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S.C. Code of Laws

The statutes listed below are linked to the South Carolina Code of Laws provided on the General Assembly’s website which is updated after each legislative session.

S.C. Code § 63-7 Child Protection and Permanency

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 63-7-10. Purpose.
§ 63-7-20. Definitions.
§ 63-7-25. Children in Out-of-home Care; Age or Developmentally Appropriate Activities.
§ 63-7-30. Seeking Assistance.
§ 63-7-40. Safe Haven for Abandoned Babies.

Article 3.  Identification, Investigation, and Intervention

Subarticle 1. Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
§ 63-7-310. Persons Required to Report (Mandated Reporters).
§ 63-7-315. Civil Action Created for Wrongful Termination Based on Employee Having Reported Child Abuse or Neglect.
§ 63-7-320. Notification; Transfer; Notice to Designated Military Officials.
§ 63-7-330. Confidentiality of Information.
§ 63-7-340. Previous Reports.
§ 63-7-350. Reports for Lack of Investigation.
§ 63-7-360. Mandatory Reporting to Coroner.
§ 63-7-370. Domestic Violence Reporting.
§ 63-7-380. Photos and X-rays without Parental Consent; Release of Medical Records.
§ 63-7-390. Reporter Immunity from Liability.
§ 63-7-400. Department of Social Services Immunity from Liability.
§ 63-7-410. Failure to Report; Penalties.
§ 63-7-420. Abrogation of Privileged Communication; Exceptions.
§ 63-7-430. Civil Action for Bad Faith Reporting.
§ 63-7-440. Knowingly Making False Report.
§ 63-7-450. Department of Social Services to Provide Information to Public.
Subarticle 3. Emergency Protective Custody
§ 63-7-610. Statewide Jurisdiction.
§ 63-7-620. Emergency Protective Custody.
§ 63-7-630. Notification of Department of Social Services.
§ 63-7-640. Preliminary Investigation.
§ 63-7-650. Risk Assessment before Placement; Opportunity to Be Licensed as  Kinship Foster Parent.
§ 63-7-660. Assumption of Legal Custody.
§ 63-7-670. Returning Child to Parents; Alternative Procedures.
§ 63-7-680. Emergency Protective Custody Extension.
§ 63-7-690. Relative Placement.
§ 63-7-700. Emergency Protective Custody Proceedings.
§ 63-7-710. Probable Cause Hearing.
§ 63-7-710(c). Appointment of Guardian ad Litem and Counsel at Probable Cause Hearing.
§ 63-7-710(e). Time Frame for Merits/Removal Hearing
§ 63-7-720. Reasonable Effort to Prevent Removal.
§ 63-7-730. Expedited Placement of Child with Relative.
§ 63-7-735. Right to Become a Licensed Kinship Foster Parent.
§ 63-7-740. Ex Parte Emergency Protective Custody.
§ 63-7-750. Doctor or Hospital May Detain Child; Civil Immunity.
§ 63-7-760. Protocols.
§ 63-7-765. Required Disclosure of Information to Kinship Care Providers.
§ 63-7-770. Required Disclosure of Information to Residential Health Facilities.
Subarticle 5. Intake and Investigation Duties of the Department of Social Services
§ 63-7-900. Purpose of the Subarticle.
§ 63-7-910. Duties of the Department.
§ 63-7-920. Investigations and Case Determination.
§ 63-7-930. Classification Categories.
§ 63-7-940. Use of Unfounded Case Information.
§ 63-7-950. Withholding Health Care.
§ 63-7-960. Consolidation and Delivery of Services.
§ 63-7-970. Children of Incarcerated Women.
§ 63-7-980. Cooperation between the Department and Law Enforcement.
§ 63-7-990. Access to Sex Offender Registry.
Subarticle 7. Institutional Abuse and Neglect
§ 63-7-1210. Department Investigation of Institutional Abuse.
§ 63-7-1220. SLED Investigation of DJJ and DSS Institutional Abuse Cases.
§ 63-7-1230. Immediate Entry in Central Registry of Name of Person Determined to Have Abused Child; Notification; Challenge.
Subarticle 9. Administrative Appeal of Indicated Cases
§ 63-7-1410. Purpose.
§ 63-7-1420. Appeal of Judicial Determinations.
§ 63-7-1430. Notice and Opportunity to be Heard.
§ 63-7-1440. Judicial Review.
Subarticle 11. Judicial Proceedings
§ 63-7-1610. Jurisdiction and Venue.
§ 63-7-1620. Legal Representation of Children.
§ 63-7-1630. Notice of Hearings.
§ 63-7-1640. Family Preservation.
§ 63-7-1650. Services without Removal (Intervention Action).
§ 63-7-1660. Services with Removal.
§ 63-7-1670. Treatment Plan.
§ 63-7-1680. Approval or Amendment of Plan (Placement Plan).
§ 63-7-1690. Placement Plans, Substance Abuse Issues.
§ 63-7-1700. Permanency Planning Hearing.
§ 63-7-1710. Standards for Terminating Parental Rights.
Subarticle 13. Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect
§ 63-7-1910. Purpose.
§ 63-7-1920. Department to Maintain Central Registry.
§ 63-7-1930. Petition for Placement in Central Registry.
§ 63-7-1940. Court Order for Placement in Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglec
§ 63-7-1950. Updated Records Requested.
§ 63-7-1960. Destruction of Certain Records.
§ 63-7-1970. Release of Information.
§ 63-7-1980. Screening Against the Central Registry.
§ 63-7-1990. Confidentiality and Release of Records and Information.
§ 63-7-2000. Retention and Disclosure of Records of Unfounded Cases.
§ 63-7-2010. Annual Reports.

