Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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November 3, 2009

November is Adoption Awareness Month

PIERRE, S.D. To help recruit and retain foster and adoptive parents for children who are waiting for good homes, Gov. Mike Rounds has declared November as Adoption Awareness Month.

“Every child deserves to grow up in a warm and loving environment,” the Governor said. “You don’t have to be perfect to be a terrific parent to a child waiting for an adoptive family and a place to call home.”

The South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) will join thousands of individuals, government agencies and child advocacy organizations this month to promote the critical need for adoptive parents.

Currently, 65 children in DSS custody do not have identified adoptive families. The children range widely in age and may have physical or emotional conditions, mental disabilities, or are part of sibling groups, which can make it more challenging to find homes that best meet their needs.

 It is a DSS priority to place children in homes that provide for their needs on a permanent basis. Children awaiting legal clearance for adoption live in foster homes, group homes or other facilities. They need families that can understand and meet their needs, provide stability, and offer permanent parent-child relationships.

Communities across South Dakota will host a variety of events to raise awareness about the need for adoptive parents.

In Sioux Falls, the fourth annual Sioux Empire Adoption & Foster Care Fair will be held at First Baptist Church on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The fair will include panel discussions, roundtable sessions, vendor booths and guest speaker DiAnn Kleinsasser, a former adoption specialist for the Department of Social Services. For more information on the fair, call 605-221-2351 or visit

DSS is proud to provide foster and adoption services to South Dakota families. The department  has facilitated the adoption of 167 children in state custody since July 2008, and many more children were adopted through independent and private agencies.

The Department of Social Services offers support services that include child-care assistance, medical expenses, transportation, special needs and more. For more information, visit Adoption.

Media Note: View the Executive Proclamation.