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    January 22, 2016

    Same Sex Adoptions in South Carolina

    adoption lawyer greenville sc lgbt family law

    Same sex marriages continue to cause controversy in South Carolina. While a November 2014 United States Supreme Court ruling made same sex legal throughout the country, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has continued to fight to uphold a state ban on gay marriage that was backed by voters in 2006. There is also proposed legislation in the state that would permit court clerks to refuse to issue same sex marriage licenses on the basis of religious beliefs, as well as legislation allowing businesses to refrain from participating or selling goods and services to couples planning same sex weddings. As this controversy wages, many same sex couples seek to get on with living their lives together, and for some, part of this process is making plans to adopt a child. Same sex adoptions, while not prohibited by state law, still can prove problematic for couples whose greatest desire is to have a child to call their own.

    South Carolina Adoption Laws

    Under Title 63 of the South Carolina Children’s Code, Section 63-9-60 of the South Carolina Adoption Act states that any South Carolina resident who wishes to adopt a child may petition the court to do so. While there are no requirements in terms of being in a marital union or in defining that union, any person or couple adopting is subject to the same reports and regulations as listed under Section 63-9-520 of the Adoption Act. Background checks will be performed, and information will be sought through adoption pre placement investigations with the goal of determining whether placing the child with the potential adoptive parents is in that child’s best interests. These questions include the following:   

    • Is the home a suitable one for the child?
    • Will the emotional maturity, health, finances, and relationships of the potential adoptive parent allow that parent to accept, provide for, and nurture the child?
    • Have the adoptive parents ever been involved in proceedings for child abuse, neglect, or involving child delinquency?

    Reports will also center on information regarding the child, as far as the race, age, and sex of the child, whether the child is suitable for and desires to be adopted, and the reason behind the adoptive child’s separation from their biological parents.

    Challenges Faced By Same Sex Couples In Adoption

    While the legal guidelines and regulations are the same for any South Carolina resident looking to adopt a child, same sex couples often undergo additional scrutiny. According to the civil and human rights group SC Equality, same sex couples are just as capable of providing loving nurturing homes as heterosexuals, yet still have to overcome stereotypes and biases that may cause some people, including judges and court staff, to doubt whether it is appropriate to place a child with a same sex couple, or if that couple is capable of providing a healthy, stable home life. SC Equality states that with the legalization of gay marriage, adoptions have become a battleground in the gay rights movement. While there is no law currently preventing same sex couples from adopting, there have been numerous bills and forms of legislation proposed that threaten this right.

    Contact Our Experienced South Carolina Family Law Attorney

    If you or a loved one is contemplating an adoption, contact our experienced South Carolina family law attorney.  At the Lauren Taylor Law, attorney at law Lauren M. Taylor has experience helping clients meet court requirements for adoption. We will stand by you through background checks and investigations, while aggressively defending your rights. Serving the entire Upstate area, our Greenville attorney will guide you through what can be a complicated legal process, while always looking out for your best interests. Contact our office today for an initial consultation.