SOUTH CAROLINA STEPPARENT ADOPTION
Before you file a Petition for South Carolina stepparent adoption, you must be able to establish that you have been a resident of the state for six months prior to the date that you file. This information must be included in your filing, and proof of residency, such as a driver's license, must be presented and proved at the final hearing. If you and your spouse are both current residents of the state, then there is no required time period.
If you have minor children who have lived with your spouse in another state for more than six months, it may be to your advantage to file in that state, since its courts will have the power to decide what happens to the children. Note: Your spouse has the option to waive that jurisdiction, which must be done properly, in writing.
You should file for your stepparent adoption documents South Carolina in the county in which your spouse resides, or in the county that you and your spouse resided in when you separated, or in the online adoption papers South Carolina or in your county if your spouse does not live in South Carolina. You or your spouse's address must be within the county in which you file. Civilian residents of South Carolina who live outside the United States can file in the state if they have maintained their residency in the state. .
The grounds for termination of parental rights in a stepparent adoption typically involve: abandonment; failure to support the child; imprisonment; certain kinds of abuse; and some other grounds. Each state's set of grounds is different, but they all accept (1) abandonment, and (2) lack of support. Some states allow other grounds as justification for south carolina Stepparent adoption
In this state, an absent parent gives implied consent to adoption or relinquishment as described here:
1. The absent parent has abandoned the prospective adoptee, including failure to provide financial and /or emotional support for six months or longer from the date that the adoption petition was filed.
2. The absent parent has left other parent with the responsibility for the adoptee, without providing support and without communicating, or otherwise sustaining a significant relationship as a parent of the adoptee, for 6 months or longer from the date that the adoption petition was filed.
3. The natural father is in non-compliance with laws that deal with the putative father.
Most states do not provide visitation rights to the parent losing parental rights, or the to grandparents associated with that parent. In some states, however, visitation agreements will be recognized for the parenting losing his or her parental rights. Usually this at the discretion of the adopting parents.
|Our documents are for the entire State of South Carolina.|
You must file your adoption documents in the Family Court of the county where your adoption action is brought. Here are the addresses for courts in some of the larger counties.
Richland County Family Court:
PO Box 2766, 1701 Main Street, Rm 205, Columbia, SC 29202 Phone: (803) 576-1999 Fax: (803) 748-5039
Lexington County Family Court:
205 East Main Street, Suite 146, Lexington, SC 29072-3599 Phone: (803) 785-8212 Fax: (803) 785-8314
Charleston County Family Court:
100 Broad Street Suite 106, Charleston, SC 29401-2258 Phone: (843) 958-4400 Fax: (843) 958-4434
Beaufort County Family Court:
PO Box 1128, 102 Ribaut Road, Rm. 208, Beaufort, SC 29901-1128 Phone: (843) 470-5218 Fax: (843) 470-5248
Dorchester County Family Court:
101 Ridge Street, St. George, SC 29477 Phone: (843) 563-0121 Fax: (843) 563-0178
York County Family Court:
PO Box 649, 1675 -1G York Highway, York, SC 29745 Phone: (803) 628-3036 Fax: (803) 628-3133
Greenville County Family Court:
305 E. North Street, Greenville, SC 29601-2120 Phone: (864) 467-8551 Fax: (864) 467-8540
Florence County Family Court:
180 N. Irby St., Florence, SC 29501-3456 Phone: (843) 665-3031 Fax: (843) 665-3097
Horry County Family Court:
PO Box 677, 1301 2nd Avenue, Conway, SC 29528 Phone: (843) 915-5080 Fax: (843) 915-6081
Georgetown County Family Court:
129 Screven Street, Suite 221, Georgetown, SC 29442 Phone: (843) 545-3046 Fax: (843) 545-3294
The court filing fees for a adoption in South Carolina is approximately $150. The required publication fee is approximately $65.
You may also have to pay "home study" fee, but that comes later in the adoption process. Your local court clerk can advise about the fee for home study and any other fees.
Many absent parents are willing to sign a consent form, in which he or she consents to terminating their parental rights, and further consents to the adoption. In these cases the process becomes easier because the court knows from the outset that everyone agrees to the stepparent adoption. But it may be that you don't know the other parent's location , or whether the other is so disinterested that he or she won't sign any documents. In a case such as this, you proceed by filing your adoption documents, then serving the absent parent via one of these methods:
1. If you don't know the absent parent's whereabouts: If you can't find the absent parent after searching diligently, then you can serve via the publication method. This procedure for this to publish a notice in a local newspaper, usually once per week for four weeks. The publication fee is typically about $85 but will vary by location. You file an Affidavit with the county clerk, who then directs that service of notice be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the adoption document are filed. We give you all the paperwork you need for service by publication.
2. The absent parent's whereabouts are known, but he or she won't sign: If you know other parent's location, but he or she won't sign due to disinterest, the local Sheriff's department or a private process server can assist you. This method is available even if your spouse is incarcerated.