South Dakota law enables Lutheran Social Services to provide the following post-legal adoption services to adopted persons who are over age 18.
Non-identifying Background Information
The adoptee may request non-identifying background social/medical history that was given to LSS at the time of placement.
Identifying Background Information
The adopted person may obtain a court order from the county where the adoption was finalized by petitioning the court to allow LSS to release its records to the adoptee. The court order must specify to LSS for release of adoption records. If a court order is obtained, the adoptee must send a request in writing along with the fee.
The adopted person may request LSS to provide search services to locate one or both birth parents. LSS will search for the birth parent/parents in a confidential way to allow the exchange of information between the adoptee and birth parents while protecting the privacy of parties involved. LSS can assist with exchange of correspondence, as well as face to face meetings. A written request and fee must be sent to LSS before the search can begin. Please allow time for a response.
Birth parents may keep their information and background current by obtaining a Birth Parent Information Update Form from LSS. This includes current address information to assist in making a connection with the adopted person. The information can be kept on file until it is requested by the adopted person, or if interested, LSS can notify the adoptive family that this information is available to them. No identifying information can be given to the birth parents unless the adoptee has consented to release identifying information about him/herself.
- Birth Parent Information Update Form
Individual or Family Counseling
Adoptive Parents may request assistance with answering their child's questions about adoption. They may seek help in working out their own feelings and concerns in the process of child rearing.
Adoptive Persons may wish to clarify their own thinking and feelings about their adoption situation and experience.
Birth Parents may desire help with unresolved issues around the adoption decision.
"From the very beginning I had to pursue the search for my sister because the fear of not knowing was worse than being rejected. It was an exciting adventure but as the weeks went by with little hope, it turned to frustration. Once my sister was located, it was complete joy! From our first meeting it has been totally natural. I now look forward to a future of getting to know my "new", "big" sister. I look at this as a most wonderful gift."
A birth sister finding her adopted sister.
"I think LSS did a very good job finding me. I think it was like a miracle. Everything worked out very nice. I'm so happy with my new family. Thank you LSS, so very, very much!"
The adopted sister who was found.