Editor’s Note: This week, each department is following the theme of “A Day in the Life Of…” In order to help people better understand what we do, we want to share a bit of what each day looks like for us. Today, Joyce Twite, Administrative Support Specialist, shares what life is like in the Adoption Program. Please check back each day to find out about a new department within the LSS family.
I love my job, no question about it. And what is not to love? Adoption is the process of creating families and building relationships through what can sometimes be a very difficult time. As the Administrative Support Specialist, I work on current adoptions through the paperwork, background checks, correspondence with attorneys and judges, and maintaining files. Having been given my own wonderful parents through this agency, I can appreciate the care and consideration that goes into this process by all the members of the Adoption program.
One of the more exciting aspects of a typical day in my position is the Post-Legal Adoption contacts that I may have. I might get an email or a phone call that usually starts with, “I was adopted through your agency in 1969…” Or, “I placed a child for adoption through your agency in 1985…” These contacts are what make my job truly meaningful, as often times I am able to help these people in answering lifelong questions. Adoptees often say, “I’ve wondered if my birth mother ever thought about me.” At the same time I’ve heard birth mothers say, “Not one day has gone by that I haven’t thought about him/her.” Being able to connect the two is truly a blessing.
South Dakota law currently states that for an adoptee to have access to their adoption records, they must obtain a Court Order from a judge of competent jurisdiction. With that Court Order, the adoptee has access to all of the information gathered on the birth parents at the time of the birth. However, LSS offers birth parents the opportunity to fill out a Birth Parent Information Update Form (available on our website http://www.lsssd.org/family_services/adoption/post_legal_services.html). The birth parent can give any information they want the adoptee to have, including contact information. The adoptee can then receive that information instead of going through the Court Order process. This is far more valuable for the adoptee, because it can include updated biological medical information which, in some cases, can be a life-saver. It also lets the adoptee know if contact is welcome.
So whether my day is spent processing paperwork on a new family, handling correspondence, or connecting an adult adoptee to their birth family, everyday is a blessing in the Adoption program!