Steps to become an adoptive parent

  • Contact one of the Department of Social Services’ regional offices to inquiry and receive application.
  • Application completed and returned to the regional office which serves your resident county.
  • Complete SLED/ Fingerprints and Child Abuse Central register releases on all members of household 18 years and older.
  • Attend 14 hours of preparatory training to help with self evaluation of the types of children which would fit into your family.
  • Fire and sanitation inspections completed on home by the Fire Marshal and DHEC.
  • Home Visits: adoption specialist visits the home and completes interviews for pre- placement investigation.
  • Three/ Four References received and interviewed by adoption specialist.
  • Medicals are required on all family members.
  • Provide copies of birth certificates, Marriage license and divorce petitions and decrees if applicable.
  • During assessment family and agency assess qualifications and readiness to adopt.
  • Approval received and family considered for children along with other approved and waiting families.
  • Placement committee selects family and notifies family and family is presented full background on child/ children for whom family is selected.
  • Family meets child and begins visitation with child.
  • Placement occurs when child and family are ready for move.
  • Post placement period begins and can continue up to 12 months..
  • Finalization of the adoption in Family Court.
  • Adoption Preservation services are available upon request after the finalization of the adoption. Adoption is a lifelong process, counseling and other referral services may be available to the family as needed and requested by the family.