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SCC’s paralegal program aids in adoption process

SYLVA – This spring, Southwestern Community College’s Paralegal Technology students had the chance to participate in the adoption process for a local family. 

The Lashbrooks’ celebrated a milestone for their family as Renee officially adopted her step-daughter, Kahlan, who happens to be an SCC student through the Career & College Promise program.

“Every year, except for last year, we have been able to complete a real life adoption for a family here locally,” said Pam Smith, SCC’s Paralegal Technology Program Coordinator. “My students were elated at the idea that they can help with a real adoption, and we’re super excited to do this for Kahlan.”

The students were active in every step of the process, from drafting the paperwork, interviewing each family member, and notorizing the required signatures. This allowed them to gain real-world experience while also helping the Lashbrooks’ complete their family. 

 “This has been a very special project for me to be involved in,” said Paralegal student Jenice McKin. “I feel like this was a very important thing that our class did for this family.”

“During the process, we learned what kind of questions we need to ask to be prepared when you interview a family to adopt a child,” added Ella Sadovnik, another Paralegal student.

The Lashbrooks family began looking into the adoption process in 2020, turning a personal tragedy into something more positive for everyone.

“We started the process after Kahlan’s mother died,” said Steve Lashbrooks, Kahlan’s father. “A friend of ours knew Pam and got us in touch to get everything rolling.”

“I am over the moon excited,” said Kahlan. “I’ve been waiting for this for two years.” 

Her adoptive mother, Renee, added: “The students are really nice and have made the process really easy for us. I’m very grateful for this.”

In addition to aiding in adoption processes, the Paralegal program teaches students substantive and procedural legal knowledge in the areas of civil litigation, legal research and writing, real estate, family law, wills, estates, trusts, and commercial law.

For more information about the Paralegal program, contact Pam Smith at 828.339.4209 or

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