Adoption and Family Law in Charleston, South Carolina

Hoping to Adopt

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Adoptive parents

The decision to adopt is exciting and often overwhelming. The most important step in your journey will be choosing the right team of people to help you adopt. At the Family Advocacy Law Firm, we’ve got you covered.

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Family Advocacy Law Firm Charleston South Carolina Adoption Divorce prenuptial agreements property division assisted reproductive technology separate maintenance and support agreements alimony postnuptial agreements support enforcement paternity custody visitation domestic violence restraining order court attorney mount pleasant pregnant pregnancy support help adopting hopeful parents expectant mother private lgbtq gay lesbian transracial waiting families

How much does it cost?

One of our primary goals is to make adoption affordable for “normal” families. Our average adoption costs around $10,000, which is considerably lower than the national average of $36,000.

How long will we have to wait to adopt?

While we understand that this is one of the most important questions you have, please know that it is impossible to give an accurate answer. We firmly believe that things unfold at the time they are meant to. Some families will wait a few days to be matched, and others may wait a year or longer. Don’t let the possibility of longer-than-desired wait time discourage you. Have faith in the process and know that we are here for you every step of the way. We would love for you to join our Waiting Families Support Group!

How do we match with an Expectant Mother?

We are proactive. We actively seek to work with both Expectant Mothers and hopeful Adoptive Families in order to provide loving matches for both parties. We will help you create outreach tools that you can use to self-match with an Expectant Mother. We are also frequently contacted by Expectant Mothers seeking adoptive families. We work with Expectant Mothers to choose a family using family profiles and in-person interviews. You may also meet an Expectant Mother in a completely different, organic way. 

Our goal is to create loving, committed matches between Expectant Mothers and Adoptive Families. We don’t coerce, bribe, or attempt to persuade anyone to place their child for adoption; however, we do want Expectant Mothers to know that it is a beautiful, selfless, and courageous option.

How do we get started with the adoption process?

Contact us today. We are here to walk you through each step of the process.

INtAKE FORM

Waiting Family Page Form

Adoptive Parent Forms

Please return intake form by email or by mail

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Adoption Terminology

One of our priorities is to positively change the adoption conversation. Both Expectant Mothers, Birth Families, and Adoptive Families can all find greater joy in their adoption experiences if we all know a little better and do a little better when it comes to how we speak about adoption. In addition, we can help society better understand and appreciate adoption when we speak positively about it. We hope this guide helps.


Adoptee

A person who was adopted

Adoption

Legal establishment of parent and child relationship

Adoption assistance

Monthly subsidy payments that help parents of children with special needs who were adopted

Adoption attorney

An attorney who files, processes, and finalizes adoptions in court; in some cases, these attorneys can also help arrange matches between Expectant Mothers and hopeful Adoptive Families

Adoption plan

A personalized plan devEloped by an Expectant Mother and documented by an adoption attorney that details her wishes for the placement of her child

Adoption support coordinator

A person who helps Expectant Mothers and hopeful Adoptive Families navigate the delicate process of adoption with joy and confidence

Adoption triad

The major parties of an adoption: birth family, adoptive family, and the child who was adopted

Birth father/mother

A man/woman who has placed his/her child for adoption and signed papers to terminate his/her parental rights (also called first father/mother)

Closed adoption

An adoption where there is no communication between the Birth Family and Adoptive Family and all records are sealed

Consent to adopt

A birth parent’s legal permission for their child to be adopted

Disrupted adoption

An adoption that has been stopped by the birth family taking custody of the child; occurs before finalization

Expectant mother

A woman who is pregnant and considering adoption for her child

Finalization

The final step in the adoption process; the adoptive family appears at a court hearing where the judge orders that the adoption be granted and the adoptive parents be named the legal, permanent parents of the child

Home study

The process through which an accredited agency educates and evaluates prospective adoptive families

ICPC

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children; the law that establishes uniform practices regarding the adoption of a child across states

Family Advocacy Law Firm Charleston South Carolina Adoption Divorce prenuptial agreements property division assisted reproductive technology separate maintenance and support agreements alimony postnuptial agreements support enforcement paternity custody visitation domestic violence restraining order court attorney mount pleasant pregnant pregnancy support help adopting hopeful parents expectant mother private lgbtq gay lesbian transracial waiting families
Family Advocacy Law Firm Charleston South Carolina Adoption Divorce prenuptial agreements property division assisted reproductive technology separate maintenance and support agreements alimony postnuptial agreements support enforcement paternity custody visitation domestic violence restraining order court attorney mount pleasant pregnant pregnancy support help adopting hopeful parents expectant mother private lgbtq gay lesbian transracial waiting families

Identifying information

Information from birth families or adoptive families that reveals their identity

Independent adoption

An adoption not facilitated by an adoption agency

Kinship adoption

An adoption by a biological relative

Legal risk placement

The placement of a child into an adoptive home prior to the birth parents‘ parental rights being terminated

Open adoption

An adoption that involves varying amount of intial and/or ongoing contact between the birth family and adoptive family ranging from letters and pictures to calls and visits

Placement

The period of time between when the child to be adopted lives with the adopted family and the adoption is finalized

Post-placement visits

Visits conducted by an accredited agency or social worker to provide counseling and support to the adoptive family after placement has occured and before the adoption is finalized

Private adoption

See independent adoption

Private agencies

Agencies not associated with the government

Public agencies

Social service agencies run by the state or individual counties; these agencies mostly deal with children in foster care

Relinquishment

When an Expectant Mother voluntarily terminates her parental rights

Revocation period

The period of time a Birth Mother has to change her mind and regain custody of her child after she has signed consent; revocation periods vary from state-to-state; in South Carolina, for example, there is no revocation period and the Birth Mother cannot regain custody of the child; however, in Georgia, there is a four day revocation period

Search

The attempt to locate and/or communicate with a birth parent or biological child

Semi-open adoption

The Birth Family and Adoptive Family meet one or two times but reveal no identifying information

Transracial adoption

An adoption in which the child and Adoptive Family are not of the same race

Waiting children

Children in the public foster care or welfare system who cannot be returned to their birth families and are waiting to be adopted by loving families