Do registries work?
What happens if there is a match in the registry?
Adoption Went thru the Children's Bureau
Department of Social Services handled the adoption - What can I expect
How is the registry at DSS different from this one?
What if an agency handled the adoption?
Adoption was arrange by attorney - what can I do?
What if my adoption was before 1964?
Any Suggestions on How to Make Contact?
Can I file a petition?
What if I was born in Ga and adopted in S C or vice-versa
What if I hire an investigator/searcher?


Do registries work? - With the internet we have seen the increase of Reunions being made. A registry is good if it is maintained and worked as far as request and checking for matches. SCARR does just that.

What happens if there is a match in the registry? When there is a registry match, each party is contact individually and asked how they would like to continue with contact and what info we have permission to provide to the other party. No information is given out without permission.

If the adoption went thru the Children's Bureau (now closed) you may get your background info from DSS in Columbia, SC. The records were turned over to the state when CB closed.

DSS is handling sending out background info/non-id to adoptees and birth parents. The wait can be several months. from 8 to 12 months and have known some to even be longer. They charge for the non id and to be placed in the state registry which is only for adoptions that went thru DSS and Children's Bureau. You may ask that the fee be waived.

DSS registry is state operated for adoptions they handled only. SCARR is privately maintained. We work the registry and do our best to make the matches. We have been told of matches that DSS is unable to complete because people move, etc. and they don't take the time/effort etc to locate the parties The state required 4 hours for both parties of counseling before they will complete a reunion. (if this happens, make sure what the cost is and who does the counseling) The state also only takes registry entries for adoptions that they handled, so if you were a different agency or private attorney they have nothing to offer.

If an Agency handled the adoption please contact that agency and it is up to each individual agency to provide background info and their cost. The state can not tell you who handled an adoption if an agency or attorney as they don't keep any records on agency or attorney searches.

Not many attorneys keep their records for over the statute of 7 years. Searches handled privately are more difficult for adoptees being unable to obtain any information. Find the attorney, call, ask for background info.

Prior to 1964 Adoption Records were open in S. C. When the law changed it appears in a lot of counties that it became retro active.

How To Make Contact is a good article. Click Here

Can I file a petition to open my records? - Yes and you can try it pro se which means to represent yourself, which you have the right to. We know of some petitions that have been award for "Just Cause" for medical. You could be lucky and get a Judge that understands the issue and would ask that a court intermediary be appointed to contact the other party to see if they wanted contact but the odds are not that high on doing this and they may want you to hire an attorney so that is added cost with no guarantee. Remember an private/independent attorney adoption may not have kept their records and the only source of info at that time is your original birth certificate. Please read the case of Bradey vs Children's Bureau and their appeal to the higher court which denied the court order.

If you were born in Georgia or adopted in Georgia please contact Family's First. They have been know to help adoptees that were adopted in S C but born in Ga. Georgia has an intermediary system set up and for $300 they will do a search and contact the birth family. Email Sandy for more info.

If you hire an investigator or searcher questions to ask. Make sure they are properly licensed, ask for their license number and state of license. In S. C. you have to be licensed and work with a contract . NEVER pay money up front . Several adoptees have told us of where they paid a company up front and never for a completed search and no refund of their money - so in these cases buyer beware. Read the contract - if it is not a " no find - no fee" think again. Remember to check for their license from an individual or company that charges a fee.