South Carolina General Assembly
117th Session, 2007-2008
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 26, 2007
S. Printed 4/26/07--H. [SEC 4/27/07 1:40 PM]
Read the first time January 9, 2007.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 20-7-1792 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT AN ADOPTEE TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER MAY OBTAIN A COPY OF HIS OR HER ORIGINAL RECORD OF BIRTH FROM THE STATE REGISTRAR UNLESS WITHIN THE PAST THREE YEARS THE ADOPTEE'S BIRTH PARENT HAS FILED A NOTARIZED FORM WITH THE STATE REGISTRAR PROHIBITING RELEASE OF IDENTIFYING INFORMATION; TO REQUIRE A BIRTH PARENT TO BE GIVEN INFORMATION ABOUT PROHIBITING RELEASE OF SUCH INFORMATION AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING A CONSENT OR RELINQUISHMENT FOR ADOPTION; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS ACT APPLIES TO ADOPTIONS FINALIZED AFTER JUNE 30, 2008, AND APPLIES TO ALL OTHER ADOPTIONS BEGINNING JULY 1, 2011; AND TO REQUIRE THE STATE REGISTRAR TO CARRY OUT A PUBLIC SERVICE CAMPAIGN EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 20-7-1700(A) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 345 of 2002, is further amended to read:
"(A) Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption, pursuant to Section 20-7-1690, must be made by a sworn document, signed by the person or the head of the agency giving consent or relinquishment after the birth of the adoptee, and must specify the following:
(1) the permanent address of the person or agency making the sworn written statement;
(2) the date, time, and place of the signing of the statement;
(3) the date of birth, race, and sex of the adoptee and any names by which the adoptee has been known;
(4) the relationship of the adoptee to the person or agency giving consent or relinquishment;
(5) the name and address of the adoptee's mother or father;
(6) that the consent or relinquishment by the person or agency forfeits all rights and obligations of the person or agency with respect to the named adoptee, including any future child support obligation. Giving consent or relinquishment does not relieve a person from the obligation to pay a child support arrearage unless approved by the court;
(7) that consent or relinquishment once given must not be withdrawn except by order of the court upon a finding that it is in the best interests of the child, and that the consent or relinquishment was not given voluntarily or was obtained under duress or through coercion; and that the entry of the final decree of adoption renders any consent or relinquishment irrevocable;
(8) that the person or agency giving the consent or relinquishment understands that consent or relinquishment must not be given if psychological or legal advice, guidance, or counseling is needed or desired and that none is needed or desired;
(9) that the person or agency giving the consent or relinquishment waives further notice of the adoption proceedings, unless the proceedings are contested by another person or agency;
(10) that the person or agency giving the consent or relinquishment is
doing so voluntarily, and the consent or relinquishment is not being obtained
under duress or through coercion;
(11) that the person executing the consent or relinquishing has received information authorizing the Office of the State Registrar to release identifying information or nonidentifying health information to the adoptee as provided for in Section 20-7-1792; and
(12) that the person or agency giving the consent or relinquishment has received a copy of the document."
SECTION 2. Section 20-7-1780(D) of the 1976 Code is amended by adding at the end:
"An adoption agency shall provide the nonidentifying information in items (1) and (2) to the Office of the State Registrar upon the State Registrar providing the agency a copy of the statement of a birth parent or parents authorizing nonidentifying health information to be placed on a health information registry for release to an adoptee pursuant to Section 20-7-1792."
SECTION 3. A. Subarticle 7, Article 11, Chapter 7, Title 20 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 20-7-1792. (A) Notwithstanding any provision of this subarticle or any other provision of law, an adoptee twenty-one years of age or older may request a copy of his or her original record of birth or nonidentifying health information, or both, from the Office of the State Registrar. When an adoptee requests the original record of birth, the Office of the State Registrar shall provide the adoptee with information concerning the psychological effects of adoption and with names of counseling agencies the adoptee may contact if he or she so chooses.
(B) At the time a birth parent executes a consent or relinquishment for adoption, the birth parent or parents must be provided written information developed by the Office of the State Registrar concerning the right of the birth parent or parents to authorize the release of the following information to the adoptee by the Office of the State Registrar in accordance with this section:
(1) the parent or parents' identifying information; or
(2) the parent or parents' nonidentifying health information. (C)(1) After receiving the information provided for in subsection (B)(1), the birth parent or parents may elect to have identifying information released upon request of the adoptee by filing a notarized statement with the Office of the State Registrar indicating that the birth parent or parents authorize his or her identifying information to be released to the adoptee.
(2) If the birth parent or parents file the statement provided for in subsection (C)(1) with the Office of the State Registrar to authorize the release of the identifying information, the adoptee must be provided the original record of birth not before thirty days from the date of the adoptee's request, except when the information is requested because of a medical emergency.
(D) If a birth parent or parents do not file the statement provided for in subsection (C)(1) with the Office of the State Registrar authorizing the release of identifying information, the Office of the State Registrar must not release any identifying information to an adoptee.
(E)(1) After receiving the information provided for in subsection (B)(2), the birth parent or parents may elect to have nonidentifying health information placed on a registry to be released to the adoptee upon request by filing a notarized statement with the Office of the State Registrar.
(2) If the birth parent or parents file the statement provided for in subsection (E)(1) the Office of the State Registrar shall release the information to the adoptee upon request.
(3) The Office of the State Registrar shall obtain nonidentifying health information from adoption agencies pursuant to Section 20-7-1780(D) and shall maintain the health information registry in accordance with this section.
(F) This section applies to all adoptions for which consent or relinquishment for adoption was executed after June 30, 2008, and as of July 1, 2011, this section applies to all adoptions for which consent or relinquishment for adoption was executed before July 1, 2008."
B. As soon as practicable after July 1, 2008, the Office of the State Registrar shall begin conducting a public service campaign to inform the public of the provisions of this act and specifically that as of July 1, 2011, an adoptee twenty-one years of age or older, who was adopted before July 1, 2008, may obtain a copy of his or her original birth certificate if the adoptee's birth parent files a document, in accordance with this act, authorizing such disclosure.
C. This section takes effect July 1, 2008, except that Section 3.B. takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
SECTION 4. Except as provided for in Section 3.C., this act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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