South Dakota Adoption Guide

Everything you need to know about adoption in South Dakota

Kenneth Knudson October 20, 2016

Welcome, South Dakotan’s! This guide was written to provide you with a single place to find information about adoption within South Dakota. It will walk you through everything from laws that will impact your adoption to reviews of adoption service providers in South Dakota.

We’ve divided this guide into five parts: first, general information about adopting in South Dakota, then sections dedicated to domestic infant adoption (starting in Slide 6), foster adoption (Slide 19),  international adoption (Slide 29), and stepparent adoption (Slide 33). And don’t miss our slide filled with links to helpful adoption resources (Slide 36)

Please Note
1. Please Note

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the information provided in this slideshow guide, you should not rely on it to make decisions. Instead, you should rely on licensed professionals in making decisions relative to adoption. The information in this guide is subject to change without notice. Adoption.com is not responsible for the consequences of relying on this information. In no event shall Adoption.com be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or incidental damage resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with the use of this information.

IMAGE: Laura C. Walthers

Did You Know
2. Did You Know

-Gutzon Burglom, the architect who created Mount Rushmore, took 14 years to complete his masterpiece. Despite the extended time period, the project only cost a measly $1 million.

-Jack McCall was convicted and later hanged for killing Wild Bill in 1877 just outside of Yankton, SD.

-South Dakota is home for the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota tribes, which make up the Sioux Nation.

-South Dakota will be home to The Crazy Horse mountain carving, which will set a new world record for largest sculpture of any kind

-Badlands National Park contains nearly 244,000 acres of land, making it the largest protected prairie in the U.S.

SOURCE: 50states.com

IMAGE: Edwin Verin

Adoption in South Dakota at a Glance
3. Adoption in South Dakota at a Glance

Kids in foster care waiting to be adopted in 2013: 354

Foster adoptions completed in 2013: 177

International adoptions completed in 2015: 26

SOURCE: cwla.org
travel.state.gov

Can I Adopt in South Dakota?
4. Can I Adopt in South Dakota?

Age: 21 or older for foster care adoptions, no age requirement for other types

Marital Status: Single or married

Work: Stable income to provide for a family, enough room to house a child, do not need to own home

Personality: Warm, trustworthy, willing to adapt to new situations

Experience: None required

Other Requirements: In order to be a foster parent the state requires hopeful adoptive parents to complete special training

DISQUALIFYING CRIMES: Spousal or child abuse/neglect, crimes against children, and violent crimes including homicide, sexual assault, or rape

SOURCE: adoptuskids.org

Developing a Support System
5. Developing a Support System

It’s essential to have a good network of family, friends, and neighbors to support you through your adoption process.

It’s also important to connect with other adoptive parents. You can begin making these connections in our forums. You may also want to consider joining a support group for adoptive parents.

Domestic Infant Adoption in South Dakota
6. Domestic Infant Adoption in South Dakota

Before you get started, click here to learn more about the overall process of adopting an infant in the United States. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back to get the details about adoption in South Dakota.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help
7. Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help

In South Dakota, you are able to work with local and private agencies or attorneys to complete an adoption.

You can browse and read reviews about adoption service providers in South Dakota.

For more information about picking an adoption agency, learn about the Top Fifteen Things to Look for In An Adoption Agency.

Some people pursuing a private adoption find it beneficial to work with a professional adoption facilitator, an individual that matches birth parents with adoptive parents in exchange for a fee.

Paid adoption facilitators are banned or restricted in many states, including South Dakota. Adoption facilitators are not allowed in South Dakota. The use of advertising is not addressed in the statues reviewed.

SOURCE: § 25-6-4.2

Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study
9. Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study

Regardless of whether you choose to adopt through an agency or adoption attorney, hopeful adoptive parents need to complete a home study to qualify for adoption. This is different than a single home visit. In a home study a caseworker may visit multiple times in order to write a report culminating in approval for adoption.

Your home study social worker will help educate you about adoption and ensure that you (and your adoptive partner, if applicable) meet the requirements outlined on Slide Four.

Click here to learn more about the Home Study process.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word
10. Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word

One of the most important things you can do while waiting for an adoption match is to let everyone know about your hope to adopt. Many adoption connections are made through word-of-mouth referrals.

Another great way to spread the word is social media. Creating a profile on Adoption.com Parent Profiles allows you to easily share your story with those considering placing their child for adoption. Features like videos and photos, posts, Pinterest-like favorites, and recommendations and endorsements make it easy to create a profile as unique as you are, increasing the likelihood that you will stand out and connect with that right person. Rich communication options like video chat and instant messaging make connecting easy. A mobile-responsive design means that you will never be out of reach.

What’s more, Adoption.com receives over 650,000 monthly visits, which means your profile will receive unparalleled exposure. You can even view and monitor your progress through a detailed statistics page.

Ready to get started? Visit Parent Profiles.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment
11. Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment

Without relinquishment of parental rights or consent no adoption in South Dakota is final.

