Catholic Charities can help adopted children, parents find each other

CHARLESTON — Adopted children and their biological parents who wish to locate one another may find the help they need through Catholic Charities.
The organization placed thousands of children in new homes over the years. They ended the program because there weren’t enough children being placed  for adoption to warrant it, said Jennifer Elkins, coordinator.
Now Catholic Charities has an adoption reunion registry that can put parents and children in touch, provided they are both registered, said Deacon Ed Peitler, director.
The registry has been in existence for a while, but no matches have yet been made. Deacon Peitler believes people don’t know about it or understand how it works.
It is a fairly simple process. If Catholic Charities handled your adoption, then you can register with the agency, which means your identity can be revealed. If both parties are registered, a reunion can be arranged according to protocol.
Deacon Peitler said the list was created after the South Carolina adoption act of 1986 was put into place to protect the rights and interests of all parties involved in the process. The bill deals with a range of issues including the release of identifying information, which it states can be provided under the following conditions:
1. The adoptee is 21 or older and has applied in writing to the agency.
2. The agency has current affidavits from the adoptee, biological parents and any siblings stating that they are willing to have their identities revealed.
3. The agency provides counseling to those seeking identifying information prior to disclosure.
4. The adoptive parents do not object, in writing, within 30 days.
To learn more about the reunion registry contact Catholic Charities at (843) 402-9115 ext. 15.