Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2015, same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States, including South Carolina. This ruling also affects the rights of same-sex couples adopting children — whether they choose to adopt jointly or complete a second parent or stepparent adoption.
We are committed to offering zealous legal representation to all adoptive parents who are home study approved and are committed to offering a loving home for a child, regardless of the parent’s sexual identity or orientation. We will help you finalize whatever kind of LGBT adoption you pursue and protect your rights as a South Carolina resident as you go through the adoption process.
To learn more about how we can help with your specific same-sex adoption, you can call us any time at 864-573-5533. To help you better understand your gay adoption options, we give you a run-down here.
What You Need to Know About a Gay Couple Adoption in S.C.
While there are no laws specifically targeting lesbian or gay couples adopting in South Carolina, a court does have to determine if an adoption is in the best interest of the child before it can be finalized. Attorney Jim Thompson is committed to protecting your rights throughout this process and helping you successfully complete an adoption, regardless of your sexual orientation. We will provide all the information and resources necessary to prove to a judge that a same-sex adoption is, indeed, in the best interest of the child being adopted.
If you choose to complete a gay adoption in South Carolina, here’s how we’ll help:
Married, Joint Same-Sex Adoption
Because gay marriage is now legal, married same-sex couples have the same right to adopt a child as any heterosexual married couple. No longer will you have to complete a first parent adoption and then a second parent adoption to obtain parental rights for your child; your process will be the same as any other domestic adoption we complete in South Carolina.
When you work with the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we can help you with every step of your LGBT adoption, from matching with a prospective birth mother to finalizing your adoption to mediating open adoption contact.
We will also help you find the right adoption opportunity with a prospective birth mother who will embrace your family.
Unmarried Second Parent Adoption
If you are an unmarried gay couple, you will need to complete a second parent adoption to secure both your rights to your adopted child. In these kinds of adoptions, one parent already has legal parental rights for a child or is adopting a child singly because the couple is not married. A second parent LGBT adoption makes sure the other spouse has the same legal parental rights as the original adopting parent.
In a second parent gay adoption, unless the court order states otherwise, the parental rights of the nonadopting parent are not affected. Even so, a second parent adoption has significant legal implications as the first parent’s rights are now shared with the second parent. If the parents were to separate, the court could look to either parent for custody or support of the child. No legal preference would be given to the first parent over the second parent.
A second parent same-sex adoption may also be necessary if you choose to have a child that’s biologically related to you. We recommend the non-biologically related spouse also complete a second parent (or stepparent) adoption to protect their legal parental rights going forward. In addition, we can help you understand all the legalities of parental rights in adoptions with donated sperm, eggs or embryos.
Remember, we are here to help you complete a second parent gay adoption in South Carolina, and we recommend you begin the process as soon as possible after the first adopting parent has finalized the original adoption.
If you are a married same-sex couple, but one of you adopted a child before you could adopt jointly, you can still protect your legal parental rights through a stepparent adoption. Generally, this process is straightforward, as many background clearances and checks (including a home study) will be waived because of your marital relationship.
We can provide legal counsel for every part of your stepparent same-sex adoption, including any requirements you’ll need to meet and the process of submitting a legal petition in court. We can even help you determine if you’re eligible for financial adoption assistance from the state of South Carolina.
No matter what kind of LGBT adoption you’re considering, it’s incredibly important that you protect your and your spouse’s parental rights as a gay couple adopting in South Carolina. Attorney Jim Thompson recommends securing your parental rights in a gay adoption as quickly as you can.
It’s important that you have an experienced lawyer by your side as you move forward with your same-sex adoption in South Carolina. Attorney Jim Thompson’s commitment to protecting your rights and his extensive knowledge of South Carolina adoption law make him a good choice for a gay or lesbian adoption. To learn more about how he can help you today, please contact him at 864-573-5533 or online here.