South Carolina General Assembly
125th Session, 2023-2024

Bill 3557

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

A bill

to amend the South Carolina Code of Laws by amending Section 63-7-20, relating to children's code definitional terms, so as to add and change definitions concerning child abandonment; by amending Section 63-9-310, relating to Persons whose consent to adoption is required, so as to clarify that the department of social services' consent is required for abandoned children; and by amending Section 63-9-320, relating to Persons whose consent to adoption is not required, so as to include the parent of an abandoned child.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1.Section 63-7-20(1) of the S.C. Code is amended to read:

(1)(a) "Abandoned" means to have engaged in conduct that constitutes the abandonment of a child as defined in this item.

(b) "Abandonment of a child" means a parent or guardian wilfully deserts a child or wilfully surrenders physical possession of a child without making adequate arrangements for the child's needs or the continuing care of the child the conduct of a parent or guardian, while being able to, of making little or no provision for the child's support or making little or no effort to communicate with the child, which situation is sufficient to evince an intent to reject parental responsibilities. If, in the opinion of the court, the efforts of such parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child's welfare to support and communicate with the child are only marginal efforts that do not evince a settled purpose to assume all parental duties, the court may declare the child to be abandoned. In making this decision, the court may consider the conduct of a father toward the child's mother during her pregnancy.

SECTION 2.Section 63-9-310(C) of the S.C. Code is amended to read:

(C)(1) Consent is required of the child placing agency or person facilitating the placement of the child for adoption if the child has been relinquished for adoption to the agency or person.

(2) Consent is required of the department as the child placing agency if the child was voluntarily left with a safe haven pursuant to Section 63-7-40 or was otherwise abandoned as that term is defined in Section 63-7-20.

SECTION 3.Section 63-9-320(A)(3) of the S.C. Code is amended to read:

(3) the biological parent of a child conceived as a result of that parent's criminal sexual conduct or incest as found by a court of competent jurisdiction unless, with respect to a conviction for criminal sexual conduct, the sentencing court makes specific findings on the record that the conviction resulted from consensual sexual conduct where neither the victim nor the actor were younger than fourteen years of age nor older than eighteen years of age at the time of the offense;

(4) a parent of an infant who voluntarily left the infant with a safe haven pursuant to Section 63-7-40 or a parent of a child who otherwise abandoned the child as the term "abandoned" is defined Section 63-7-20.

SECTION 4.This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.


This web page was last updated on December 15, 2022 at 03:12 PM