Access to Adoption Records - South Carolina

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Who May Access Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-780

Nonidentifying information may be provided to the following persons:

  • The adoptive parents
  • The adoptee
  • The birth parents, birth grandparents, and birth siblings

Identifying information may be accessed by the following persons:

  • The adoptee who is age 21 or older
  • The birth parents, grandparents, and siblings

Access to Nonidentifying Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-780

The adoption agency may furnish nonidentifying information to adoptive parents; birth parents, grandparents, and siblings; or adoptees when, in the sole discretion of the chief executive officer of the agency, the information would serve the best interests of the persons concerned. Nonidentifying information includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The health and medical histories of the birth parents, grandparents, and siblings
  • The health and medical history of the adoptee
  • The adoptee's general family background without name references or geographical designations
  • The length of time the adoptee has been in the care and custody of the adoptive parent

Mutual Access to Identifying Information

Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-780

The public adoption agency responsible for the placement shall furnish to an adoptee the identity of the adoptee's birth parents, birth grandparents, and birth siblings and to the birth parents, birth grandparents, and birth siblings the identity of the adoptee under the following conditions:

  • For an adoptee applying for identifying information about a birth parent or grandparent, the following apply:
    • The adoptee must be age 21 or older and must apply in writing to the agency for the information.
    • The agency must have a current file containing affidavits from the adoptee and the birth parent or grandparent, as applicable, agreeing to the disclosure of their identity to each other.
  • For an adoptee applying for identifying information about a birth sibling, the following apply:
    • The adoptee and the birth sibling must be age 21 or older, and the adoptee must apply in writing to the agency for the information.
    • The agency must have a current file containing affidavits from the adoptee and the birth sibling agreeing to the disclosure of their identity to each other.
  • For a birth parent or grandparent applying for identifying information about an adoptee, the following apply:
    • The adoptee must be age 21 or older, and the birth parent or grandparent must apply in writing to the adoption agency for the information.
    • The agency must have a current file containing affidavits from the adoptee and the birth parent or grandparent, as applicable, agreeing to the disclosure of their identity to each other.
  • For a birth sibling applying for identifying information about an adoptee, the following apply:
    • The birth sibling and adoptee must be age 21 or older, and the birth sibling must apply in writing to the agency for the information.
    • The agency must have a current file containing affidavits from the adoptee and the birth sibling, agreeing to the disclosure of their identity to each other.

The adoption agency shall establish and maintain a confidential register containing the names and addresses of the adoptees and the birth parents, birth grandparents, and birth siblings who have filed affidavits. It is the responsibility of a person whose name and address are in the register to provide the agency with his or her current name and address.

The adoptee and the birth parent, birth grandparent, or birth sibling, as applicable, shall undergo counseling by the adoption agency concerning the effects of the disclosure. The adoption agency may charge a fee for the services, but services must not be denied because of inability to pay.

Access to Original Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code § 44-63-140

The original birth certificate and the evidence of adoption are not subject to inspection, except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction. However, a person age 18 or older who was born in the State of South Carolina and who has had his or her original certificate of birth sealed due to an adoption may, upon written request to the State registrar, receive a copy of his or her original birth certificate and any evidence of the adoption held with the original record if the birth parent has completed a form consenting to the release of the original birth certificate. The form also must allow for the birth parent to indicate contact preference and to consent to release of medical history.

The copy of the original birth certificate must be in a form that clearly indicates it is not a certified copy and that it may not be used for legal purposes. All procedures, fees, and waiting periods applicable to nonadopted citizens born in the State of South Carolina seeking copies of certificates of birth apply.

Where the Information Can Be Located

South Carolina Adoption Reunion Registry