State Contact

Department of Social Services
State Office Division of Adoption Services
1535 Confederate Ave, Rm 520-1
PO Box 1520
Columbia, SC 29202
803-898- 3956

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Adoption Resources on the Web

https://dss.sc.gov/child-well-being/adoption/

South Carolina’s state-specific medical assistance information: 
https://www.scdhhs.gov/

South Carolina’s adoption assistance information: 
https://dss.sc.gov/child-well-being/adoption/adoption-assistance/

South Carolina Statute §63-9-1700 through §63-9-1810, Supplemental Benefits to Assure Adoption:
http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t63c009.php

South Carolina Code of Regulations 114-4380, Supplemental Benefits for Adoption and Medical Assistance
http://www.scstatehouse.gov/coderegs/Chapter%20114.pdf

In South Carolina a child is considered to be special needs if the child is legally free for adoption, and reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to place the child without subsidy except where it would be against the child’s best interest because of significant emotional ties with foster parents. The child must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Is African American or of blended racial heritage and six years or older
  • Is Caucasian and 10 years of age or older
  • Is African American or of blended racial heritage and a member of a sibling group of two or more children, one of whom is at least six years of age
  • Is African American or of blended racial heritage and a member of a sibling group of three or more children of any age
  • Is Caucasian and a member of a sibling group or three or more children, one of whom is at least six years of age
  • Is Caucasian and a member of a sibling group of four or more children of any age
  • Is a member of a sibling group that includes a child with special needs under this definition
  • Has a physical, mental, or emotional disability
  • Is at risk of developing a physical, mental, or emotional disability due to a condition existing before adoption ($0 agreements with Medicaid at time of adoption)
Age Rate
0-5 $619
6-12 $723
13-21 $764

Specialized rates are assessed on a case-by-case basis for each child, not to exceed the rate they received in foster care.

Supplemental Benefits for Medical Assistance (SBMA) is available for conditions that existed before adoption finalization. Adoptive families must request this benefit at the time the adoption assistance agreement is drafted and signed. The benefit amount is determined through negotiation between the agency and the adoptive family.

SBMA is available to meet children’s physical, emotional, and psychological needs unable to be met under any other resource, public or private. Availability is limited to children placed through the South Carolina Department of Social Services. These funds may cover medical, rehabilitative, and psychological counseling expenses that are not covered by Medicaid, private insurance, or other resources. All other resources should be exhausted before the SBMA request is made.

Youth who receive Title IV-E adoption assistance payments will continue to receive those payments after age 18 if they have a disability that warrants continuation of adoption assistance up to age 21. The family will have to provide documentation each year of the disability.

If the youth does not have a disability that warrants continuation, then IV-E payments can continue beyond age 18 if the youth was adopted on or after their 16th birthday and meets certain criteria.  

If the child does not qualify for extended lV-E adoption assistance, South Carolina may provide state-funded supplemental benefits after age 18, if the child is in high school or college or job training programs full- time (at least 12 hours per semester or however the school determines full-time student status). In such cases, an Adoption Subsidy Agreement using State Supplemental Benefits Monthly Adoption Assistance Payment can be signed after the youth is 18 years old. These supplemental benefits can continue until the child’s 21st birthday as long as the family provides proof of the youth’s enrollment in full-time school or a job training program and the family’s ongoing financial responsibility for the child.

Child care is not available after finalization. Before finalization, parents would need to discuss with their adoption worker whether child care may be covered.

To determine if respite services are available, families should contact the Adoption Subsidy Coordinator at 803-898-7727 .

If a child needs residential treatment, families should contact the post-legal services worker in the regional adoption office that covers their county of residence.

Post-adoption services in South Carolina are available through the Department of Social Services (DSS), private agencies, and family organizations. To access services, families can contact the post legal services worker at the regional adoption office that covers their county of residence. (contact information: https://dss.sc.gov/child-well-being/adoption/contact/).

Families may be eligible for a $2,000 income deduction on their South Carolina individual income tax return if they have adopted a child with special needs and they claim the child as a dependent on their federal tax return. Families must attach a copy of the letter they received at the time of adoption from SC DSS that certifies the adoptee as a “special needs child.” The adoption credit is claimed on Line u of your SC 1040.