Consent cannot be given until 5 days after the birth of the child. The hopeful adoptive parents and birth parents or any other person who has legal custody of the child to be adopted must consent in writing to the adoption before the adoption petition in court. The consent forms are then filed with the courts.

At the time of the hearing for an adoption petition, the birth parents and hopeful adoptive parents must appear in court. A guardian or the Department of Social Services may appear in court on behalf of the child.

The court decides after a full hearing whether or not the petitioners are fully aware of their actions.

Biological parents have 1 year from the date when the adoption proceedings were finalized to revoke consent. In the case of the Indian Child Welfare Act, parents have 2 years from finalized adoption proceedings.

SOURCE: §§ 25-6-12; 25-5A-16; 25-6-21

Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights
12. Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights

South Dakota currently utilizes a paternity registry for unmarried fathers. Fathers who wish to receive notice of adoption proceedings may sign an affidavit of parentage before the child is discharged from the hospital.

Fathers have 60 days from the date of signing the affidavit or the adoption proceedings, whichever comes earlier, to rebuttal a claim to parentage.

SOURCE: §§ 25-8-7; 25-8-7.1; 25-8-59

Domestic Infant Adoption: Laws About Birth Parent Expenses
13. Domestic Infant Adoption: Laws About Birth Parent Expenses

Hopeful adoptive parents and/or an adoption agency may provide certain expenses for expectant mothers. In South Dakota, any expenses covered for expectant mothers must be approved by the court.

SOURCE: § 25-6-4.2

Domestic Infant Adoption: Post-Adoption Contact Agreements
14. Domestic Infant Adoption: Post-Adoption Contact Agreements

A post-adoption contact agreement is a voluntary agreement that determines the amount of contact birth and adoptive families have after the adoption becomes final.

In South Dakota, biological parents have no rights to post-adoption contact/visitation unless voluntary termination of rights occurred and a pre-adoption agreement was made by both hopeful adoptive parents and biological parents.

In the case of a stepparent adoption where the stepparent is the spouse to the current natural parent terminating rights post-adoption contact is also a right for the natural parent.

Post-adoption contact agreements are legally enforceable if in the child's best interest.

SOURCE: § 25-6-17

Domestic Infant Adoption: Finalization
15. Domestic Infant Adoption: Finalization

Children need to live with adoptive parents 6 months before the adoption becomes final.

SOURCE: § 25-6-18

Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption in South Dakota from Out-of-State
16. Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption in South Dakota from Out-of-State

In adopting a child from foster care, there are opportunities to adopt a child from a different state. If this is the case, you will need to comply with the requirements of The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children.

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC.

IMAGE: welcomia

Domestic Infant Adoption: Traveling to South Dakota from Out-of-State
17. Domestic Infant Adoption: Traveling to South Dakota from Out-of-State

The health of the adopted child and the length of court procedures will determine the length of your stay in South Dakota. Hotels in South Dakota average around $100 a night.

Places to visit in South Dakota:
-Mount Rushmore
-Crazy Horse Memorial
-Badlands National Park
-Custer State Park
-Minutemen Missile National Historic Site

IMAGE: welcomia

Foster Adoption in South Dakota
18. Foster Adoption in South Dakota

Before you get started, familiarize yourself with the overall process of adopting children through foster care. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about foster adoption in South Dakota.

Foster Adoption: Children Available for Adoption in South Dakota
19. Foster Adoption: Children Available for Adoption in South Dakota

There are currently 354 children waiting to be adopted in the state of South Dakota.

Click here to view a current photolisting of children available in South Dakota.

Foster Adoption: Get Professional Help
20. Foster Adoption: Get Professional Help

In the state of South Dakota, you can complete a foster adoption either through a private agency that is licensed to provide foster care services or directly through the Department of Social Services.

To find adoption agencies in South Dakota and to read reviews check out Adoption.com’s South Dakota page.

Becoming Part of the Foster Care System
21. Becoming Part of the Foster Care System

In South Dakota, a child can be placed with you for adoption before his/her biological parent’s rights have been terminated.

This is called a "legal risk" placement, meaning that is is possible that the child may return to live his/her birth family. However, these placements are not made unless the agency responsible for the child is actively pursuing the termination of his/her birth parents’ rights.

During a placement like this, you will be considered a foster parent and will need to meet all the requirements for foster parents in the state of South Dakota.

Not all foster-adoption placements are “legal risk” placements, however. Some children’s parents’ rights have been terminated, leaving them free and clear for adoption.

Post Adoption Contact Agreements
22. Post Adoption Contact Agreements

A post-adoption contact agreement is a voluntary agreement that determines the amount of contact birth and adoptive families have after the adoption becomes final.

In South Dakota, biological parents have no rights to post-adoption contact/visitation unless voluntary termination of rights occurred and a pre-adoption agreement was made by both hopeful adoptive parents and biological parents.

