Bringing a new child into your family can be an exciting time that is made complicated by specific laws and regulations. We believe that interested parents should have access to the support and resources that help them move smoothly through the adoption process. South Carolina has specific adoption laws regarding who can adopt, who can be adopted, and associated fees. The regulations surrounding adoption are different in each state and there are specific laws that apply to out-of-state adoptions.
Who Can Adopt?
According to South Carolina adoption laws any resident may petition the court to adopt a child; however, there are certain limitations made for specific circumstances. For example if a child has special needs or if the child would be best served by being placed out state then they may not be granted to the person who is filing for adoption. In addition, if a child is unable to live with their biological parents then the state will attempt to place them with a relative that is related biologically or by marriage. In certain circumstances it is within the best interest of the child to be placed out of state. If you have filed for an adoption, then you are required to complete a home study to make sure that the family is the best fit or the child. This home study involved both personal and financial evaluations and every adult in the house must undergo a criminal background check including fingerprinting and checking if there names are associated with any cases of abuse and neglect. The reason for these exceptions and regulations is to make sure that an infant or child is being adopted into a home that can provide them with a safe and healthy environment.
Who Can be Adopted?
According to South Carolina adoption laws, any child or adult present within the state at the time of the petition for adoption is filed can be adopted. In most cases, written consent is required from the natural parents of the child, the legal guardian, the adoptee if they are over fourteen years of age, or the child placing agency or person facilitating the placement of the child. Consent for adoption is not required by a parents whose parental rights have been terminated, a parent who is found to be mentally incapable of giving consent, or a parent who has already given the child over to an adoption agency. In addition, consent must be obtained without pressure or coercion. If an individual or adoption agency is suspicious that the adopting parents have used pressure or coercion then they and their parents have the power to withdraw consent in the best interest of the child’s welfare.
South Carolina has laws set in place to prevent children from being trafficked by individuals or groups of people. According to South Carolina law, a child-placing agency or any person cannot receive a fee, compensation, or any other thing of value for giving up a child for adoption. There are fees associated with adoption to pay for medical and living expenses, investigation and experts, and professional attorneys. It is a felony that is punishable by law to participating in the buying or selling of a child. These laws help to protect both the infant or child being adopted as well as the adopting parents. Fortunately, Ayers Family Law has attorneys that can help ensure all the legal requirements are met so that an adoptee can begin their life with their new family as smoothly as possible. For more information about adoption in South Carolina you can call Ayers Family Law at 843-628-2871 to schedule a consultation with an adoption attorney.