International Adoption in S.C. and What it Means For You

In general, there are two ways to complete an international adoption in South Carolina: A prospective birth mother from South Carolina can choose to place her child for adoption in another country, or a South Carolina family can adopt a child from another country.

Therefore, the term “international adoption” denotes both incoming cases (where the child’s country of origin is different than the United States and is placed in the United States) and outgoing cases (where the child’s country of origin is the United States and the child is being placed in another country such as Canada.) The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson handles many outgoing cases to Canada and is one of three law firms in the nation to achieve Hague Approval from the Council on Accreditation as authorized by the United States Department of State.

Canadian families interested in joining our outgoing intercountry adoption program should contact our office at 864­573­5533 for more information. South Carolina families who have completed an overseas adoption may also contact us after their adoption has been finalized in another country. Please call us today to discuss your individual situation and what services we can provide to you.

In general, here’s how we can help with foreign adoption in South Carolina:

If You’re a SC Family Adopting Internationally

If you’re adopting a child from another country, please know that our law firm does not arrange incoming adoptions. Therefore, you will need to work with an agency that handles incoming adoptions.

However, we are available to handle domestication of a foreign decree where an adoption has already been finalized in another country and the child enters the United States. Typically, this domestication process can be handled by a family court judge in chambers without the necessity of the adopting parents attending a court hearing. A certificate of foreign birth is issued pursuant to the South Carolina adoption code.

You should know there are times when a foreign country frees a child for adoption but has not granted the adoption. This is often the case when the child has entered the United States on an IR4 visa. Adopting parents may mistakenly believe that they have already finalized an adoption in the foreign country and are seeking only a domestication of their decree. It is important for an experienced attorney to review this documentation.

If You’re an International Family Looking to Adopt a Child from SC

Attorney Jim Thompson is one of three Hague-Adoption-Convention-approved law firms in the U.S. that is approved to place children outside of the country.

In addition to addressing the requirements of the Hague Convention, we offer the same services we would to any prospective adoptive family in South Carolina, including the chance to choose open adoption, meet with the prospective birth parents and more.

After you’re connected to us through your Canadian central authority, we will schedule a lengthy phone consultation, covering topics like:

  • Our adoption procedures, time frames and costs
  • How a domestic vs. international adoption will differ in South Carolina
  • Our attorney-client commitment and how we will walk you through every step of your international adoption process
  • Your adoption selection criteria
  • And more

While we are a law firm, we also provide many of the services that an adoption agency would, including matching you with a prospective birth mother, mediating contact between you and the birth parents and providing emotional and legal support along the way. We’ll work closely with your domestic adoption agency to determine what steps you need to take to meet the Hague adoption regulations, which could include special home studies or additional adoption training.

Our detailed matching system will make sure that you are matched with a prospective birth mother that is comfortable with an international adoption and the kind of adoption communication that you prefer. We work with many prospective birth mothers who, once they find out about our Canada international adoption program, are excited at the opportunities an international adoption can open up.

Your adoption process isn’t over after an adopted child is placed with you. Attorney Jim Thompson and your Canadian adoption agency will make sure you meet all the Hague regulations for a private adoption in Canada, and you will need to remain in the United States until you receive Hague approval. You will return to South Carolina to legally finalize the adoption, usually less than six months after the child is placed with you.

The Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson has a record of success in placing South Carolina children with Canadian adoptive families through private adoption in Canada. We’re available to discuss our Canadian adoptions program at any time if you give us a call at 864-573-5533.

Prospective Birth Parents: Is Adoption in Canada Right for Me?

If you are a prospective birth parent who works with the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, you will have ability to choose an open adoption in Canada, as well as the United States, including South Carolina. Many of our Canadian adoptive families are excited about the prospect of an open adoption and will travel to South Carolina to meet you for the birth of your baby and placement at the hospital. An open adoption in Canada will be no different from an open adoption in South Carolina; you will have the chance to decide what kind of contact frequency you’re most comfortable with.

For some prospective birth mothers, the distance between South Carolina and Canada is too far, even with an adoptive family committed to open adoption contact and visits. But, for some prospective birth mothers, placing their child with a Canadian family is a perfect fit. Our social workers can show you Canadian family profiles and answer any questions you have.

Begin Your International Adoption Process Today

Whether you’re a Canadian family considering an intercountry adoption or a prospective birth mother considering an international adoption in Canada, our trained social workers and legal professionals are here to guide you. Each adoption is unique, and we will make sure you’re comfortable with whatever path you choose.

To discuss a Canadian international adoption might work in your situation, please contact us today at 864-573-5533.