by The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
South Carolina has joined nearly three dozen other states that have registries for biological fathers, which adoption advocates hope will shorten the time children spend in foster care.
Columbia adoption lawyer Paul Meding said the registry could shave a couple of months from completing adoptions, ending the practice of running “John Doe” ads in newspapers seeking a biological father.
The new law requires men who believe they may have fathered children to register with the state or they can lose the ability to have a say in whether a child is put up for adoption. The registry cannot be used to pursue child support, according to the law.
Previously, the state Department of Social Services or adoptive parents had to publish an ad weekly, for three consecutive weeks, notifying an unknown father of a pending adoption and the loss of his parental rights.
“You’ve got a waiting child; you’ve got…
Summerville Journal Scene
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
With all the discussion in the media centered on the stimulus debate, I wanted to take a moment to bring to your attention a bill that passed the General Assembly this year that is good for our most vulnerable citizens – children in our foster care system.
On June 2, 2009, Governor Sanford signed the Responsible Birthfather Registry Act into law. This new law should shorten the amount of time that foster children remain in the DSS system and consequently save the state millions in foster care support payments. In South Carolina, there are over 6,000 children in our foster care system because of alleged abuse or neglect. Sadly, many of these children have fathers whose whereabouts are unknown because that father has not taken an active parental role in that child’s life. Often DSS adoptions are delayed for months or even years because the identity of the birthfather or his…
The Post and Courier
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Children all over South Carolina are celebrating Mother’s Day today, and there are 5,400 youngsters who would like nothing more than to do the same. They are awaiting adoption.
It’s a big number, but not as big as it used to be. The state’s Department of Social Services has made noteworthy strides in recruiting adoptive parents and placing children in their homes.
In 2003, 294 children in South Carolina were officially adopted out of foster care. In 2008, that number was 533.
That is a heartwarming success story for those children and a notable achievement for a troubled agency. In 2007, Gov. Mark Sanford called for a report on foster care and adoption services and engaged the expertise of social services agencies, the judiciary, the Legislature and medical professionals. Their recommendations, released a year ago, already have made a difference.
DSS Director Kathleen Hayes tells us that agency staff in each county…
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
By JOAN BRADY, Guest Columnist
Every child deserves loving parents and a permanent home. For more than 6,000 S.C. children in foster care, the chances of finding a loving home are not always promising and sometimes are made more difficult by a complicated and expensive adoption process. The state has a compelling interest in promptly providing stable homes for adoptive children. A Responsible Fathers Registry will help make a slowed adoption process more effective by eliminating the requirement for published notices to find so-called rumored fathers.
Currently, in order to identify a rumored or possible unknown biological father regarding an adoption or a termination of parental rights action, the Department of Social Services or adopting parents must publish an advertisement in newspapers. The notices must be placed once a week for three consecutive weeks notifying “John Doe” of the pending action. This requirement costs DSS hundreds of dollars for each publication and can delay an…
Lost Jobs and Homes Exacerbate Family Stress Across Region
By Donna St. George and Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, December 29, 2008; B01
As the economic downturn takes its toll on struggling families, child welfare workers across the region are seeing a marked rise in child abuse and neglect cases, with increases of more than 20 percent in some suburban counties.
Neglect investigations appear to have increased most, many resulting from families living without heat or electricity or failing to get children medical care. In Fairfax County, for example, such cases jumped 152 percent, from 44 to 111, comparing July through October with the same four-month period in 2007.
“It’s very concerning and certainly is reflective of what’s happening in the economic environment,” said Kathy Froyd, director of the Children, Youth and Families Division of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services.
Overall, there was a 23 percent jump in…