In the case of a stepparent adoption where the stepparent is the spouse to the current natural parent terminating rights post-adoption contact is also a right for the natural parent.

Post-adoption contact agreements are legally enforceable if in the child's best interest.

SOURCE: § 25-6-17

Foster Adoption: Finalization
23. Foster Adoption: Finalization

Children need to live with hopeful adoptive parents 6 months before the adoption becomes final.

SOURCE: § 25-6-18

Adoption Assistance
24. Adoption Assistance

Financial aid is available for hopeful adoptive parents wishing to adopt a child with special needs. The amount you receive varies greatly depending upon your child’s specific needs and circumstances. In order to be eligible your child must meet one of the following criteria considered to be a barrier for adoption:

-8 or older
-Race or religion
-Member of sibling group to be placed for adoption
-Physical, emotional, intellectual disability
-Therapy needed for speech, physical, or psychological disability
-Adoption by foster parent who is the only appropriate permanency plan

For a list of maximum monthly rates and specialized rates visit NACAC.org.

SOURCE: NACAC.org

Foster Adoption: Adopting From Out-of-State
25. Foster Adoption: Adopting From Out-of-State

In adopting a child from foster care, there are opportunities to adopt a child from a different state. If this is the case, you will need to comply with the requirements of The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children.

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC.

IMAGE: Sopotnicki

Foster Adoption: Traveling to South Dakota from Out-of-State
26. Foster Adoption: Traveling to South Dakota from Out-of-State

The health of the adopted child and the length of court procedures will determine the length of your stay in South Dakota. Hotels in South Dakota average around $100 a night.

Places to visit in South Dakota:
-Mount Rushmore
-Crazy Horse Memorial
-Badlands National Park
-Custer State Park
-Minutemen Missile National Historic Site

IMAGE: Nagel Photography

International Adoption in South Dakota
27. International Adoption in South Dakota

Before you get started, familiarize yourself with the overall process of international adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about international adoption in South Dakota.

IMAGE:

International Adoption: Photolisting
28. International Adoption: Photolisting

There are millions of beautiful children across the world who are hoping to find a forever family.

Meet some of them through our Photolisting.

International Adoption: Get Professional Help
29. International Adoption: Get Professional Help

With international adoptions, your only choice is to complete your adoption through an agency. Because of the Universal Accreditation Act, all adoption agencies completing international adoptions are required to be credentialed according to federal standards. Make sure to check with any agency before working with them to ensure they have this accreditation in place!

In selecting an international adoption agency, there are Four Essential Criteria you should probably consider. Check out this directory to browse through reviews of adoption agencies in South Dakota.

In order to be approved to adopt internationally, you will need to complete an international adoption-specific home study.

International Adoption: Post-Adoption Requirements
30. International Adoption: Post-Adoption Requirements

In order for a child adopted from a different country to enter the United States, adoptive parents must meet all requirements set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the country in which the child resides, and occasionally the adoptive parents’ State of residence.

As part of this process you will need to request a U.S. visa and birth certificate. In order for a child to receive a U.S. birth certificate in South Dakota, adoptive parents must submit a validation of a foreign adoption decree to the state courts. Any order of adoption entered in compliance with the laws of another jurisdiction or nation shall have the same effect as an order for adoption entered in this State.

Consult your adoption attorney or adoption agency about other post-adoption requirements specific to international adoption.

Read more about South Dakota’s post-adoption requirements specific to international adoption here.

SOURCE: childwelare.gov

Stepparent Adoption in South Dakota
31. Stepparent Adoption in South Dakota

Before you get started, familiarize yourself with the overall process of stepparent adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about stepparent adoption in South Dakota.

Stepparent Adoption: Terminating Parental Rights
32. Stepparent Adoption: Terminating Parental Rights

In order for you to adopt the child of your spouse, the corresponding biological parent’s rights will first need to be terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

You will need to consult with an adoption attorney about your desire to adopt. He/she can help you decide if it’s likely that the biological parent would be willing to relinquish rights or if it would be feasible to pursue involuntary termination of his/her parental rights.

Stepparent Adoption: Petitioning to Adopt
33. Stepparent Adoption: Petitioning to Adopt

Once parental rights have been terminated, you can file a petition to adopt with the courts. You and your spouse will both testify in court regarding the stability of your marital relationship, the bond you’ve developed with your stepchild, and your desire to become the legal parent of your stepchild.

You will generally not be required to complete a background check or home study as part of the stepparent adoption process.

Works Cited
35. Works Cited

http://www.cwla.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2015-State-Fact-Sheet-South-Dakota.pdf

https://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/about-us/statistics.html

http://adoptuskids.org/adoption-and-foster-care/how-to-adopt-and-foster/state-information/south-dakota#requirements

http://www.sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=25-6-4.2

http://www.sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=25-6

http://www.sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=25-8

http://www.sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=25-6-17

http://www.sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=25-6-18

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Kenneth Knudson


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