state is recognizing Monday, November 21 as Adoption Day. Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty has authorized terms of Family Court for the finalization of public adoptions in Greenville, Sumter, Charleston, Horry (morning), and Florence (afternoon) counties on Adoption Day.

As National Adoption Month begins, 120 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. Of those available for public adoption through DSS, 83% of those children are ages 7-17 and 33% are sibling groups.  They represent the agency’s greatest need of providing permanency. This year’s national theme is “Small Steps Open Doors.”

“The small steps begin with asking yourself if you have a place in your home and heart to welcome a new member into your family,” said Michael Leach, DSS State Director.  “There is a great need for children with complex medical needs, for sibling groups, and older youth and teens. As an agency, we want to help youth secure stable connections to become independent, successful adults through permanency.”

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 USDHHS Children’s Bureau’s efforts to increase awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children and youth in foster care.

“There is a great joy that comes from providing a permanent home to a child or youth in need,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “Adoption Month is an opportunity to recognize those who answer the call to adopt children and youth in the greatest need while highlighting the numerous ways South Carolinians can get involved in the public adoption process.”

SCDSS and the South Carolina Judicial Branch will release information about Adoption Day times and locations prior to the November 21 hearings.

“Throughout South Carolina, the Judicial Branch and SCDSS work together continually to resolve legal matters involving children and families. Our Family Courts are always ready to hear adoption matters,” Chief Justice Beatty said. “It is fitting that on Adoption Day, we work together to recognize the importance of the adoption process and the role it plays in providing children a permanent home.”

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

  • 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.
  • Complete background and fingerprint check requirements.
  • Meet with a certified adoption investigator to begin your adoption home study process including 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 system that responds to families within three days of an initial inquiry. Families already approved to adopt are notified within two weeks if they are a potential match with a child and the final selection from all potential matches is made within 30 days. You can also learn about adoption services by texting “DSS” to 211211. Launched in August, the DSS Text to Connect system puts a full range of service options in the hands of users.

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

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Editor’s Note:
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.


Mission Statement:
The South Carolina Department of Social Services serves South Carolina by promoting the safety, permanency and well-being of children and vulnerable adults, helping individuals achieve stability and strengthening families.

Child Welfare Services Transformation

Best Outcomes for Children and Families

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.