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Bill Number: 625 Ratification Number: 375 Act Number 358 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Statewide Adoption Exchange established
(A358, R375, S625)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 20-7-1895 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A STATEWIDE ADOPTION EXCHANGE WHICH IS TO BE ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO RECRUIT ADOPTIVE FAMILIES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Statewide Adoption Exchange established
SECTION 1. Subarticle 7 of Chapter 7 of Title 20 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding: "Section 20-7-1895. (A) The State Department of Social Services shall establish, either directly or through purchase of services, a statewide adoption exchange with a photograph listing component.
(B) The adoption exchange must be available to serve all authorized, licensed child-placing agencies in the State as a means of recruiting adoptive families for any child who meets one or more of the following criteria:
(1) The child is legally free for adoption.
(2) The child has been permanently committed to the department or to a licensed child-placing agency.
(3) The court system requires identification of an adoptive family for the child before ties to the biological parents are severed.
(4) The department has identified adoption as the child's treatment plan.
(C) The department shall register with the adoption exchange each child in its care who meets any one or more of the above criteria and for whom no adoptive family has been identified. This registration must be made at least thirty days from the determination date of the child's adoptable status and updated at least monthly.
(D) If an adoption plan has not been made within at least three months from the determination date of the child's adoptable status, the department shall provide the adoption exchange with a photograph, description of the child, and any other necessary information for the purpose of recruitment of an adoptive family for the child, including registration with the photograph listing component of the exchange which must be updated monthly. The department shall establish criteria by which a determination may be made that recruitment or photograph listing is not required for a child. The department also shall establish procedures for monitoring the status of children for whom that determination is made.
(E) In accordance with guidelines established by the department, the adoption exchange may accept from licensed child-placing agencies, referrals and registration for recruitment and photograph listing of children meeting the criteria of this section.
(F) The department shall refer appropriate children to regional and national exchanges when an adoptive family has not been identified within one hundred eighty days of the determination of the child's adoptable status. The department shall establish criteria by which a determination may be made that a referral to regional or national exchanges is not necessary, and the department shall monitor the status of those children not referred. Only a 'special needs child', as defined in Section 20-7-1650(j), may be referred under the provisions of this subsection. (G) The department shall provide orientation and training to appropriate staff regarding the adoption exchange procedures and utilization of the photograph listing component."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect July 1, 1988.