Rock Hill, SC Step-Parent Adoption Attorneys Guiding Families Through the Adoption Process
If you’re a loving, committed step-parent, you likely already treat your step-child as your own. But unfortunately, the law doesn’t accurately reflect your relationship unless you formally adopt the child. If you’re considering this legal action, you should contact a South Carolina adoption attorney with years of experience assisting families with the adoption process.
At The Howze Law Firm LLC, our legal team has provided guidance to numerous prospective adoptive parents in South Carolina. We know you’re already a family. We want to ensure that the family court is aware of that, so we’re ready to help you through the stepparent adoption process. Contact us to talk to a caring adoption attorney.
What Are Common Reasons to Adopt a Step-Child?
While it’s not necessary to adopt a step-child to love and support them, there are benefits of doing so. In short, when the law agrees that you’re the child’s parent, you and the child will be entitled to rights that a stepparent doesn’t usually have. When you complete the adoption process in South Carolina, you will have the right to:
- Add the minor child to your insurance policies
- Make decisions regarding the child’s healthcare and education
- Make child custody and visitation arrangements involving the child
- Collect child support from the child’s other parent
- Leave an inheritance to the child
- Allow the child to collect your government benefits if you pass away
These are all rights that biological parents have regarding their children, and when you complete family adoption proceedings, you will be entitled to these parental rights, too. Of course, adoption law in South Carolina is complex, so you’ll need a skilled adoption attorney by your side. Call our Rock Hill law firm to schedule an appointment with a trusted lawyer.
How Can You Start the Adoption Process?
The legal process surrounding a family adoption is usually simpler than most other adoptions. After all, the child already lives with you, and you have the approval of one of the biological parents. As a result, you won’t need to undergo a home study or follow certain legal steps that most adoption agencies require for international adoption.
However, some legal complexities may be hard to understand without the help of an adoption lawyer, so it’s important to hire someone with in-depth legal knowledge. For example, you’ll need the consent of both birth parents. If the noncustodial birth parent doesn’t consent to you becoming the adoptive parent, you’ll need help from a lawyer to terminate the biological parent’s parental rights. When you hire our South Carolina law firm, a skilled adoption attorney will guide you through this process.
Does the Biological Parent Have to Consent to the Adoption?
One of the most complicated aspects of stepparent adoption is terminating the rights of the noncustodial birth mother or father. Granted, if the birth parent agrees to let you adopt the child, it may be as simple as having them sign a form to terminate their parental rights. However, step-parent adoptions aren’t always this simple, so adoptive parents often need legal guidance from an experienced attorney.
If the biological parent refuses to sign the form, you must petition the court to terminate their rights. If the judge determines that the birth parent abandoned the child, does not pay child support, or is unfit to be involved in the child’s life, they will likely terminate their rights so the stepparent adoption can proceed. An attorney from our firm can help you with this legal issue, so contact us to get started.
How Can an Adoption Attorney Help You?
At The Howze Law Firm LLC, our skilled adoption lawyers have assisted numerous adoptive parents through the complex, emotional process of adopting their step-children. Whether you’re embarking on your adoption journey now or have discovered legal complications involving the birth parents along the way, we can help with your adoption case.
When you call our office at 803-266-1812, you will have a chance to talk to an experienced lawyer who has handled countless family law cases like yours. We keep the best interests of our clients in mind during every case, so our team will provide the legal support you need for your adopted child and your family as a whole. Call today to schedule a consultation.