How to Adopt a Baby in S.C. — And How We Can Help

If you’re looking to adopt a baby in South Carolina, you’ve come to the right place.  The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson has been completing baby adoptions (both domestic and international) for well over 30 years, and we’ve always made our clients our number one priority. Choosing to grow your family through a child adoption is a big step to take, so we will be there for you every step of the way.

Unlike other adoption law firms, the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson provides emotional support as well as legal counsel. Your in-house, full-time social worker is available to you throughout your infant adoption journey to answer any questions you have and help your adoption proceed as smoothly as possible.

You can learn more about adopting a baby through our law firm at any time by calling us at 864-573-5533, where attorney Jim Thompson and our social workers can discuss your individual situation in depth.

In the meantime, we’ve answered some of the questions you may have about adopting a baby in South Carolina.

How to Adopt a Baby in South Carolina with James Fletcher Thompson

Adopting a child in South Carolina can seem like an overwhelming process, but if you choose to work with the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, you will have experienced professionals to assist you through every step. Whether you complete an independent adoption or an adoption through an agency, we want to make our services available to you.

When you first contact our firm about our services, we’ll set up an in-person or phone conference between you, Jim Thompson and one of our adoption counselors to discuss your situation. This conversation will cover subjects including:

  • A detailed summary of our firm’s adoption procedures, time frames and costs
  • Developments in South Carolina law and procedure
  • Alternative adoption resources
  • How to pursue an identified adoption (where a birth mother is known to the adoptive family prior to reaching out to a law firm or agency) and the role our law firm can serve in this process
  • How to prepare for a home study, or a review of your completed home study, if applicable
  • Our attorney­client commitment and our practice of asking clients to prepare a family profile for us to share with prospective birth mothers
  • The financial commitment involved with infant adoption
  • The various degrees of openness in newborn adoption (closed, semi­open and open) and how our law firm can help facilitate the style of adoption you envision
  • Your adoption selection criteria (or, when our office should present your family for a proposed adoption)

For an informational packet about our adoption services, please call us at 864-573-5533.

Attorney vs. Agency Adoption

When you complete a domestic adoption in South Carolina, you generally have two choices for an infant adoption: attorney-based and agency-based.  Which one you choose may depend on whether or not you have already found a prospective birth mother for your adoption.

If you know a prospective birth mother and she has agreed to consider a newborn adoption with your family, you might want to pursue an independent adoption or an attorney-based adoption. These kind of adoptions generally require you, as the prospective adoptive parents, to handle every part of the process, including seeking out a home study provider and counseling for the prospective birth mother.

Independent adoptions are often completed using only an attorney, and, depending on the attorney you choose, you may not receive all the services you need for a successful child adoption, like matching and counseling. However, if you choose to work with attorney Jim Thompson, you’ll receive the legal counsel you need to complete an independent adoption as well as assistance from our trained social workers through every part of the adoption process. You do not have to complete an identified adoption on your own if you work with the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, as we can provide a wide variety of services that are not typically offered by attorneys in independent adoption.

In other cases, families contact us after they’ve already completed the matching process with a licensed child-placing agency. We can assist families with the legal services they need to complete their agency adoption and to evaluate  the legal risk presented by a potential adoptive placement.  We can also assist families who have found a prospective birth mother on their own; this is known as an “identified adoption.”

While the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson is not an adoption agency, we do provide many of the same services as one — including our successful birth mother matching program. When you work with us, we will help you through every step, and, if necessary, refer you to trusted professionals for any services we cannot complete through our law firm. With the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, you’ll know your infant adoption is being completed legally and ethically by one professional.

What Our Newborn Adoption Process Looks Like

When you choose to work with attorney Jim Thompson to complete your baby adoption in South Carolina, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Here’s what your process may look like:

  1. Choose a program. To receive more information about our available adoption programs, contact us today. You will also have the chance to choose what medical and social history you’re comfortable with in a prospective adopted child.
  2. Join a program and create an adoptive family profile. To join one of our programs, you’ll need to pay a one-time fee to contribute to our outreach to and work with expectant parents. To help you in the matching process, we also ask you to create an adoptive family profile — an introduction to you and your family to help a potential birth mother visualize what her unborn child’s life might look like in your home.
  3. Complete a home study. Before you can adopt a baby in South Carolina, you have to be approved by a licensed home study agency. We can refer to you a trusted professional to help you complete this process.
  4. Complete child placement and finalize the adoption. After the prospective birth mother has given birth, we will help her sign the legal consent paperwork after the legally determined wait time. Once the child is placed with you, we will help you take the necessary steps to finalize your adoption, which usually takes place about four months after placement. No matter what kind of baby adoption process you complete, you will still need professional legal counsel to complete your infant adoption.
Other Benefits of Working with Our Firm

One of the growing trends in child adoption today is open adoption, in which a prospective birth mother and adoptive parents can be in contact with each other before, during and after the infant adoption process is complete. This can benefit all three parties of the adoption triad, especially the child at the center of the adoption.

When you work with the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, our well-trained social workers can help mediate your open adoption contact to keep your adoption relationship strong. Rather than you jeopardizing your relationship by having to ask awkward or intruding questions, our adoption counselors can handle the more difficult aspects of open adoption and provide a professional mediation option if need be.

By putting your concerns first, we make sure that you’re comfortable throughout your infant adoption process — and that you understand you’re free to ask questions at any time. We know how stressful and complicated it can be to adopt a baby in South Carolina, which is why we take pride in making the infant adoption process as easy as possible for our clients.

To learn more about how to adopt a newborn in South Carolina, or to learn more about our child adoption process, please call us at 864-573-5533 or contact us online here.