Tuesday, September 23rd

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Adoption fair returning to Upstate this month

If adopting a child has been a topic of conversation in your home, you and your family can take an important step in the process this month. Whether you have done some research or aren’t sure how to begin, mark your calendars for an upcoming educational event.


Organized by Families Forever, a group consisting of members of the Young Lawyers Division of the SC Bar Association, the Families Forever Adoption Fairs have aided hundreds of people looking to expand their families as they waded through the tedious, but rewarding, task of adoption. On Saturday, January 19, the event will return to Simpsonville to offer locals the opportunity to gain valuable information and advice.


“We’ve had a good response so far,” agreed Betsy Tanner, co-chairman of the Forever Families Committee and Upstate representative. “We’ve had people make connections at the fair and have an adoption happen as a result of those contacts.”


In its fifth year, the adoption fair will again feature vendors and insight from several aspects of adoption. From educational information about embryo and international adoption to representatives of state agencies to area attorneys, families will have a great supply of resources to choose from depending on their situation. Most of the booths will represent people from South Carolina so people can easily receive additional guidance even after the fair.


It was an adoptive parent who saw the need firsthand for an event that could link prospective parents with the right people. After a successful adoption, Tiffany Spann-Wilder, founding chairman of Families Forever, decided to find a tangible way to make the path easier to understand – and create more lasting family units along the way.


“Her and her family were looking to adopt and were at a loss about the process even though she was an attorney,” Tanner explained.


Since the first fair was held in 2008, dozens of families each year have been given new confidence about growing their household at events in the Simpsonville, Charleston and Columbia areas. With success story after success story recorded, the Forever Families committee is excited to not only continue offering the adoption fair but also to advance the important cause right in South Carolina.


“Our goal is to promote adoption in general and get out the information,” Tanner added. “People have said they are getting the information they need, which is great.”


Even if your family has long since begun the process of adding a new member through one of several methods, the adoption fair could be worth a visit. The event is tailored to the individual case so anyone at any stage is welcome.


“Some people come who have already started, but some are also brand new to adoption,” Tanner said. “Either way, we can let them know the steps.”


For those couples who haven’t had success yet, vendors and lawyers at the fair can introduce them to options they may not have known about or considered. Additionally, three seminars will be offered throughout the day to address specific topics of interest for parents such as financing and legalities.


“We just want to let people know what’s out there because there are so many ways to adopt,” Tanner added.


Loving parents and children in need of a home have certainly benefited from the adoption fairs held around the state – a fact that was recognized by the American Bar Endowment in 2009. But as the attorneys involved will tell you, the work put into the events is worth much more than any Outstanding Public Service Project Award.


“Whether they are in the foster care system or in another country, we simply want to give kids forever families,” Tanner agreed.


The Upstate Families Forever Adoption Fair will be held on January 19 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Simpsonville First Baptist Church. People are invited to drop in at any time to attend a class or gather resources free of charge. The church is located at 3 Hedge Street.


Click here to register and reserve your spot. For more information, contact Betsy Tanner at 228-7808.

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