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County woman recognized as an Angel in Adoption
Hawkins - photo by Provided by S.C. DSS

A Camden native and Elgin resident received recognition as an “Angel in Adoption” at an awards ceremony and separate gala in Washington, D.C., held Wednesday and Thursday.

Portia Hawkins received the award from the Congressinal Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) for her work in adoptions, according to a S.C. Department of Social Services (DSS) press release.

Hawkins is employed as a DSS program coordinator and has worked in this field for approximately 18 years. She is a resident of Elgin and grew up in Camden.

Hawkins has always been a proponent of adoption.

“Adopting creates so many memorable moments for both adoptive parents and adopted children,” she said in the press release. “And love spent on a child is never wasted.”

She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Affairs from Columbia College and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Webster University.  Her experience includes providing technical assistance to county DSS workers for the Title IV-E Program. In this position, she was tasked with approving final eligibility for children who were placed in the care of DSS.

Hawkins has also worked with the Central Registry Unit, screening applicants for Child Abuse and Neglect in South Carolina. Overall, she has worked in private adoptions since 2005 while counseling birth mothers, volunteering in crisis pregnancy centers, assisting in adoption workshops and hospital settings.

Hawkins’ expertise extends to writing pre- and post-placement reports for prospective adopting parents.  She is a certified adoption investigator to take consents from birth parents and has completed the lay guardian ad litem certification training through the South Carolina Bar. Her input is valued by other adoption professionals on domestic and international adoptions. A mother of 2 daughters, she has found a special calling to assist birth mothers who are looking for a solution, such as an appropriate adoptions plan. 

CCAI is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan organization which raises awareness about orphans and foster children in the United States and around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes through adoption.

The Angels in Adoption Program is CCAI’s signature public awareness campaign and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans in the United States and abroad.

This year, more than 140 people were honored through the Angels in Adoption Program. For more information on the program visit and