Child Custody

The South Carolina “stepparent adoption” statute provides solutions for single parents.

Most people know that a stepparent can adopt their new spouses children when the facts permit. However the South Carolina adoption statute states that “……… any person may adopt a child to whom he is related by blood or marriage.”

Consider the following:  A one night stand, no subsequent relationship, a pregnancy, a birth, an absent Dad.  Should something happen to Mom (death or incompetence), where does the child go?  Theoretically to Dad, who generally won’t want the child, then perhaps to another family member who is willing to take the child, or foster care at the worst.

Single parents can prevent a situation like this by utilizing the streamlined adoption process designed specifically for stepparents and blood relations.  The entire process can be completed in less than 6 months.

  • No social worker is required
  • No home study is required
  • No accounting of expenses is required
  • No 90 day waiting period is required
  • Once Dad is served with the pleadings, he is generally not required to be noticed of any further proceedings
  • Dad is not required to consent to the adoption

This streamlined process only requires that a Guardian ad Litem to meet with the parties and find facts that show that the adoption would be in the child’s best interests.

In some instances a grandparent of the child may step in, or an uncle or aunt.  Regardless, if the statutory requirements are met, person can adopt a child to whom they are blood related, thus providing a legacy for a minor child.

While it may appear odd to have a grand-dad or grand-mom listed as a parent along with the biological parent on the birth certificate, our Supreme Court has ruled adoption is about the best interests of the child, not the appearance of the birth certificate.

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