Stepparent adoption can be a wonderful and important way to protect, strengthen, and provide stability for your family. If you have questions about adopting a stepchild, the laws can seem confusing and intimidating.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If the stepchild is over 12 years old, you must obtain consent from the child.
- In South Carolina, both biological father and biological mother have parental rights to the child. In order to adopt, the absent biological parent’s parental rights must be terminated.
- If a biological parent refuses to consent to have their parental rights terminated, stepparents can appeal to the courts on the following grounds:
- Abandonment of or lack of contact with the child
- Severe or chronic abuse or neglect of the child
- The parent has long-term substance abuse problems
- The parent has long-term mental illness
- Lack of financial support
In order to avoid any unforeseen legal hurdles, it’s important that you consult an experienced attorney you can walk you through each step of the process. Give us a call today at 864-336-2690.