Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - South Dakota

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Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 25-6-12; 25-6-13

Before the hearing on a petition for adoption, the person adopting a child, the child being adopted, and the other persons whose consent is necessary shall execute their consent in writing, and the person adopting shall execute an agreement to the effect that the child being adopted shall be treated in all respects as his or her own. The consent forms and the agreement of the person adopting shall be filed with the court.

A duly incorporated home or society for the care of dependent or neglected children may, by its authorized officer or agent, consent to the adoption of a child surrendered to such home or society by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The circuit judge must examine all persons appearing separately and, if satisfied from such examination and the report of the investigation that the child is suitable for adoption and the petitioning parent or parents are financially able and morally fit to have the care and training of such child, that all requirements of the law have been met, and that the interests of the child will be promoted by the adoption, he or she must make an order declaring that the child thenceforth shall be the adopted child of the person adopting and shall be regarded and treated in all respects as the child of such person.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Ann. Laws § 25-6-23

When a child is adjudicated to be abused or neglected and a court enters a decree terminating parental rights, the parent shall complete a medical and social history form that shall be supplied by the Department of Social Services. When completed, such form shall be filed with the court of the State in which the adoption proceedings shall take place. A copy of the medical history portion of the completed form shall be made available to the adoptive parent prior to finalization of the adoption and to the adoptee upon reaching age 18, upon written request and proper proof of identification.

Background Studies

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 25-6-9.1; 26-4-15; Admin. Code § 67:14:32:11.01

No person may place a child in a home for adoption until a home study has been completed by a licensed child-placing agency, the department, or a certified social worker. A home study shall include a fingerprint-based criminal records check completed by the Division of Criminal Investigation and a central registry screening completed by the department. In addition, no child who is in the custody of the department may be placed in a home for adoption until a fingerprint-based criminal records check has been completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for each adopting parent.

When placing identified children from a State other than South Dakota through a licensed child-placing agency from another State for adoption with a South Dakota family, an adoptive home-study report shall be filed before placement with the department. The adoption home study and report may be provided by a licensed child-placing agency, the Department of Social Services, or a certified social worker eligible to engage in private independent practice. A home study conducted by a certified social worker in private independent practice shall include a criminal records check completed by the Division of Criminal Investigation and a central registry screening completed by the department.

In regulation: An adoptive study includes an evaluation of the applicant based on references, personal interviews, screenings against the central registry for substantiated reports of abuse or neglect, a criminal records check, information obtained from at least three character references, and home consultations.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Admin. Code § 67:14:32:15

The department shall supervise the placement of a child for adoption and maintain contacts with the adoptive parents and child until the completion of legal adoption.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 25-6-16; 25-6-16

A child, when adopted, may take the family name of the person adopting. After adoption, the two shall sustain toward each other the legal relation of parent and child and have all the rights and be subject to all the duties of that relation.

The natural parents of an adopted child are, from the time of the adoption, relieved of all parental duties toward and of all responsibility for the child so adopted and have no right over him or her. Adoption of a child shall be final and unconditional, except as otherwise provided by § 25-6-21. The natural parents of an adopted child shall retain no rights or privileges to have visitation or other postadoption contact with the child, except in cases where a natural parent consents to the adoption of a child by the child's stepfather or stepmother who is the present spouse of the natural parent or in cases of voluntary termination where there is a written preadoption agreement between the natural parent or parents and the adoptive parents.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 25-6-13; 34-25-16.1

The order of adoption, among other things, shall contain the following:

  • The full adoptive name, date of birth, sex, color or race, and place of birth of the adopted child
  • The full name, date of birth, citizenship, residence, color or race, birthplace, and occupation of both adoptive parents

If the birth occurred in a foreign nation and the adoption decree is entered in a court of this State, the Department of Health shall issue a new certificate of birth in the new name of the child and with the name of the adopting person. The birth certificate shall be prepared in accord with the facts as found and entered by the court.

The Department of Health shall issue a new certificate of birth in the new name of the child and the name of each adopting person upon receipt from the clerk of courts such information necessary to establish a new certificate of birth on a form prepared by the department.