How to Get Birth Certificate in South Carolina if You Were Adopted
South Carolina OBC Access Status: Sealed
Access to Original Birth Certificate in South Carolina
Per in South Carolina Citation: Ann. Code § 44-63-140- The original birth certificate is placed in a special sealed file by the State registrar.
The statute does not specify a procedure for access to the original certificate.
Help Restore Adoptee Equality in South Carolina
SCAR: South Carolina Adoption Reform is the state group supporting Adoptee Rights Legislation in SC.
Who May Access Adoption Information in South Carolina
Per in South Carolina Citation: Ann. Code § 20-7-1780 – Information may be accessed by the following persons:
The adoptive parents
The adopted person who is age 21 or older
The natural parents and siblings
Access to Nonidentifying Information in South Carolina
Per in South Carolina Citation: Ann. Code § 20-7-1780 – The adoption agency may furnish to the persons listed above nonidentifying information at the time of placement or at a subsequent time. Nonidentifying information includes but is not limited to the following:
The health and medical histories of the natural parents
The health and medical history of the adopted person
The adopted person’s general family background without name references or geographical designations
The length of time the adopted person has been in the care and custody of the adoptive parent
Obtaining Non-Identifying Information: An adopted adult, birth parents and adoptive parents can receive information at the discretion of the CEO of the adoption agency. If the state has an adoption record of the adoption, they can release background info – currently the wait may be over a year. S C Department of Social Services will provide non-identifying information on the adoptions that were done thru their agency as well as the Children’s Bureau. When the Children’s Bureau closed those records were turned over to the state. The state charges $35 for this service (you can asked that it can be waived)
Mutual Access to Identifying Information in South Carolina
Per in South Carolina Citation: Ann. Code § 20-7-1780 – The public adoption agencies responsible for the placement shall furnish to an adopted person the identity of the adopted person’s natural parents and siblings, and to the natural parents and siblings the identity of the adopted person under the following conditions:
The adopted person must be age 21 or older, and the applicants shall apply in writing to the adoption agency for the information.
The adoption agency must have a current file containing affidavits from the adopted person and the natural parents and siblings that they are willing to have their identities revealed to each other.
The adoption agency shall establish and maintain a confidential register containing the names and addresses of the adopted persons and natural parents and siblings who have filed affidavits.
The adopted person and the natural parents and siblings shall undergo counseling by the adoption agency concerning the effects of the disclosure. The adoption agency may charge a fee for the services, but services must not be denied because of inability to pay.
Obtaining Identifying Information: An adopted adult age 21 or older can receive information on the birth parents and birth siblings, and birth parents and birth siblings can receive information regarding the adopted adult if affidavits with consent to release information have been filed with an agency. The agency must maintain a registry containing the affidavits of consent. All who register must go through counseling with the agency
For those who are desperate for a reunion and must resort to this, here is the number:
Using the State Adoption Registry: The following persons may use the adoption registry provided by the state: adopted adults, birth parents and birth siblings either through the agency or State. Only if the state of SC – DSS has a record of the adoption will they allow someone to register. If the adoption was handled privately (attorney or other agency) you cannot register.
What type of information will I need for the SC State Adoption Registry?
A Birthparent will need to provide:
Name of Child at Birth, Date of Birth, Sex of Child, Name of Birth Mother at time of birth, and you agree to the registry requirements and have it notarized and return.
An Adoptee will need to provide:
Adopted Name, Date of Birth, Sex, Name of Adopted Parents (include maiden name of the adopted mother) and agree to the registry requirements and have it notarized and return.
Example: The registry requirements are that you sign: (subject to change) the state charges $10 to register with them (you can ask that this be waived)
I understand that:
.Completing and returning this affidavit enters my name on the Register.
.This affidavit will remain on file, unless I send a written request to have it removed.
.It is my responsibility to update this registration, in writing, if there is a change of name, address or telephone number.
.When a match occurs, the agency will contact me, using the latest information that I have provided, to schedule the required counseling.
.After the counseling is completed, the law requires a 30-day waiting period.
.At the end of the waiting period, I will receive notification of name, address and telephone number of the other party and I am at liberty to pursue the actual reunion in a mutually acceptable manner.
PERSONALLY APPEARS the undersigned party, who being duly sworn, deposes and says that as the biological parent/adoptee of the child named above, I am willing to have my identity, address and telephone number, shown below, revealed to this child, now an adult; that I freely and voluntarily release and hold harmless the State of South Carolina and its adoption agencies and all employees thereof from any liability which may accrue by reason of the release and disclosure of this information.
South Carolina Department of Social Services has records for adoptions that were handled by Children’s Bureau, Dept of Public Welfare and Dept of Social Services only.
If the adoption was handled by another private agency or attorney they do not have any records.
Background information may be obtained by the birth parent or the adoptee only at this time. The cost is $25 for the background info and $10 to be placed in the registry maintained by the state. This background info and registry only applies for adoptions that were handled by the Children’s Bureau, Dept of Public Welfare and Dept of Social Services.
For Followup Contact:
For your initial call to DSS contact:
Donna Cooper 1-803-898-7556 or 1-800-922-2504
Followup calls contact:
Cheryl Sherring, Cathy Fitz, or Debra Kent