2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 63 - South Carolina Children's Code
Chapter 9 - ADOPTIONS
Section 63-9-520 - Investigations and reports.


SC Code § 63-9-520 (2012) What's This?

(A) Before the final hearing for adoption of a child, investigations and reports must be completed in accordance with the following:

(1) Before the placement of any child by any agency or by any person with a prospective adoptive parent, a preplacement investigation, a background investigation, and reports of these investigations must be completed:

(a) preplacement investigations must answer all of the following:

(i) whether the home of the prospective adoptive parent is a suitable one for the placement of a child;

(ii) how the emotional maturity, finances, health, relationships, and any other relevant characteristics of the prospective adoptive parent affect the parent's ability to accept, care, and provide a child with an adequate environment as the child matures;

(iii) whether the prospective adoptive parent has ever been involved in any proceeding concerning allegedly neglected, abandoned, abused, or delinquent children;

(iv) whether the prospective adoptive parent has completed a course or counseling in preparation for adoption;

(v) whether the prospective adoptive parent is approved for placement of a child for purposes of adoption, and if not approved, a statement of the reasons for not approving the prospective adoptive parent; and

(vi) any other information that is disclosed by the investigation that would be of value to or would assist the court in deciding the case;

(b) if the waiting period for an adoptive placement exceeds one year from the date the preplacement investigation report is completed, the report must be updated before the placement of a child for the purpose of adoption to determine any change in circumstances;

(c) a background information investigation and a report of this investigation may not disclose the identity of the biological parents of the adoptee and shall provide the following:

(i) a medical history of the biological family of the adoptee, including parents, siblings, and other family members related to the adoptee including ages, sex, race, and any known genetic, psychological, metabolic, or familial disorders; and

(ii) a medical and developmental history of the adoptee.

(d) notwithstanding any provision of this section, upon good cause shown, the court in its discretion may permit the temporary custody and placement of a child with a prospective adoptive parent before the completion of the preplacement or background investigation and reports required pursuant to this article.

(2) A postplacement investigation and report of this investigation must be completed after the filing of the adoption petition. Copies of this report must be provided to the adoption petitioner and must be filed with the court at the final hearing on the adoption provided for in Section 63-9-750. A postplacement investigation and report of this investigation must:

(a) answer all of the following:

(i) the race, sex, and age of the adoptee and whether the child is a suitable child for adoption by the prospective adoptive parent;

(ii) the reason for the adoptee's placement away from the biological parents;

(iii) whether the adoptee, if of appropriate age and mental capacity, desires to be adopted;

(b) review and where indicated, investigate the allegations of the adoption petition and its attachments and of the accounting of disbursements required under Section 63-9-740;

(c) evaluate the progress of the placement of the adoptee; and

(d) determine whether adoption by the petitioner is in the best interests of the adoptee.

(B) The investigators and all persons participating in, conducting, or associated with the preparation of reports required under this section must be available for examination and cross-examination by any party to an adoption proceeding concerning the contents of and recommendations contained in the reports.

HISTORY: 2008 Act No. 361, Section 2.

SUBARTICLE 7.

JUDICIAL PROCEDURES

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