Upon completing child adoption, in Greenville, S.C., the adoptive parents become the legal guardians of the children they have just adopted, replacing biological parents. In fact, adoption is the process that allows the transfer of parental rights from biological parents to adoptive ones.
Title 63 Chapter 9 regulates adoptions in South Carolina. According to it, one can adopt any child or adult born or residing in the state at the petition filing date. The person filing the adoption petition should reside in South Carolina. Non-residents may adopt as well, but only under specific circumstances.
Children over 14 years of age have to give the consent for the adoption unless they lack the ability/mental capacity to do so. Before the court approves the adoption, they will allow an accommodation period of at least 90 days, in which the child has to live with the future adoptive parents.
By giving their child for adoption, the birth parent gives up their legal relationship with their child, and, implicitly, their parental rights. This means they no longer have the right to make any decisions regarding the life of their child, check their records, or spend time with them.
Also, they are no longer responsible for supporting the child financially. Otherwise put, the adoption process destroys any connection between birth parents and the child they give for adoption and establishes new connections between the child and the adoptive parents.
The Rights of the Adoptive Parents According to South Carolina Adoption Law
Adoptive parents may allow further contact between the birth parents and the child they have just adopted. However, they have the right to put an end to any form of communication between the parties if that is their wish.
Such decisions usually depend on the circumstances in which the adoption takes place. For example, being able to stay in touch with the child could be a condition the birth parents pose in order to give up their child. If the adopted child is old enough to understand what they are going through, maintaining contact with their birth parents could provide some sense of continuity and belonging.
Ultimately, it is up to the adoptive parents whether the child stays in touch with their birth parents and under what form. Some adoptive parents allow their child to write letters, emails, or send postcards to their birth parents. Others agree to inform the birth parents on the child’s development and send pictures, but prohibit any form of contact.
Any forms of communication between the parties can end at the discretion of the adoptive parents. When the child reaches the age of 18, they gain access to the Greenville SC adoption registry and are free to locate their birth parents and resume contact.
The laws on adoption in South Carolina are complex, which is why both birthparents and adoptive parents could benefit from the assistance of an adoption attorney. Birth parents giving their child for adoption have their share of responsibilities and rights. These responsibilities and rights usually depend on whether they are voluntarily giving their child up for adoption, or if their rights see involuntary termination.
Birth parents having their rights terminated after giving a child up for an adoption could turn to a lawyer in order to protect their rights and interests, and those of the child. Adoptive parents often hire legal representation to avoid the challenging bureaucracy, simplify and expedite procedures, and terminate the rights of the birth parents.
A category of adoptive parents deserving special attention is that of single parents, who face unique challenges when it comes to adopting and raising children. In theory, single parents should not face discrimination based on their marital status. However, one’s marital status affects their financial situation and their ability to meet the child adoption demands of various agencies. Raising a child and providing the home and the care they need is simply easier for couples.
Filing for Adoption in Greenville, SC, as a Single Parent
The first obstacle single parents seeking to adopt most often have to face are the caseworkers. The caseworker should inform the parents of their rights, assign responsibilities, and, occasionally, instruct them on the steps to follow during the child welfare case process. Caseworkers may also recommend certain measures, such as home changes, or alcohol and drug abuse treatment. The parent’s compliance with the caseworker’s recommendations often determines the success or failure of their adoption application.
Although, at least in theory, the caseworker and the adoptive parent should collaborate to serve the best interests of the child, in practice, the parties often end up in conflict. To ensure their success, single adoptive parents should enlist the help of a Greenville SC adoption attorney, but also that of their friends and family, especially when it comes to simple measures transforming their home to welcome the child.
While friends and family can help parents create a warm and inviting home, and make the child feel loved and protected, the attorney is the one that ultimately makes the South Carolina adoption possible. A lawyer can help the single parent evaluate their case, know their rights and responsibilities, and improve certain aspects meant to demonstrate their ability to raise and support a child.
They could gather evidence to show their client has experience with children and handles responsibilities well. They could find witnesses to testify what a great parent their client would make. They would take over paperwork and other time-consuming procedures. This way, they would help clear the schedule of the adoptive parent, giving them more time to spend with the child or invest in preparing the home.
While the rights of adoptive parents are clear according to the adoption laws in South Carolina, an experienced attorney can help the parent acquire and protect those rights in front of the child’s birth parents or anyone threatening the newly built adoption relationship.
Consult with a Greenville, SC Family Law Attorney Today
If you are planning to adopt or give your child up for adoption in Greenville, SC, you need a reliable adoptions lawyer like Robert Clark on your side. Schedule a consultation now by calling (864) 729-3900 or using our website contact form, and take the most important step to ensuring a smooth and simple adoption process!