Adoption is a wonderful way to add to your family while giving a child in need a loving home. South Carolina has a wide variety of adoption options for families. You can adopt an infant or older child through domestic or international adoption, or go through domestic foster care to adopt an older or special needs child.
Regardless of the route you choose for adoption, you will first need to go through a home study. The purpose of a home study is to determine your capability as a parent, checking your finances and evaluating you as a person. You will undergo a criminal background check, fingerprinting and a check of the Central Registry of Abuse and Neglect. This home study also serves to match you with a child that would be a good fit for your family.
During this study, expect to be asked personal questions about your own childhood, your relationships with your family, your marriage (if applicable), your parenting style and more. You can also expect inspectors to go through your home to check if it meets size and safety requirements.
If you are interested in adopting an infant domestically, you will go through a licensed adoption agency or adoption lawyers in Summerville, SC. Any attorney you select to assist you in the process should be experienced in South Carolina specifically, as each state might have different rules for domestic adoptions.
Older child and special needs adoption
You also have the option to adopt older children or children with special needs in South Carolina. In this situation, you will be adopting children who are in the foster care system. For these purposes, “special needs” does not necessarily mean children who suffer from physical, mental or emotional disabilities (although it can mean any of these things). It could also mean children who are six years old or older, children who have a mixed racial heritage or children who are members of a sibling group.
You are required to take at least 14 hours of pre-adoption education coursework to educate yourself about the types of situations you might encounter in this more specialized form of adoption.
There are many different countries from which you can adopt children, each of which is going to have its own regulations and challenges. Some countries might place an age limit, while others have certain amounts of time you are required to stay in the country after taking custody of the child. Make sure any adoption attorney you work with is familiar with the country’s laws and has experience in handling international adoptions.
If you are interested in adoption, it’s better to get started as soon as possible, so you can go through all the education, training, and paperwork needed before you even get to meet any children. Lister Law Office has over three decades of experience helping South Carolinians through the various stages of adoption. For more information about how to proceed with adoption in South Carolina, contact our team of adoption lawyers in Summerville, SC today.
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