Process

Adoption is a beautiful way to provide a family for a child in need. There are children of all ages in need of a forever home. Making sure children are in safe, loving, and permanent families is an important way DSS strengthens families in South Carolina.

You as an adoptive parent can do so much for a child:

  • Provide a permanent home and a lifelong commitment to children into adulthood and beyond
  • Provide for the short-term and long-term needs of children
  • Provide for children's emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs, according to your child's developmental age and growth


Your family can complete a child’s life, giving them the joy of lifelong love and connection. See what you can do for an adoptive child!

Anyone interested in becoming an adoptive parent may call 1-888-828-3555 or contact the regional adoption office for your county of residence.

The Process of Becoming an Adoptive Parent

Are you ready to learn more? Start by contacting your regional office and trained staff can answer all of your questions about the process. DSS screens all potential adoptive parents and supports approved individuals and families with training and supportive services.

If you’d like to apply to become an adoptive parent, you can expect the process below to unfold with the support of a DSS Adoption Specialist:

 

  • Contact Heart Felt Calling for an application.
  • Complete and return application to the regional office which serves your county of residence.
  • Complete SLED/ Fingerprints and Child Abuse Central register releases for 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.
  • Complete your home’s fire and sanitation inspections through the Fire Marshal and DHEC.
  • Complete your Home Visits: an adoption specialist will visit your home so you can complete the interviews for pre- placement investigation.
  • Submit three or four references to be interviewed by an adoption specialist.
  • Submit medical forms for all family members.
  • Provide copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, and divorce petitions and decrees if applicable.
  • Complete assessment by the agency for qualifications and readiness to adopt.
  • Join the other approved families being considered for children.
  • Selection committee selects and notifies family. The family is given full background on the child/ children identified.
  • Meet the child and begins visitation.
  • When child and family are ready the child is placed in the home.
  • Begin the post placement period, which can continue up to 12 months.
  • Finalize the adoption in Family Court. 

Adoption Preservation services are available upon request after the finalization of the adoption.
Because adoption is a lifelong process, counseling and other referral services may be available to the family as needed at the families’ request.

Additional Resource

SC Heart Gallery