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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.

Child Protection and Permanency

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 A 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 Custody.
§ 63-7-650. Risk Assessment before Placement.
§ 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 Relative Placement.
§ 63-7-740. Ex Parte Emergency Protective Custody.
§ 63-7-750. Doctor or Hospital May Detain Child; Civil Immunity.
§ 63-7-760. Protocols.
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 of Central Registry.
§ 63-7-1940. Court Order Placement in Central Registry. 
§ 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.
§ 63-7-2345. 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. Services 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. Effects of Termination of Parental Rights Order.
§ 63-7-2600. 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.
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.
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. Department of Social Services Adoption Program Only State Public Adoption Program.
§ 63-9-1330. Department of Social Services to Administer Program.
§ 63-9-1340. Children's Bureau Transferred; Monitoring Placements.
§ 63-9-1350. Department of Social Services 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.
§ 63-11-530. Guardian ad Litem to Represent Best Interests of the Child.
§ 63-11-540. Right of Access to Information and Records.
§ 63-11-550. Confidentiality of Records and Information.

Article 7. Foster Care Review Board
§ 63-11-720. Functions and Powers of Local Boards.
§ 63-11-750. Participation in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings.

Criminal Prosecution of Child Abuse

S.C. Code § 16-3- Offenses against the Person
Article 1. Homicide
§ 16-3-85. Homicide by Child Abuse. 
§ 16-3-95. Great Bodily Injury upon a Child.

Article 7. Assault and Criminal Sexual Conduct
§ 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 Minors. 
§ 16-3-656. CSC: Assaults with Intent to Commit. 
§ 16-3-657. Corroboration not Required. 
§ 16-3-659. Presumption of Incapacity Abolished. 
§ 16-3-659.1. Rape Shield Statute. 
§ 16-3-740. Required Testing of Certain Convicted Offenders. 
§ 16-3-750. Polygraph Exam of Victim.
§ 16-3-755. Sexual Battery: Persons Affiliated with Schools and Students.

Article 8. Sexual Performance by Children
§ 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 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.
§ 16-15-140. Lewd Acts upon a Child under 16.

Article 3. Obscenity, Material Harmful to Minors, Child Exploitation, and Child Prostitution
§ 16-15-305. Disseminating Obscenity; Definitions.
§ 16-15-335. Using Minor to Violate Obscenity Statutes.
§ 16-15-342. Criminal Solicitation of a Minor. 
§ 16-15-345. Disseminating Obscenity to a Minor under 18.
§ 16-15-355. Disseminating Obscenity to a Minor 12 or under. 
§ 16-15-385. Disseminating Harmful Material.
§ 16-15-387. Sexually Explicit Public Nudity.
§ 16-15-395. First Degree Exploitation of Minor. 
§ 16-15-405. Second Degree Exploitation of a Minor.
§ 16-15-410. Third Degree Exploitation of a Minor. 
§ 16-15-415. Promoting Prostitution of a Minor. 
§ 16-15-425. Participating in Prostitution of a Minor.

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 a Child from School.

S.C. Code § 17-23- Pleading and Trial
§ 17-23-175. Admissibility of Out-of-court Statements of a Child under the Age of 12.

S.C. Code § 19-1- Evidence: General Provisions
§ 19-1-180. Child Hearsay in Family Court.

S.C. Code § 23-3- SC Law Enforcement Division
Article 7. Sex Offender Registry
§ 23-3-400 - 525. Sex Offender Registration. 
§ 23-3-465. Prohibition Against Sex Offender Living in Campus Student Housing.
§ 23-3-535(B). Limitation on Places of Residence of Certain Sex Offenders.
§ 23-3-540. Electronic Monitoring, Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor.
§ 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. Exposing Other to STDs. 
§ 44-29-145. Penalty for xposing 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 Law Enforcement and DSS.

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. Department of Child Fatalities. 
§ 63-11-1950. Child fatality Advisory Committee. 
§ 63-11-1970. Access to Information.

Juvenile Justice

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 of 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 Record Destruction.

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.