State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad - South Carolina

Date: April 2018

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63-9-920; 63-9-760(A)

When the relationship of parent and child has been created by a decree of adoption of a court of any other State or nation, the rights and obligations of the parties as to matters within the jurisdiction of this State must be determined by § 63-9-760.

After the final decree of adoption is entered, the relationship of parent and child and all the rights, duties, and other legal consequences of the natural relationship of parent and child exist between the adopted child, the adoptive parent, and the kindred of the adoptive parent.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-910

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 63-9-790(A)-(B), in the case of a child born in a foreign country who was not a U.S. citizen at birth and whose adoption was finalized in a foreign country, the court shall review the documentation. If it finds the documentation to be satisfactory, the court shall issue an order stating that the required documentation has been submitted and is satisfactory and that the foreign adoption must be recognized and domesticated in South Carolina. The court shall transmit the order and the certificate of adoption to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics without the necessity of a hearing unless the court finds the documentation submitted is unsatisfactory and such finding is stated in the order resulting from the hearing.

Documentation required to be submitted to the court includes, but is not limited to:

  • A verified petition seeking domestication of the foreign adoption
  • A home study completed after the foreign adoption by a certified person that evaluates the adjustment and progress of the child and family since adoption
  • Naturalization papers, if available
  • Other documentation as the court may request

The court administration in consultation with the Department of Health and Environmental Control shall develop petition forms, including the documentation required to be filed with the petition, and guidelines for obtaining the domestication of a foreign adoption. These forms and guidelines must be available to the public upon request at all county clerks of court offices and at Department of Health and Environmental Control offices.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code § 44-63-140

When adoption of a person born in a foreign country who was not a U.S. citizen at birth is decreed by a family court in this State and evidence of the date and place of birth submitted to the court and the court order setting forth the date and place of birth are attached to the Certificate of Adoption, the State registrar shall prepare a 'Certificate of Foreign Birth.' The certificate must be labeled 'Certificate of Foreign Birth' and must show the actual country of birth. A statement also must be included on the certificate that it is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the person for whom it is issued.