South Carolina Adoption Laws
Adoptions make up some of the happiest moments in a family. However, there are several legal obstacles that can make the process complicated. The adoption process, including rules for who may adopt, is governed by state laws. Read on to learn more about South Carolina adoption law including who may be adopted, who may adopt them, and other important statutory requirements for adopting a child in the state of South Carolina.
South Carolina Adoption
The table below outlines the main South Carolina adoption laws.
|South Carolina Code Title 63: Children's Code, Chapter 9: Adoptions
Who May Be Adopted
|Any child in the state at the time the adoption petition is filed (wherever they may have been born or resided) and any adult can be adopted.
Who May Adopt
|Any South Carolina resident may petition the family court to adopt a child. Non-residents may apply in exceptional circumstances, including:
Age that Child's Consent Needed
|A child 14 years and older must consent to the adoption unless the child doesn't have the mental capacity to give consent.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption
|The adoptee must live with the petitioner for at least 90 days before the final hearing on the adoption.
|The South Carolina Department of Social Services is the state agency responsible for providing adoption services to parents considering relinquishing their children for adoption, persons who want to adopt, and adoptees, adopted families, or birth parents interested in reunion registry to find biological relatives.
|The courts in South Carolina with that hear adoption cases are the local family courts.
Statute of Limitations to Challenge
|After an adoption decree is entered no party to the adoption or other person may question its validity due to irregularity, jurisdiction, or other reasons. However, relief may be granted after the adoption decree in the case of extrinsic fraud that induces a person not to present a case or deprives a person of the opportunity to be heard.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
Get Legal Help With an Adoption
Adoption can be a complicated process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An attorney will help you navigate these laws. They will review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.
If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced South Carolina adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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