Frequently Asked Questions
South Carolina has laws in place governing the requirements for adoptions
in this state. If you currently reside in another state, the answers to
the questions may be different according to your state’s laws.
No. There are many options for adoption that are available to families
of different incomes. The cost of adoption depends on the particular situation
and what is appropriate for your family.
Yes, we are happy to work with out-of-state families. Please note that
South Carolina has specific laws regarding placement with non-residents,
and ICPC clearance must be obtained before you can return home after the
baby is born.
Yes. U.S. military adoptive parents residing in South Carolina may adopt
as any other South Carolina family.
We will refer you to a licensed social worker who can arrange a home study
for adoption. In South Carolina, a home study is valid for 1 year, and
can be updated upon expiration.
Most birth mothers prefer to select the family. We will speak with her
and help her to formulate her adoption plan, which will include her desires
and the qualities important to her in an adoptive family. She is then
shown parent profiles of families that fit her adoption plan, and she
will choose a family from those profiles.
Your length of time on the waiting list will depend on a number of controllable
and uncontrollable factors. Factors such as age, race/ethnicity, health
and needs of the child play a role in determining the length of time before
a child is identified as appropriate for an adoptive family. Generally,
the average waiting period to be matched with a Caucasian child is 12-18
months and 6-12 months for a bi-racial or minority child. The wait can
be dramatically shorter or longer depending on individual situations and
the restrictions you have on the type of child you select.
Remember though that prospective parents must take the first step of completing
an application with us to get on our waiting list. Your diligence and
patience are important. A birth mother cannot select you to adopt her
child if you do not put yourself out there.
Many adoptive parents connect with birth mothers on their own through mutual
friends, over the internet, or ads placed in the newspaper. We will still
work with the match the same as if it had been made through our office
as the birth mother will still have the same needs. We will help her with
counseling, payment of expenses, obtaining medical care and more. It is
important to involve an adoption attorney from the beginning to make sure
all laws are properly followed.
Yes! Many potential adoptive parents want to welcome a “special needs”
child into their home. They may have other special needs children, or
they may believe that they are financially and emotionally capable of
providing the attention and care that these special children require.
Emily McDaniel Barrett, is the aunt of a special needs child and is sensitive
to the issues involved with such a placement.
This will depend on how open or closed the adoption is. The birth mother
will receive your information packet, which will include your letter to
her and your family profile. If she wants an open or semi-open adoption,
she will want to speak with you by telephone and/or meet with you in person
before the baby is born. This is an excellent time to get to know each
other and get questions answered on both sides.
Yes. We strongly recommend counseling for the birth mother, although we
cannot make it mandatory.
The consent for adoption cannot be signed before the baby is born. Generally,
the birth mother will sign before she is discharged from the hospital.
If the birth mother has a C-section, we will wait until she is free of
narcotic medicine before having her sign.
In South Carolina, once the adoption consent is signed it is binding and
irrevocable, unless overturned by a court for fraud or duress.
Finalization normally occurs within 3 to 6 months of placement, but can
be delayed for various reasons.
This also will depend on how open or closed the adoption is. However, no
matter what type of adoption plan is chosen, an adopted child will be
provided with a complete medical and social history of the birth parent(s).
Background information includes how the birth parents grew up, if they
have siblings or other children, their education, interest, hobbies and
talents. The medical history will include information about the birth
parents and their families, although we cannot guarantee the health or
medical history of the child.
Yes. Professionals agree that adopted children should be told at an early
age that they were adopted so that they have a clearer understanding of
who they are, especially is the child is of a different ethnic/cultural
heritage than you. Adopted children need to know about themselves and
their families just as much as non-adopted children do. Keeping this information
from an adopted child could create trust issues in the future.
Will an adopted child feel "different" from other children?
The statistics show that one in ten children is adopted, and in fact, many
of these children feel "special" rather than "different"
because their birth parents and adoptive parents made a plan in his or
her best interest.
Yes. Once the adoption is complete you will need to update your will. Having
an up-to-date will is important for all of your children, whether biological
or adopted. The two most important reasons for having a current will involve
naming your children as beneficiaries of your estate and appointing guardians
in the event that something happens to you.
This is called a dissolution of your previous adoption. It is rare, but
sometimes when children are adopted they just do not bond with their adoptive
parents or those parents do not feel they are equipped to meet the child’s
needs. Generally if a dissolution occurs, it is with an older child adopted
out of foster care or an international adoption. We can work to match
this child with a new family that feels that this child would be a good
fit in their home.
Call us at (843) 723-1688 to speak with an adoption professional, Monday
through Friday, 9am to 5pm EST. We will be happy to send you written information
or to arrange a consultation at a time convenient to you, either in person
or by telephone. You may also fill out our
Adoptive parents contact form
which will reach us via email. All of the information you provide to us
is completely confidential and in no way obligates you to choose adoption
or us to represent you.
We are available to work with you individually, answer your questions and
assist you in making an adoption plan that is right for you and your family.
We look forward to celebrating one of life's most rewarding experiences with you.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided above is an overview of the adoption laws of
South Carolina. It is a brief introduction to a complex topic. This is
not a complete dissertation of the law, is not tailored to a specific
case, and you should not rely on this document. Moreover, the adoption
law is new and untested; therefore, this information may change as the
courts interpret the law. When you have specific questions regarding your
particular adoptive placement, please address them with us, or another