DNA Testing is Revolutionizing the Process of Adoption Search

March 16, 2018

There is a new method in which adoptees are finding birth family, and all you need to do is spit! I just heard that My Heritage is giving away 15,000 free DNA test kits to adoptees and birth family members who are searching. To qualify for a chance at a free test, you have to apply before April 30th, 2018 at https://www.dnaquest.org, otherwise, the cost of these mail-order DNA tests ranges from $69 – $200. Read the rest of this entry »

Pregnancy Counseling – Why choose LSS?

December 18, 2017

You just found out you’re pregnant, and it wasn’t something you were planning – so many thoughts, emotions, and decisions to make. Who do you turn to? And where do you start? You’ve heard that LSS does adoptions (and has for nearly a century in South Dakota), but you’re not sure adoption is what you want to do. So why should you contact LSS anyway?  1. LSS pregnancy counseling is FREE, 2. You don’t have to choose adoption, and 3. Outreach is available throughout South Dakota. Free sounds like a good place to start! Read the rest of this entry »

Thankfulness and Adoption Awareness Month

November 16, 2017

As I pondered writing a blog that could address both Adoption Awareness Month AND Thanksgiving, I wasn’t sure where to start, until I was talking to a friend about the latest episode of the TV series, This is Us, and she asked me, “How old were you when you were first told you were adopted?” Wow! First, the answer is that I don’t remember, I just always knew. Second, I am so very thankful that I don’t remember! Read the rest of this entry »

Why Not You?

October 16, 2017

Are you interested in adoption or foster care? November is recognized as National Adoption Month, and local agencies are sponsoring an Adoption and Foster Care Awareness event on November 2, 2017, at the Rapid City Dahl Arts Center, located at 713 7th Street, Rapid City, South Dakota. Read the rest of this entry »

THANKS for Doing Good on the Green

August 16, 2017

The 7th annual LSS Golf Tournament at Cattail Crossing Golf Course in Watertown was another success! All funds raised go toward client services in the Watertown area – strengthening individuals and families. Services include adoption services, mental health counseling, and financial counseling and education.

We would like to say a special thank you to Reliabank, our presenting sponsor, along with the following sponsors:

Dale McElhany welcomed 84 registered golfers before teeing off at the 7th Annual LSS Golf Tournament in Watertown.

Dennis & Shirley Larson
Falcon Tour River Adventures
First Premier Bank
Sharp Automotive
Diamond Realty
Larry’s Lumber
First Bank & Trust
Aason Engineering
KWAT Radio
KXLG Radio
Macksteel Warehouse
Citi-Wide Property Management

We would like to send a special thank you to Levi Pearson and everyone at Cattail Crossing Golf Course for always helping us put on an amazing golf tournament!

We want to recognize Dale McElhany for his vision and efforts in helping to put this golf tournament together each year!

Betty Oldenkamp, LSS President/CEO and Mary Johnson, LSS Counseling Services in Watertown, pay tribute to Ronald Flemming, who dedicated 25 years to LSS prior to passing away almost a year ago.

This year, we had the privilege to pay tribute to Ron Flemming, who was a LSS clinical therapist for 25 years. Ron passed away less than a year ago and he touched many lives during the time he was with LSS. A print was dedicated to the Watertown LSS Counseling office in Ron’s honor for his dedicated service, devotion and commitment to LSS.

Following 18-holes of golf, golfers enjoyed a steak dinner and learned more about the many LSS services in the Northeast.

We would like to acknowledge all of the participating golfers and volunteers from the LSS Golf Tournament! We truly have such a smooth process with these events because of our wonderful volunteers!

Have we said THANK YOU yet?
We truly appreciate all of you.


Liesl Hovel, Development Director, Northeast Region
LSS Development & Foundation
605-262-6301 direct,  Liesl.Hovel@lsssd.org

Misconceptions about Open Adoption

July 17, 2017

Here are a few common misconceptions on how open adoptions work.

  1. Open adoption is confusing to the child. This is false! Children growing up in open adoptions do understand the difference between parents and birth parents. In healthy open adoptions, both adoptive and birth parents help define their own roles and responsibilities.
  2. Open adoption is a form of co-parenting. This is false! Open adoption is not shared custody between adoptive and birth parents. Adoptive parents have full legal responsibilities over the child once the adoption is complete.
  3. All open adoptions eventually turn into closed adoptions at some point. This is false! As in any relationship, contact with one another can change as life events happen. It is important that the unique relationships formed through open adoption are recognized and honored. All relationships involve challenges at some point. The key to positive relationships is mutual understanding and respect. When children know their adoption story from the very beginning there is less chance for resentment about being adopted.

Adoptive and birth parents are supported through each stage of the adoption process at LSS. Birth parents receive free options counseling and decision making services. Adoptive parents are provided education to equip them for successful adoptions. For more information on how open adoption works, or for pregnancy counseling services, contact LSS at 605-221-2346, toll free at 888-201-5061, or http://www.LssSD.org.

-Submitted by Hayley Van Den Brink, Supervisor, Adoption Program

Open Adoption – the Best Mother’s Day Gift

April 17, 2017

Every May LSS has an annual event to honor birth mothers. It provides them with an opportunity to visit with others who have traveled the same path in choosing to place their children for adoption. It serves as a support group as they struggle with grief and loss, but also allows them to celebrate their child. Read the rest of this entry »

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