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Eight local children now waiting for adoption, web site showcases faces

The smiling and hopeful faces of Lowcountry children waiting to be adopted into their forever home move slowly across the screen, creating a steady stream of children to choose from. Their stories are sad, but inspiring: listed on SCheartgallery.org, this official website lists those children throughout the entire Palmetto State who are ready to be adopted. Specifically, adoptable children in Colleton, Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties are listed on the website as being in “Region III.” The children currently listed as ready for adoption in this region are mostly pre-teens and teenagers, of all races and ages. Once shown on the Web site, these are children who have exhausted the foster care system, and no longer have parental ties.

With November officially being slated as National Adoption Month, the Colleton County Department of Social Services (DSS) is encouraging the adoption of local children. Last month, in October, four Colleton County children were adopted out of the system. One was a 16-year-old teenager who had decided a permanent home for her was not needed. “I recall that adoption very well,” said Sandy Polk, smiling. “She had accepted being in the system, and then this couple came along. It was something both sides had been waiting on for a very long time. That girl was very happy.”

Polk is the program coordinator for Colleton County DSS. “This can be gut-wrenching, but it’s also beautiful,” she said. “Our number one priority at DSS is always to reunite children with their families, to try to get them home. But adoption is also a part of that. If being reunited is not a possibility, then adoption is.”

Eight children in Colleton County are currently waiting to be adopted in the Colleton County DSS system. These children are birth to age 14. “Some, we are waiting on legal approval to allow the adoption. Others are ready to be adopted,” said Polk.

Colleton County DSS participates in the SC Heart Gallery organization, which uses the internet to match potential parents with children. Could-be parents can browse the site for a child. Once a child is selected, that child then gets an opportunity to meet and “interview” the hopeful parent. “It’s a mutual pairing. We’ve had success with it,” said Polk.

The actual organization is a national one, and was founded in 2001 in New Mexico. “Families are moved by the beauty and uniqueness of each child, as revealed in portraits,” according to the Web site.

The South Carolina version of this organization and its internet site was formed in 2005. It is supported by the S.C. Children’s Foster Care Review Board, an agency supported by the S.C. Governor’s Office and the S.C. Department of Social Services.

For more information on the SC Heart Gallery system, visit their website at www.scheartgallery.org.

 

Heather Walters (1163 Posts)