Legal Question in Family Law in South Carolina

My step son will be 8 on 7/21. My husband (his father) and i have been married 6 years. His biological mother dropped him off my our door step back in 2008 never to be seen or heard from again. We are wanting to change his name and i want to adopt him. We are not seeking child support or any money from her. We are content with her not being in his life. My son doesnt know that i am not his biological mother. My husband and I live here in SC and she lives in NC. We do not want to allow her any type of visitation. How can we go about doing this???

Asked on 7/10/13, 8:18 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Barbara Strowd Barbara A. Strowd, Attorney at Law

In South Carolina if a parent does not visit a child and/or support a child for greater than 6 months the other parent and step-parent have grounds to terminate the non-visiting/supporting parent's parental rights. Once the parent's parental rights are terminated the child may be adopted by the step-parent. Although it is a 2 part process, both take place at the same hearing. Generally for a step-parent adoption the process is as follows: 1) File an action for Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) and Adoption with the Court. 2) Have a Guardian ad litem appointed ( he or she will tell the court whether the TPR and adoption are in the best interest of the child) and 3) Attend a final hearing, at which the TPR should be granted and the adoption should be approved. After the final hearing, the attorney will send a form to DHEC Vital Records which will allow the child's birth certificate to be changed to name adoptive parent as mother or father. I hope this helped. Do not try to do this without an attorney, please seek the advice of an attorney for this matter. Please send me an email if you have any questions about this response or if you would like to discuss your options further. My email is [email protected]

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Answered on 7/12/13, 3:07 pm

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