SC Families Encouraged To Adopt Teens

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The South Carolina Heart Gallery works to lower the number of children in South Carolina living in either group homes or foster care, creating happy endings like a story recently told by Florence Morning News.

In an effort to reduce those numbers and help create more happy endings in the system, region-wide recruitment events are being coordinated around the state to help find adoptive homes for the older foster children who are legally free for adoption.

"At 18-years-old and in an overcrowded foster care system, twin sisters Adeja and Alona Gore believed they would simply age-out of the system when they went to college, leaving them to never experience what it felt like to come home on holidays and summer break."

This account by Lindsay S. Buchanan of Florence Morning News is an all too familiar story for the SC Heart Gallery Foundation. As the article goes on to explain, choosing to be adopted is not always an easy decision for teens, especially for those who have experienced years of instability and pain.

Fortunately, Adeja and Alona’s story has a happy ending. They were adopted by their foster mother, Jeannette, who says she just couldn’t let go of the attachment she formed with the girls in the few years they were with her. But not all children in the foster care system are as lucky.

"The South Carolina Department of Social Services currently has 610 children between the ages of 13 to 18 years old who live in either group homes or foster care. Some of these children are part of sibling groups and have siblings as young as 7 years old," Buchanan writes.

"In an effort to reduce those numbers and help create more happy endings in the system, region-wide recruitment events are being coordinated around the state to help find adoptive homes for the older foster children who are legally free for adoption."

One of the agencies working tirelessly to find forever homes for children in foster care is the South Carolina Heart Gallery. It organizes professional photographers to capture the unique personalities of children in South Carolina who are available to be adopted, then exhibits those photographs around the state. The result is more opportunities for children who need a permanent home to find families ready to open their hearts and doors to them.

View the SC Heart Gallery here: http://www.scheartgallery.org/Gallery/GalleryIntro.htm.

To read the complete article by Lindsay S. Buchanan, click here: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130804/PC1610/130809758.

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Catherine Ryan
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