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

Date: January 2020

Who May Adopt

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 25-6-2; 25-6-3

Any adult person may adopt a minor child. However, the person adopting the child shall be at least 10 years older than the adoptee, unless the court finds the adoption of the child by the adult person in the best interests of the child.

A married person must have the consent of his or her spouse, unless they are legally separated.

Who May Be Adopted

Citation: Ann. Laws §§ 25-6-2; 25-6-18; 25-6-24

Any minor child may be adopted by any adult person.

An adult may adopt another adult by filing a petition with the court requesting the adoption, together with an agreement in writing that the adoptee shall be treated in all respects as a natural child of the petitioner. Written consent of the adoptee also shall be required. It shall be a further prerequisite that the adoptee shall have lived in the home of the adoptive parent for a period of at least 6 months while the adoptee was under age 21, and this fact shall appear in the petition. If the adoptee is the birth child of the adoptive parent, the prerequisite of living in the home of the adoptive parent during the person's minority is waived.

Due regard shall be afforded to the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. § 1901, et seq.), if that act is applicable.

Who May Place a Child for Adoption

Citation: Ann. Laws § 26-6-12

Only the following entities may place a child for adoption:

  • The child's parents
  • A guardian of the child
  • A home or society for the care of dependent or neglected children to which the child has been surrendered for adoption by the court
  • The Department of Social Services, if the department has custody of the child