Article 5. Foster Care

§ 63-7-2310. Protecting and Nurturing Children in Foster Care.
§ 63-7-2320. Kinship Foster Care Program.
§ 63-7-2330. Placement with Relatives.
§ 63-7-2340. Fingerprint Review.
§ 63-7-2345. Payment of Costs of Federal Bureau of Investigation Fingerprint Reviews.
§ 63-7-2350. Restrictions on Foster Care or Adoption Placements.
§ 63-7-2360. Placement of Minor Sex Offenders.
§ 63-7-2370. Disclosure of Information to Foster Parents.
§ 63-7-2380. Foster Parent Training.
§ 63-7-2390. Loss for Uninsured Damages.
§ 63-7-2400. Number of Foster Children Who May Be Placed in a Foster Home.

Article 7. Termination of Parental Rights

§ 63-7-2510. Purpose.
§ 63-7-2520. Jurisdiction.
§ 63-7-2530. Filing Procedures.
§ 63-7-2540. Content of Petition.
§ 63-7-2550. Service of Petition.
§ 63-7-2560. Representation by Counsel; Guardian ad Litem.
§ 63-7-2570. Grounds (for Termination of Parental Rights and Best Interest of Child).
§ 63-7-2580. Permanency of Order.
§ 63-7-2590. Effect of (Termination of Parental Rights) Order.
§ 63-7-2600.  Confidentiality.
§ 63-7-2610. Effect on Adoption Laws.
§ 63-7-2620. Construction of Law.

