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1Ratification Number: 242Act Number: 157Introducing Body: SenateSubject: Release of information by adoption agencies
(A157, R242, S1)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-1780, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO RELEASE OF INFORMATION BY ADOPTION AGENCIES, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE ADOPTION AGENCIES TO RELEASE THE IDENTITY OF ADOPTED PERSONS AND BIOLOGICAL PARENTS OF ADOPTED PERSONS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-2340, RELATING TO THE ACCEPTANCE AND USE OF GIFTS AND DONATIONS BY THE CHILDREN'S BUREAU, SO AS TO ALLOW THE BUREAU TO ACCEPT FEES AND TO REQUIRE THE BUREAU TO USE FEES FOR PURPOSES SPECIFIED BY DONORS OR EXPLAINED BY A SCHEDULE OF FEES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Identity of biological parents
SECTION 1. Section 20-7-1780 of the 1976 Code, added by Act 71 of 1981, is amended by adding:
"(e) The public adoption agencies responsible for the placement shall furnish to an adoptee the identity of the adoptee's biological parents or to a biological parent the identity of the adoptee or of the adoptee's siblings under the following conditions:
(1) The adoptee must be twenty-one years of age or older and shall apply in writing to the public adoption agency concerned for such information.
(2) The adoption agency shall have an up-to-date file containing affidavits from the adoptee and any living biological parent or the adoptee's living siblings that they are willing to have their identities revealed to their parent or child or sibling. The affidavit shall also include a statement releasing the agency from any liability due to the disclosure. It is the responsibility of the person furnishing the affidavit to advise the agency of any changes in his status so that the agency will have an up-to-date file.
(3) The adoption agency shall establish and maintain a confidential register containing the names of those adoptees, biological parents, or adoptee's siblings who have filed an affidavit. It is the inquirer's responsibility to provide the agency with his current name and address while on the register.
(4) The living biological parent and the adoptee shall each undergo counseling by the adoption agency concerning the effects of the disclosure. The adoption agency may charge a fee for the services but services may not be denied because of inability to pay.
(5) The adoptive parents upon failure to object in writing within thirty days after receipt of confidential written notification from the agency of the pending application.
No disclosure may be made within thirty days after compliance with these conditions. The director of the adoption agency may waive the period in extreme circumstances.
The adoption agency concerned may delay disclosure for twenty days from the expiration of the thirty-day period to allow time to apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin the disclosure for good cause shown."
Use of gifts
SECTION 2. Section 20-7-2340 of the 1976 Code, added by Act 71 of 1981, is amended to read:
"Section 20-7-2340. The Bureau may accept and hold gifts, fees, donations, or contributions and may receive devises and bequests and such acquisitions must be used for the purposes specified by the donors or explained by a schedule of fees."
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.