Adoption consent in South Carolina can be an extensive process. What should you expect when adopting, and how does adoption consent work in South Carolina?
For a person interested in adoption, the process starts when he/she/they contact one of the six regional offices in South Carolina to inquire about adoption and receive an application. After the application is filled out, legal paperwork has been filed and a vetting process that includes background checks, fingerprinting, references and preparatory training is completed–only then can an adoption be finalized in family court. However, the adoption process actually starts with adoption consent from the birth parents and/or other individuals who may be affected by the adoption. There are the legal formalities that most occur in order for a child to be eligible for adoption.
In this procedure, written consent is obligatory. The ideal situation is consent from the natural parents of a child during marriage. If the mother of the child was not married at the time of conception, only her signature may be needed; however, if the father is present in the child’s life by way of paying child support and/or regular visitation, his signature may be needed. This is especially true if the child was placed with adoptive parents more than 6 months after birth. If both parents are deceased or if their parental rights have been terminated by the state, then a legal guardian may sign in their place. If the child that is being offered for adoption is 14 years of age or older, he or she may also need to sign for consent, unless this is waived by the court.
Consent for adoption is not required when a parent has lost his/her parental rights, if a parent is mentally incapable of giving consent or if a parent has already handed over the child to an adoption agency.
Adoptions are a complex process for all parties involved. If you are having difficulty getting written consent from a needed party, Ayers Family Law Firm can help take the legal steps needed to get necessary consent forms filled out. Likewise, if you are an individual interested in adopting a child, our adoption attorneys will stand by you every step of the way to help you better understand the adoption process and eliminate unnecessary delays.
No two adoption cases are the same because when it comes to adoption you are dealing with the lives of multiple parties. At Ayers Family Law Firm, we always put the best interests of the child first to ensure that families in Charleston have a bright and happy future.
— Written by Hunter Gardner