S.C. Code § 63-9 – Adoptions
Article 1. South Carolina Adoption Act

Subarticle 1. General Provisions
§ 63-9-10. Short title.
§ 63-9-20. Legislative Purpose.
§ 63-9-30. Definitions.
§ 63-9-40. Jurisdiction; Venue.
§ 63-9-50. Children who May Be Adopted.
§ 63-9-60. Persons who May Adopt.
§ 63-9-70. Advertising Prohibited to Place or Accept Child for Adoption; Exception; Penalties.
§ 63-9-80. Required  Disclosure of Information to Prospective Adoptive Parent.
Subarticle 3. Consent and Relinquishment
§ 63-9-310. Persons Who Must Give Consent or Relinquishment.
§ 63-9-320. Persons Not Required to Give Consent or Relinquishment.
§ 63-9-330. Form and Content of Consent and Relinquishment.
§ 63-9-340. Signing Consent and Relinquishment.
§ 63-9-350. Withdrawal of Consent or Relinquishment.
§ 63-9-360. Consent and Relinquishment Certification.
§ 63-9-370. Adoption of a Child in the Custody of DSS.
Subarticle 5. Investigations and Reports
§ 63-9-510. Temporary Placement and Custody of Adoptee.
§ 63-9-520. Investigations and Reports.
Subarticle 7. Judicial Procedures
§ 63-9-710. Petition for Adoption; Use of Fictitious Names.
§ 63-9-720. Appointment of Guardian ad Litem.
§ 63-9-730. Notice of Adoption Proceedings.
§ 63-9-740. Itemized Accounting of Disbursements.
§ 63-9-750. Final Hearing.
§ 63-9-760. Effect of Final Decree.
§ 63-9-770. Attacks on Final Orders; Appeals.
§ 63-9-780. Confidentiality of Hearings and Records.
§ 63-9-790. Amended Birth Certificates.
Subarticle 8. Responsible Father Registry
§ 63-9-810. State Interest; Purpose of Registry.
§ 63-9-820. Registry Established; Definitions; Claims of Paternity; Promulgation of Regulations; Unauthorized Use.
Subarticle 9. Foreign Adoptions
§ 63-9-910. Foreign Adoptions.
§ 63-9-920. Effect of Foreign Decrees of Adoption.
Subarticle 11. Stepparent, Relative, and Adult Adoptions
§ 63-9-1110. Adoption by Stepparent or Relative.
§ 63-9-1120. Adult Adoption.

Artlcle 3. State Adoption Services

§ 63-9-1310. Declaration of Purpose.
§ 63-9-1320. DSS Adoption Program Only State Public Adoption Program.
§ 63-9-1330. DSS to Administer Program.
§ 63-9-1340. Children's Bureau Transferred; Monitoring Placements.
§ 63-9-1350. DSS to Obtain Accreditation.
§ 63-9-1360. Birth Parent Informational Brochure; Waiting Period.
§ 63-9-1370. Adoption Services Fees.
§ 63-9-1510. Statewide Adoption Exchange.

Article 7. Supplemental Benefits to Assure Adoption

§ 63-9-1700. Short Title.
§ 63-9-1710. Purpose.
§ 63-9-1720. Definitions.
§ 63-9-1730. Program Established.
§ 63-9-1740. Notice to Adoptive Parents.
§ 63-9-1750. Eligibility Criteria.
§ 63-9-1760. Eligible Children.
§ 63-9-1770. Adoptive Parents; Nature of Supplemental Benefits.
§ 63-9-1780. Eligibility for Supplemental Benefits.
§ 63-9-1790. Review of Decisions.
§ 63-9-1800. Benefits to Substitute Caregivers.
§ 63-9-1810. Authority to Promulgate Regulations.

Article 9. Interstate Compact for Adoption and Medical Assistance

§ 63-9-2000. Compact Authorized.
§ 63-9-2010. Compact Contents.
§ 63-9-2020. Additional Provisions.
§ 63-9-2030. Medical Assistance Identification.
§ 63-9-2040. Compliance with Federal Law.
§ 63-9-2050. Penalties.

Article 11.Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children

§ 63-9-2200. Compact Enacted.
§ 63-9-2210. Financial Responsibility for Children.
§ 63-9-2220. "Appropriate Public Authorities" Defined.
§ 63-9-2230. "Appropriate Authority in Receiving State" Defined.
§ 63-9-2240. Agreements with Other Compact States.
§ 63-9-2250. Visitation, Inspections by Agreement.
§ 63-9-2260. Out-of-state Placements.
§ 63-9-2270. Placement of Delinquent Children.
§ 63-9-2280. "Executive Head" Defined.
§ 63-9-2290. Promulgation of Procedures Governing Interstate Adoptive and Foster Care.

