Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption - South Carolina

Date: January 2020

Who May Adopt

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63-9-60; 63-9-1110

Any South Carolina resident may petition the court to adopt a child.

Any nonresident of South Carolina may petition the court to adopt a child only in the following circumstances:

  • The child is a special needs child, as defined by § 63-9-30.
  • The child is to be placed for adoption with a relative related biologically or by marriage.
  • At least one of the adoptive parents is in the military service stationed in South Carolina.
  • There are unusual or exceptional circumstances such that the best interests of the child would be served by placement with or adoption by nonresidents of this State.
  • The child has been in foster care for at least 6 months after having been legally freed for adoption, and no South Carolina resident has been identified as a prospective adoptive home.
  • All persons required to give consent to the adoption pursuant to § 63-9-310 have specifically consented to the adoption by the nonresident.
  • The Department of Social Services or any agency under contract with the department has placed the child with the nonresident for purposes of adoption.

A person who files a petition pursuant to this section shall not use public notoriety concerning a child or child's family to support his or her petition to adopt the child.

Any person may adopt his or her spouse's child, and any person may adopt a child to whom he or she is related by blood or marriage.

Who May Be Adopted

Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-50

Any child present within the State at the time the petition is filed may be adopted, irrespective of place of birth or place of residence.

Who May Place a Child for Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-30

A child may be placed by any of the following:

  • A parent
  • The Department of Social Services
  • A child-placing agency
  • Any person or entity that holds legal or physical custody of a child for the purpose of placement for adoption, or a person or entity that facilitates the placement of children for the purpose of adoption, with the exception of an attorney