Who must be certified?
All persons who prepare investigations in adoption matters (prepare home studies for prospective adoptive families) and all persons, except lawyers and judges, who take relinquishments and consents from birth parents planning adoption for their children. Once the certification application is approved and the Certification Number is issued, that number should appear on all reports prepared by the certified person.
The Adoption Act delegates to Certified Adoption Investigators (CI) the responsibility for pre-placement investigations of prospective adoptive parents (home study). The CI will visit the prospective adoptive parents’ home to ensure the home meets the state licensing requirements such as working smoke alarms, safe storage of fire arms, safe water and adequate space for children. The CI will evaluate the prospective adoptive parent’s emotional maturity, finances, health and relationships. The CI will have in depth discussions with the prospective adoptive parents in regards to their expectations and preferences for the child they hope to adopt.
Another aspect of the Certified Adoption Investigator is the delicate, vital responsibility for counseling birth parents as they contemplate adoption. In both public and private adoptions, counseling is essential to a successful adoption, for parents who are considering placing a child for adoption. Investigators must have adoption-related training and experience to be certified by South Carolina as an adoption investigator.