S.C. Code § 63-11 - Children's Services Agencies
Article 5. Guardian ad Litem Program
§ 63-11-510. Responsibilities of Guardian ad Litem.
§ 63-11-520. Persons Prohibited from Appointment as Guardians ad Litem.
§ 63-11-530. Guardian ad Litem to Represent Best Interests of the Child; Removal of Volunteer Guardian ad Litem..
§ 63-11-540. Right of Access to Information and Records.
§ 63-11-550. Confidentiality of Records and Information.
§ 63-11-560. Immunity from Liability for Guardian ad Litem.
§ 63-11-570. Funds.

Article 7. Foster Care Review Board
§ 63-11-700. Division for Review of the Foster Care of Children; Board.
§ 63-11-710. Local Boards for Review.
§ 63-11-720. Functions and Powers of Local Boards.
§ 63-11-750. Participation in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings.

S.C. Code § 16-3- Offenses against the Person
Article 1. Homicide
§ 16-3-85. Homicide by Child Abuse ; Definitions; Penalty; Sentencing
§ 16-3-95. Infliction or Allowing Infliction of Great Bodily Injury upon a Child; Penalty; Definition; Corporal Punishment and Traffic Accident Exceptions.

Article 7. Assault and Criminal Sexual Conduct
§ 16-3-600. Assault and Battery; Definitions; Degrees of Offenses.
§ 16-3-600(B)(1). Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature.

§ 16-3-600(C)(1). Assault and Battery in the First Degree.
§ 16-3-600(D)(1). Assault and Battery in the Second degree.
§ 16-3-600(E)(1). Assault and Battery in the Third Degree.
§ 16-3-651. Criminal Sexual Conduct; Definitions.
§ 16-3-652. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree. 
§ 16-3-653. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Second Degree. 
§ 16-3-654. Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree. 
§ 16-3-655. Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor; Aggravating and Mitigating Circumstances; Penalties; Repeat Offenders.
§ 16-3-656. Criminal Sexual Conduct; Assaults with Intent to Commit. 
§ 16-3-657. Criminal Sexual Conduct; Testimony of Victim Need Not Be Corroborated. 
§ 16-3-659. Criminal Sexual Conduct; Males under 14 Not Presumed Incapable of Committing Crime of Rape.
§ 16-3-659.1. Criminal Sexual conduct; Admissibility of Evidence Concerning Victim's Sexual Conduct. 
§ 16-3-740. Testing of Certain Convicted Offenders for Hepatitis B and HIV.
§ 16-3-750. Request that Victim Submit to Polygraph Examination.
§ 16-3-755. Sexual Battery with a Student.

Article 8. Sexual Performance by Children
§ 16-3-800. Definitions.
§ 16-3-810. Engaging Child for Sexual Performance. 
§ 16-3-820. Sexual Performance by Child. 

Article 9. Kidnapping
§ 16-3-910. Kidnapping.

Article 13. Compensation of Victims of Crime
§ 16-3-1350. Medicolegal Examinations for Victims of Criminal Sexual Conduct or Child Sexual Abuse. 

Article 15. Victim and Witness Service
§ 16-3-1505 - 1569. Victim and Witness Services. 
§ 16-3-1550(E). Closed Courtroom or Taped Testimony.

S.C. Code § 16-15- Offenses against Morality and Decency
Article 1. Miscellaneous Offenses
§ 16-15-20. Incest.
§ 16-15-120. Buggery.
§ 16-15-130. Indecent Exposure.

