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What to know about stepchild adoption in South Carolina

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Uncategorized

South Carolina families come in many different types and makeups. A stepparent in a family might consider adopting their stepchild after a period of time.

Laws regarding stepchild adoption can vary, but in the state of South Carolina, it’s pretty straightforward. Both biological parents must give their permission for the stepparent to adopt the stepchild.

What are the rules for giving permission?

While most adoption cases require the consent of both biological parents, this might be changed if one parent is considered absent. The absent parent’s consent is not required if:

– The absent parent was neglectful.
– The absent parent is incarcerated.
– The absent parent is deemed unable to be a parent.

In the case of an absent parent, the stepparent adopting their stepchild would ultimately lead to the absent parent no longer having rights over that child. This is why it’s so important to get permission or prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the parent is unable to be a part of the child’s life.

Does the kid get a say in it?

The state of South Carolina says that children over the age of 14 must also give their consent to being adopted. There are many reasons that a child over the age of 14 might not want to be adopted by their stepparent, so the court requires consent before finalizing the adoption.

Does the adoption still hold up if the parents divorce?

The stepparent who chooses to adopt their stepchild assumes all rights of a full legal parent. That means in the event of a divorce, they are still responsible for taking care of that child.

Adoption is a permanent decision that should not be taken lightly. Most stepparents will have an easier time adopting their stepchildren than other adoptive parents, but it’s still a life-long commitment that should be handled with care.