2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 63 - South Carolina Children's Code
Chapter 9 - ADOPTIONS
Section 63-9-310 - Persons who must give consent or relinquishment.


SC Code § 63-9-310 (2012) What's This?

(A) Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption is required of the following persons:

(1) the adoptee, if over fourteen years of age, except where the court finds that the adoptee does not have the mental capacity to give consent, or that the best interests of the adoptee are served by not requiring consent; and either

(2) the parents or surviving parent of a child conceived or born during the marriage of the parents; or

(3) the mother of a child born when the mother was not married; and either

(4) the father of a child born when the father was not married to the child's mother, if the child was placed with the prospective adoptive parents more than six months after the child's birth, but only if the father has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child as demonstrated by:

(a) payment by the father toward the support of the child of a fair and reasonable sum, based on the father's financial ability; and either

(b) visits by the father to the child at least monthly when the father is physically and financially able to do so, and when the father is not prevented from doing so by the person or agency having lawful custody of the child; or

(c) regular communication by the father with the child or with the person or agency having lawful custody of the child, when the father is physically and financially unable to visit the child, or when the father is prevented from visiting the child by the person or agency having lawful custody of the child.

The subjective intent of the father, if unsupported by evidence of the acts specified in subitems (a), (b), and (c) of this item (4) of subsection (A) of this section, does not preclude a determination that the father failed to maintain substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child. In making this determination, the court may not require a showing of diligent efforts by any person or agency having lawful custody of the child to encourage the father to perform the acts. A father of a child born when the father was not married to the child's mother, who openly lived with the child for a period of six months within the one-year period immediately preceding the placement of the child for adoption, and who during the six-months period openly held himself out to be the father of the child is considered to have maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child for the purpose of this item (4) of subsection (A) of this section; or

(5) the father of a child born when the father was not married to the child's mother, if the child was placed with the prospective adoptive parents six months or less after the child's birth, but only if:

(a) the father openly lived with the child or the child's mother for a continuous period of six months immediately preceding the placement of the child for adoption, and the father openly held himself out to be the father of the child during the six months period; or

(b) the father paid a fair and reasonable sum, based on the father's financial ability, for the support of the child or for expenses incurred in connection with the mother's pregnancy or with the birth of the child, including, but not limited to, medical, hospital, and nursing expenses.

(B) Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption is required of the legal guardian, child placing agency, or legal custodian of the child if authority to execute a consent or relinquishment has been vested legally in the agency or person and:

(1) both the parents of the child are deceased; or

(2) the parental rights of both the parents have been judicially terminated.

(C) Consent is required of the child placing agency or person facilitating the placement of the child for adoption if the child has been relinquished for adoption to the agency or person.

(D) If the consent of a child placing agency required by this subsection is not provided to any person eligible under Section 63-9-60, the agency has an affirmative duty to inform the person who is denied consent of all of his rights for judicial review of the denial.

(E) Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption given by a parent who is a child is not subject to revocation by reason of the parent's minority.

(F) Under no circumstances may a child-placing agency or any person receive a fee, compensation, or any other thing of value as consideration for giving a consent or relinquishment of a child for the purpose of adoption and no child-placing agency or person may receive a child for payment of such fee, compensation, or any other thing of value.

However, costs may be assessed and payment made, subject to the court's approval, for the following:

(1) reimbursements for necessary, actual medical, and reasonable living expenses incurred by the mother and child for a reasonable period of time;

(2) the fee for obtaining investigations and reports as required by Section 63-9-520;

(3) the fee of the individuals required to take the consent or relinquishment, as required by Section 63-9-340(A);

(4) the fee of a guardian ad litem appointed pursuant to Section 63-9-720;

(5) reasonable attorney's fees and costs for actual services rendered;

(6) reasonable fees to child-placing agencies; and

(7) reasonable fees to sending agencies as defined in Section 63-9-2200(2)(b), the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

The court may approve an adoption while not approving unreasonable fees and costs.

HISTORY: 2008 Act No. 361, Section 2.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. South Carolina may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.