The South Carolina Department of Social Services is celebrating National Adoption Month, and the focus is on older youths in foster care. In a news release on Monday, November 1st, the DSS stated that 140 children in the state’s foster care system are legally free for adoption and waiting for a permanent place to call home.
The Department of Social Services noted that nearly 100 of the 140 youths are aged between 10 and 17 years. They added that the department works diligently with community partners throughout the year to find families that best match the unique needs of every child awaiting adoption.
The National Adoption Month allows the DSS to join the efforts of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau in raising awareness and bringing attention to the need for permanent families for children and older youths in foster care. This year’s theme, “Youth Voices: Why Family Matters,” focuses on the need to secure safe and stable family connections for teens and older youths.
The DSS State Director Michael Leach said that every child deserves the chance to grow up in a home where they feel loved, safe, and protected. He added that several youths would benefit from adoption and lamented that very few families adopt older youths. As a result, they age out of the system without the support and safety net they need.
Governor Henry McMaster proclaimed November 25th as Adoption Day in South Carolina. On that day, SC Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty will hold a day-long hearing to finalize adoptions in the four judicial circuits. So far, 80 children are scheduled for adoption by 60 families.
If you’d like to begin your adoption process, contact our Greenville family law attorneys to help you begin the process.