The governor signed into law new measures to ease and expedite the state’s adoption process. Foster and adoptive parents joined DSS workers and an array of legislators to celebrate the signing, which was held on Statehouse grounds.
According to the governor’s office, this legislation allows family courts overseeing the adoption process to cut through red tape in cases of severe abuse and neglect, and places a greater responsibility on parents in these cases to demonstrate their readiness for parenthood. The bill makes it easier to terminate parental rights to a child if the birth parents are not showing effort or progress.
State DSS Director Kathleen Hayes says this bill is the result of the work of a task force assembled by the governor in 2007.
AUDIO: DSS Director Hayes discusses adoption law (1:56)
Greenville Senator Mike Fair championed the bill from the beginning, he made an appeal today for more people to step up to become foster parents:
The task is very daunting as we look forward into the next few years. The revenues in state government are not to get much better if any better at all. Which means that we need more than ever before more volunteers, more people who are willing to become qualified, even if they don’t think they are qualified, to serve as foster parents.
Last year, 523 adoptions were finalized in South Carolina.