What Rights Do Birth Parents and Grandparents Have After Adoption? Info from Adoption Lawyers in Summerville, SC

October 5, 2016 4:13 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Birth parents who are either unable or unwilling to meet their parental responsibilities have the option to voluntarily place their child up for adoption. There are also situations in which birth parents can have their parental rights terminated involuntarily if they act in an abusive, neglectful or reckless manner in a way that directly affects their children.

The effects that adoption has on the rights of the birth parents and grandparents varies from state to state, as the adoption process itself is a matter of state law. While birth parents will always have the right in any state to place their child up for adoption, what happens afterward depends on the circumstances of the adoption. If the grandparents are the legal guardians of the child, they can also place the child up for adoption.

In every state, adoption agencies will prepare a report for children placed up for adoption, including information about the birth parents, and about the child’s family, social, religious and
racial backgrounds.

Their rights after the adoption process is complete

Part of the adoption process involves the termination of parental rights of the birth parents. This does not, however, automatically mean birth parents are never allowed to see or contact the child again. Most of the time, this is entirely up to the adopting parents. Birth parents can reach post-adoption agreements with the adopting parents allowing for communication between the child and the birth parents. These agreements can be made as a result of informal discussions, or through the development of an actual, legally binding written contract.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons why adopting parents might refuse to make such an agreement. They might believe it would be stressful for their children to grow up knowing their birth parents, who gave them up for adoption. They might also have reason to believe the birth parents would have some sort of negative influence on their adopted child.

The same situation is true for grandparents. The adoption of a biological grandchild severs the grandparents’ rights to have contact with that child. Additionally, if both birth parents have
voluntarily agreed to place their child up for adoption, grandparents typically do not have a right to contest this adoption or to seek visitation rights.

This is also true in situations where there is an involuntary termination of the parents’ birth rights. However, if the adoption in question involves a stepparent legally adopting a stepchild of one of the birth parents, grandparents will still typically be granted their usual visitation rights.

Remember: the laws vary from state to state, so if you are interested in adopting a child in South Carolina, it is important that you work with an attorney who is familiar with all of the state’s rules and has experience in overseeing adoptions in South Carolina. Lister Law Office has been providing adoption-related legal services to area residents since 1981. For more information about the processes you’ll need to go through when adopting a child, contact our adoption lawyers in Summerville, SC today.

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