What are the Requirements for Adoption in S.C.?

If you’re looking to adopt in South Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson will not only walk you through every step of your adoption process, but we’ll also help you understand the adoption requirements in South Carolina — and how you can get started today.

Many adoptive families come to us asking, “What do I need to adopt a child in South Carolina?” While the process can seem overwhelming in the beginning, our goal is to assist you in each stage of your adoption to lessen the feelings of being overwhelmed.

To help you better understand the adoption process, we’ll lay out the basic requirements for adoption here. For more detailed information about the qualifications for adoption in South Carolina, call us today at 864-573-5533.

  1. Do I have to be a South Carolina resident to adopt from the state?

If you’re looking to adopt a child from South Carolina, you can be an in-state or an out-of-state prospective adoptive family. However, there may be different qualifications for adoption that you’ll have to meet if you live out of state.

  1. Do you have to be married to adopt in S.C.?

You do not have to be married to adopt in South Carolina. Unmarried couples as well as single parents can adopt in South Carolina.

  1. How old do you have to be to adopt in S.C.?

While the state’s adoption statute does not specifically mention any adoption age limit or minimum, any adult over the age of 18 can generally adopt in South Carolina. However, if you want to become a foster parent with the aim of eventually adopting a foster child, you will need to be 21 years old.

  1. What kind of background screening do I have to complete if I live in South Carolina?

Whether you are pursuing a private domestic adoption or foster care adoption, you will need to complete several different background checks, including:

  • Child abuse and neglect history
  • State and national criminal records history
  • The sex offender registry

This process will generally need to include a fingerprint review. In addition to the prospective adoptive parents, any other adult living in the prospective adoptive home will also have to complete these adoption requirements.

  1. What kind of home study do I need to complete if I live in South Carolina?

Every prospective adoptive family will need to complete a home study with a licensed agency or approved home study provider. A home study is just what it sounds like: a report on your home and your family to make sure that you’re prepared to welcome an adopted child into your life. We can refer you to a trusted professional to complete this step.

A home study must be completed before any placement of an adopted child can be made. You’ll need to update your home study every 12 months to make sure you’re ready for any last-minute adoption opportunities presented to you.

  1. What are the other requirements for adoption in South Carolina?

While there are no other legal qualifications to adopt a child outlined in state laws, you will need to make sure you’re financially and emotionally prepared for the adoption journey ahead of you. When you talk with our professionals, we can give you a better idea of the adoption qualifications you will need to meet based on your own situation. In the meantime, we recommend you do as much research as possible to decide whether adoption might be right for you.

  1. What are the adoption requirements if I live outside of South Carolina?

We work with many adoptive families who live outside of South Carolina — and even outside of the United States. If you choose us as your adoption professional, we will make sure you meet all of the requirements to adopt over state or country lines, each of which are different processes (which we’ve outlined below).

  1. What are the interstate adoption requirements?

When you adopt a child who lives in a different state than you, your adoption will likely need to comply with ICPC rules. In other words, your adoption will have to conform to the laws of the state where you’re adopting from and the state where you live. The process will impact how long you stay in your adopted child’s birth state, so it’s important that you fully understand these interstate adoption requirements before your process begins. This is where the experienced help of attorney Jim Thompson will be necessary.

  1. What are the international adoption requirements?

If you’re a Canadian family looking to adopt from the United States, the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson is one of only three law firms in the U.S. approved to complete your adoption. International adoptions must comply with Hague Convention regulations, and our certification ensures that you meet all the necessary requirements for adoption to take your child back to your home country safely and legally. Likely, this will include extensive screening and additional training to make sure you’re ready to adopt a child.

To learn more about the requirements for adopting a child internationally with our law firm, please read this article or contact our law firm today at 864-573-5533.

  1. Are there any adoption requirements after the process is complete?

Your individual post-placement assessment requirements may vary based on your situation, but most adoptions completed in South Carolina require a post-placement investigation to be completed after the adoption petition has been filed. This is usually nothing to stress about; it’s simply a way for your social worker to make sure you and your adopted child are adjusting well to your new life together.

Remember, the qualifications for adoption that you will need to meet will depend on the kind of adoption you complete and your individual circumstances. The best way to discover what your adoption requirements in South Carolina might be is to contact our offices today.