Article 3. Obscenity, Material Harmful to Minors, Child Exploitation, and Child Prostitution
§ 16-15-305. Disseminating, Procuring or Promoting Obscenity Unlawful; Definitions; Penalties; Obscene Material Designated contraband..
§ 16-15-335.  Permitting Minor to Engage in Any Act Constituting Violation of this Article Prohibited; Penalties. 
§ 16-15-342. Criminal Solicitation of a Minor; Defenses; Penalties. 
§ 16-15-345. Disseminating Obscene Material to Person under Age 18 Prohibited; Penalties.
§ 16-15-355. Disseminating Obscene Material to Minor 12 Years of Age or Younger Prohibited; Penalties.
§ 16-15-385. Disseminating Harmful Material to Minors and Exhibiting Harmful Performance to Minor Defined; Defenses; Penalties.
§ 16-15-387. Employment of Person under 18 to Appear in Public in State of Sexually Explicit Nudity; Mistake of Age; Penalties.
§ 16-15-395. First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defined; Presumptions; Defenses; Penalties.
§ 16-15-405. Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defined; Presumptions; Defenses; Penalties.
§ 16-15-410. Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Defined; Presumptions; Defenses; Penalties.
§ 16-15-415. Promoting Prostitution of a Minor Defined; Defenses; Penalties. 
§ 16-15-425. Participating in Prostitution of a Minor Defined; Defenses; Penalties..

S.C. Code § 16-17- Offenses Against Public Policy
Article 7. Miscellaneous Offenses
§ 16-17-490. Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor.
§ 16-17-495. Custodial Interference. 
§ 16-17-510. Enticing Enrolled Child from Attendance in School.

S.C. Code § 17-23- Pleading and Trial
§ 17-23-175. Admissibility of Out-of-court Statement of Child under 12; Determination of Trustworthiness; Notice to Adverse Party..

S.C. Code § 19-1- Evidence: General Provisions
§ 19-1-180. Out-of-court Statements by Certain Children.

S.C. Code § 23-3- SC Law Enforcement Division
Article 7. Sex Offender Registry
§ 23-3-400 - 525. Sex Offender Registration. 
§ 23-3-465. Residence in Campus Student Housing.
§ 23-3-535(B). Limitation on Places of Residence of Certain Sex Offenders.
§ 23-3-540. Electronic Monitoring; Reporting Damage to or Removing Monitoring Device; Penalty.
§ 23-3-545. Effect of Conviction of Willfully Violating Term or Condition of Active Electronic Monitoring.

S.C. Code § 44-29- Contagious and Infectious Diseases
§ 44-29-60. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Declared Dangerous to Public Health; Infection of Another with Sexually Transmitted Disease.
§ 44-29-145. Penalty for Exposing Others to HIV.

S.C. Code § 44-48- Sexually Violent Predator Act
§ 44-48-10-170. Involuntary Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators.

S.C. Code § 44-53- Poisons, Drugs and Other Controlled Substances
§ 44-53-378. Exposing Child to Methamphetamine.

S.C. Code § 63-5- Legal Status of Children
Article 1. Parent-Child Relationship
§ 63-5-70. Unlawful Conduct Towards a Child. 
§ 63-5-80. Cruelty to Children.

S.C. Code § 63-7- Child Protection and Permanency
Article 3. Subarticle 3. Emergency Protective Custody
§ 63-7-760. (Interagency) Protocols. 
Article 3. Subarticle 5. Intake and Investigation Duties of DSS
§ 63-7-920(C). Number and Place of Interviews. 
§ 63-7-980. Cooperation Between DSS and Law Enforcement.

S.C. Code § 63-11- Children's Service Agencies
Article 3. Children's Advocacy Centers
§ 63-11-310. Children's Advocacy Centers. 
§ 63-11-1940. Purpose and Duties of (Department of Child Fatalities). 
§ 63-11-1950. Purpose and Duties of (Child Fatality Advisory Committee). 
§ 63-11-1970. Access to Information.

S.C. Code § 63-19- Juvenile Justice Code
Article 1. General Provisions
§ 63-19-10. Short Title.
§ 63-19-20. Definitions.
§ 63-19-30. Other State Agencies; Preexisting Obligations.

