South Carolina Adoption FAQs

What Does Adoption Mean?
Adoption is the action or fact of legally taking another’s child and bringing it up as one’s own, or the fact of being adopted. Per South Carolina Children’s Code Chapter 9 Adoptions, Article 1 South Carolina Adoption Act adoption can be defined as the judicial act of creating the relationship of parent and child where it did not exist previously.

What is an Adoptee?
A person who is proposed to be or who has been legally adopted.
What are Biological Parent(s)?
One’s natural parent; the woman who gave birth to a child or the man who is related by birth to a child
What are Adoptive Parent(s)?
One’s parent by adoption; a parent who has adopted a child. Per South Carolina Children’s Code Chapter 9 Adoptions, Article 1 South Carolina Adoption Act an adoptive parent is defined as an adult who has become a parent of a child through the legal process of adoption.
What is a Private Domestic Adoption?
Domestic adoption (or private domestic adoption) refers to the placement of U.S.-born infants for adoption by their birth parents, who legally consent to the adoption with an adoptive family of their choosing.
What classifies as an International Adoption?
Also referred to as intercountry adoption or transnational adoption, is a type of adoption in which an individual or couple becomes the legal and permanent parent(s) of a child who is a national of a different country.
What is a Foster Care Adoption?
Foster care adoption is the adoption of a child in foster care whose biological parents’ rights are terminated by a court. The child may be adopted by either foster parents or adoptive parents.

  • Read more about foster care and adoption from the South Carolina Department of Social Services.
What is an Agency Adoption?
An adoption that is facilitated by a state licensed agency that provides counseling to birthparents, home studies to prospective adoptive parents, relinquishment services and post-placement programs for triad members. These Agencies may also provide intercountry and special needs adoption services.

  • Per South Carolina Children’s Code Chapter 9 Adoptions, Article 1 “Child placing agency” or “agency” means the State Department of Social Services and any person or entity who holds legal or physical custody of a child for the purpose of placement for adoption or a person or entity who facilitates the placement of children for the purpose of adoption. For the purposes of this subsection, a person or entity who offers services for compensation where the intent of those services is to arrange or secure adoptions must be considered “facilitating the placement of children for adoption”, whether those services constitute counseling, referrals, searches, or any other form of adoption services. However, an attorney engaged in the practice of law who represents a client in an adoption or who otherwise facilitates an adoption in the course of that practice is exempt from this definition.
What is Step-Parent Adoption?
Both biological parents, if living, must consent or agree to a stepparent adoption. When a stepparent adopts a stepchild, either the non-custodial parent of the child willingly gives up his or her parental rights to the child, or the court terminates the parental rights of a biological parent if there is evidence of abuse or neglect to the child. If a parent is not involved in the child’s life, the court can terminate that biological parents rights on the grounds of abandonment. Grounds for abandonment in most states are no contact between the parent and child for at least one year.
What is Relative Adoption Adoption?
The legal adoption of a child by a biological relative. For example, the adoption of a child by his/her relatives such as a grandparent, uncle, or cousin. … Most state laws define “relative” by degree of relatedness.
Why is there a Pre-Placement Investigation?
Also know as a home study. Regardless of the type of adoption (private agency, public agency, or intercountry), nearly all families must complete a home study process before adopting a child. There are a few exceptions. he primary purpose of a home study is to ensure that each child is placed with a family that can best meet his or her needs.
How do I find a Certified Adoption Investigator?
Also known as a CAI, is a professional who conducts the pre-placement investigation or home study.

Who makes an Adoption Plan?
Adoption Plans can be created by both the biological parents and the adoptive parents. In either case, individuals work with a variety of professionals – including lawyers, doctors, and agencies – to create a plan for the adoption process.
What is involved in a Post-placement investigation?
A post-placement investigation serves the same purpose as the pre-placement investigation and is conducted by a CAI. Generally, this must take place before an adoption is solidified.
What is Termination of Parental Rights?
Also known as TPR. The process of terminating parental rights to a minor child’s legal guardian, generally a biological parent. Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights can be found in the South Carolina Code Ann. § 20-7-1572 (Supp. 2006).
How do I Obtain Consent for Adoption?
Per South Carolina Children’s Code Chapter 9 Adoptions, Article 1 “Consent” means the informed and voluntary release in writing of all parental rights with respect to a child by a parent for the purpose of adoption, or the informed and voluntary release in writing of all custodial or guardianship rights, or both, with respect to a child by the child placing agency or person facilitating the placement of the child for adoption where the child’s parent previously has executed a relinquishment to that agency or person.
What is the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children?
Also known as ICPC, The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), established in 1960, establishes procedures for ensuring the safety and stability of placements of children across State lines.
What is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act?
Also known as UCCJEA, The UCCJEA is a uniform state law drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (now the Uniform Law Commission) and enacted by all states (with the exception Massachusetts), the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The UCCJEA addresses a court’s subject matter jurisdiction in child custody cases, specifically answering the question of whether a court has the power to decide a custody case in which more than one state, tribe, or territory is involved. The law specifies which court has the power to decide a custody case, not how the court should decide the case, which is governed by the jurisdiction’s general child custody laws.
What is the Indian Child Welfare Act?
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was enacted in 1978 in response to a crisis affecting American Indian and Alaska Native children, families, and tribes. Studies revealed that large numbers of Native children were being separated from their parents, extended families, and communities by state child welfare and private adoption agencies.
What is the Hague Convention?
The Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) is an international agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions. Concluded on May 29, 1993 in The Hague, the Netherlands, the Convention establishes international standards of practices for intercountry adoptions. The United States signed the Convention in 1994, and the Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008. Read the full text of the Convention.
What is Surrogacy?
The practice by which a woman (called a surrogate mother) becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby in order to give it to someone who cannot have children.

  • Read more about important surrogacy definitions you need to know from
What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
In vitro fertilization. a medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm in a test tube or elsewhere outside the body.

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