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South Carolina

South Carolina

Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in South Carolina.

International Adoptions must be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Find an international adoption service provider here.

Foster Care Adoptions in South Carolina can be completed through the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Gallery of children waiting to be adopted.

Join the South Carolina adoption group in our community!
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.

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South Carolina Adoption

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Can I Adopt in South Carolina?

You must be at least 21 years old. All members of the household 18 and older must submit fingerprints and child abuse background information. Applicants must attend 14 hours of training to determine the type of child that would fit in the home. Medicals, home safety inspections, and 3-4 references must be submitted. Parents must complete a home study.


What Adoption Regulations Exist in South Carolina?

Advertising:  Licensed child-placing agencies and attorneys are permitted to advertise for the services they provide. Parents with an approved home study may also advertise that they are open to receive a child for placement. It is illegal for adoption facilitators to receive compensation for the placement of a child in an adoptive home. However, facilitators may receive compensation for medical or legal services. § 63-9-30(5); 63-9-310(F); 63-9-710(A)(11)


Relinquishment: Consent to an adoption can be given at any time after the child’s birth. Consent can only be revoked if in the child’s best interest and the consent came under fraud or duress. § 63-9-330; 63-9-350


Birth parent expenses: Payment made be made for the following expenses: medical, hospital, and living expenses for the birth mother and child for a reasonable amount of time. All payments are subject to court approval. § 63-9-310(F)


Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements in South Carolina are not legally enforceable.


Birth father rights: Unmarried fathers who wish to receive notice of adoption proceedings may file their information with the Department of Social Services Responsible Father Registry. § 63-9-810; 63-9-820

Finalization: The average time between TPR and adoption finalization in 2014 was 12.8 months.

Review South Carolina adoption laws in detail.


Is Adoption Assistance Available in South Carolina?

Many of the children waiting to be adopted in South Carolina have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In South Carolina, the maximum monthly amount ranges between $400-535. For more information on adoption assistance please visit


Can I adopt a Child from another country?

It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.


Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.


South Carolina law requires parents to petition the court for validation or file the foreign adoption decree. In SC, parents wishing to receive a State birth certificate must submit documentation from readoption or validation of a foreign adoption.


State Contacts


Gallery of children waiting to be adopted:


State subsidy contact:

Heather Boyles, Adoption Subsidy Coordinator

Department of Social Services

State Office Division of Adoption Services

2638 Two Notch Road

Suite 200

Columbia, SC 29204

803-898- 7727

Fax: 803-898-9053



In South Carolina adoptions can be completed through the Department of Social Services.


Parents must be at least 21 years old in order to adopt. Individuals 18 and older must complete background checks. 14 hours of parental training is required. Medicals, home safety inspections, and 3-4 references must be submitted. Parents must complete a home study.


Adoption agencies/attorneys may advertise the services they provide. Hopeful adoptive parents with completed home studies may advertise.

Consent can be given any time after birth. Parents can only revoke if proved that consent came under duress, and that revocation is in the best interest of the child.

Hopeful adoptive parents may pay medical and living expenses on behalf of the birth mother. Contact agreements in South Carolina are not legally enforceable. Unmarried fathers wishing to receive notice of adoption proceedings may register their information with the Responsible Father Registry.

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