Article 3. Department of Juvenile Justice
§ 63-19-310. Department Created.
§ 63-19-330. Policy Setting Responsibilities of Director; Exec. Responsibilities of Director.
§ 63-19-340. Annual Report.
§ 63-19-350. Community Services.
§ 63-19-360. Institutional Services.
§ 63-19-370. Interdepartmental Agreements; Retention of Grant Revenues.
§ 63-19-380. Special School District Designation.
§ 63-19-390. Peace Officers and Constables.
§ 63-19-410. Fees.
§ 63-19-450. Youth Industries Program.
§ 63-19-460. Voluntary Participation in Program.
§ 63-19-480. Compensation of Victims Crime Fund.
§ 63-19-490. Authority to Promulgate Regulations.

Article 5.Board of Juvenile Parole
§ 63-19-610. Board.
§ 63-19-620. Removal of Member.
§ 63-19-630. Officers; Rules and Procedures.
§ 63-19-640. Compensation.

Article 7.Custody and Detention
§ 63-19-810. Taking a Child into Custody.
§ 63-19-820. Out-of-Home Placement.
§ 63-19-830. Detention Hearings; Screenings.
§ 63-19-840. Detention Homes; Temporary Care and Custody.
§ 63-19-850. Transportation to Detention Facility.

Article 9. Intake and Initiation of Proceedings
§ 63-19-1010. Intake and Probation.
§ 63-19-1020. Instituting Proceedings.
§ 63-19-1030. Prehearing Inquiry.
§ 63-19-1040. Indigent Defense.

Article 11. Transfer of Jurisdiction
§ 63-19-1210. Transfer of Jurisdiction.

Article 13. Dispositional Powers of the Court
§ 63-19-1410. Adjudication.
§ 63-19-1420. Driver's License Suspension.
§ 63-19-1430. Youth Mentor Act.
§ 63-19-1440. Commitment.
§ 63-19-1450. Commitment of Juvenile with Mental Illness or Mental Retardation.
§ 63-19-1460. Conveyance by Sherriff.
§ 63-19-1470. Adult Commitment.

Article 15. Department's Commitment Responsibilities
§ 63-19-1610. Exclusive Care; Payment by Local Governments for Use of Facilities.
§ 63-19-1620. Further Care; Education.
§ 63-19-1630. Institutional Transfer.
§ 63-19-1640. Furloughs.
§ 63-19-1650. Youthful Offender Division Transfer.
§ 63-19-1660. Interference.
§ 63-19-1670. Contraband.
§ 63-19-1680. Child Support Payments.

Article 17. Parole and Aftercare
§ 63-19-1810. Determination of Release.
§ 63-19-1820. Board of Juvenile Parole; Review and Appearance Procedures.
§ 63-19-1830. Legal Representation before Board.
§ 63-19-1840. Aftercare Investigations.
§ 63-19-1850. Conditional Release; Search and Seizure.
§ 63-19-1860. Conditional Release Violation.
§ 63-19-1870. Revocation of Conditional Release.
§ 63-19-1880. Probation Counselors.

Article 19. Juvenile Records
§ 63-19-2010. Records.
§ 63-19-2020. Confidentiality.
§ 63-19-2030. Law Enforcement Records.
§ 63-19-2040. Release of Information.
§ 63-19-2050. Petition for Expungement of Official Records.

Article 21. Interstate Compact for Juveniles
§ 63-19-2220. Interstate Compact for Juveniles.

Article 23. Offenses Involving Minors
§ 63-19-2410. Misrepresentation of Age for Admission to Theatre.
§ 63-19-2420. Loitering in a Billiard Room.
§ 63-19-2430. Playing Pinball.
§ 63-19-2440. Beer and Wine Purchase, Consumption, or Possession.
§ 63-19-2450. Alcoholic Beverage Purchase, Consumption, or Possession.
§ 63-19-2460. Alcoholic Beverages in Home; Religious Use Exception.