The law firm of Dusenbury, Snow & Evans is well versed in the process of adoption in South Carolina. Adoption can be a complicated and time-intensive process, so having a team of experienced adoption lawyers can help to make the process substantially easier.
How Adoption in South Carolina is Defined
South Carolina defines adoption as the ending of the legal relationship between a child and its birth parents (or legal guardian) and the beginning of the familial relationship between the child and its legal adoptive parents.
Types of Adoption
In a Private Adoption situation, the birth mother of the child has the option to choose who her child’s adoptive parents will be. She is able to determine how much contact she would like the adoptive parents and the child (selecting between an Open, Semi-Open, or Closed Adoption). Private adoptions are performed with assistance from either adoption lawyers or adoption agencies.
There are many children in foster homes throughout the state due to their birth parents’ inability to properly care for the child’s well-being. These children are available for adoption through the state’s foster care system.
If either the birth or adoptive parents reside outside the state, the adoption proceedings must adhere to the laws laid out in ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children). Adoption lawyers are highly recommended; they’ll be able to help navigate through the compact to ensure that the adoption process flows smoothly.
It is very common for stepmothers and fathers to legally adopt their step-children. It is also common for uncles, aunts, and grandparents to adopt their nieces, nephews, or grandchildren as a result of the birth parents’ inability to care for the child.
Open, Closed, and Semi-Open Adoptions
If you are seeking to place your child (born or unborn) up for adoption, you need to consider whether you would prefer an open, closed, or semi-open adoption process. Your adoption lawyer can help you make the decision that is best for your unique situation, but here is an overview of the three types of adoption in South Carolina:
Open: The birth mother and adoptive parents form a plan for the child’s adoption, with both parties knowing some information about each other. The level of information exchanged is often up to the birth mother, with many preferring to meet with the adoptive parents to ensure a good fit for their child.
Semi-Open: The birth mother and the adoptive parents have a limited amount of contact or knowledge of each other. Often the birth mother will write a letter to the adoptive family, leaving out any details that could help identify her. Adoption lawyers often assist with the transmission of these letters to protect the birth mother’s anonymity.
Closed: The birth mother tasks adoption lawyers or an adoption agency to place her child without knowing any information about the adopting family.
Costs Associated with Adoption
If you are considering adopting a child, you should be aware that the cost varies depending on the method of adoption. Meeting with an adoption attorney prior to beginning the adoption process can help you determine the best adoption method for your situation.
If you are interested in adoptions in South Carolina, contact us and one of our adoption lawyers will be in touch to begin assisting you with the process.