An unplanned pregnancy is always a scary situation. You probably never imagined you’d find yourself here but, now that you have, you need to make a decision — and fast.
And, if you’ve come to this article, you probably have one big question:
“How do you give a child up for adoption in South Carolina?”
Adoption is not an easy decision to make. But if you’re asking yourself “how to put a baby up for adoption” in South Carolina, the first step to deciding if it’s right for you.
Attorney James Fletcher Thompson and his team are here to help. They can answer all of your questions about how the adoption process works in the Palmetto State and, when you’re ready, guide you through the steps to placing a baby for adoption.
Whether you have questions or want to know how to start the adoption process, reach out to our team anytime. You will never be obligated to proceed with adoption unless you are confident it is right for you. We just want to help you get the information you need.
How to Give a Baby Up for Adoption in S.C.
While every woman’s journey is different, she will follow a few general steps. Our team can always explain in more detail what happens when you place child for adoption in your situation.
In the meantime, learn more about the steps for “giving” a baby up for adoption below:
Step 1: Decide if Starting the Adoption Process is Right for You
Adoption isn’t right for every woman. But, for those that it is, it can be a beautiful way to give their child a life they may not be able to provide.
Before you start the adoption process, you need to learn about all of your unplanned pregnancy options: parenting, abortion and adoption. You should never feel pressured into one path or another, and you should do as much research at possible. Whatever you choose, know this: Adoption is not “giving up” or “giving away” your baby. It’s making the brave decision to give them the best life possible.
Contacting the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson can be a part of this information-gathering stage. But in no way does contacting us commit you to the steps to place a child for adoption in South Carolina.
Speaking with one of our adoption social workers simply allows us to get to know you and your situation a little bit better, answer any unique questions we haven’t addressed on our website, and inform you of the many ways in which we can help you and your baby.
If you decide that you are ready, we can guide you through how to get started with adoption.
Step 2: Create an Adoption Plan
So, what is the adoption process like? It will depend upon your adoption plan.
Your adoption plan addresses the goals and preferences you have for this journey. It is our job to ensure your adoption plan is carried out in accordance with your wishes. We want to make this the best, most comfortable experience possible for you.
Thus, we will ask you several questions about your preferences, including:
- Your ideal adoptive family: What are they like? Do they live locally or in another city or even another state? Do they already have children? What is their lifestyle?
- Your pre-placement contact: What type of contact would you like to share with the adoptive family before the adoption? Do you want to meet them personally or over the phone?
- Your post-placement contact: What type of relationship do you want with your child and the adoptive parents? Are you looking for a personal relationship, including periodic visits with your child? Or do you simply want picture and letter updates?
- Your hospital stay: What will your delivery experience look like? Do you want the adoptive family involved?
Your adoption plan can easily change over time. It will always be your right to decide how the adoption process works for you.
Step 3: Find Adoptive Parents
Finding the right adoptive family can be one of the most exciting steps for adoption in South Carolina. We take this process very seriously; you deserve to find the right family for your desires.
We primarily work with families in South Carolina and North Carolina but also with families across the country and even from Canada. Therefore, you may decide to work with a family who lives nearby or thousands of miles away.
We also work with families of all types — single parents, LGBT couples, younger couples and everyone else in between. Whatever your desires, we can help you find the perfect match.
Based on your adoption plan, we will present profiles of prospective families to you. We can give you any additional information you may want to determine if they’re right for you. We will repeat this process for as long as necessary until you find the right family.
Step 4: Get to Know the Adoptive Parents
It’s normal to want to get to know your baby’s future parents — and we encourage that! This can be one of the most exciting — and nerve-wracking — steps for adoption in South Carolina.
We’ll work with you and the adoptive parents to set up a time to get to know each other better. There are two ways in which you can meet the prospective adopting family:
- An in-person meeting: This may take place at the hospital, our offices or at another neutral location.
- A phone call: We will find a time that works for both parties.
Both of these meetings will be mediated by a social worker. We can help facilitate questions and keep the conversation productive. We will also ensure any identifying information is not purposely or accidentally shared, unless agreed upon by both parties.
We understand that meeting the possible future adoptive parents of your child can be a very emotional and bittersweet moment in your life. Your social worker will help you prepare to ensure you get out of if exactly what you want.
Step 5: Complete the Legal Steps to Putting a Baby Up for Adoption in S.C.
When it comes time to deliver your baby, the adoptive family will travel to the hospital, and your hospital plan will be enacted by the hospital staff and your social worker.
In South Carolina, you may legally consent to the adoption any time after your baby is born. You might choose to sign your consent the day you leave the hospital; this allows you to spend as much time as you would like with your baby and to make sure you are not under the influence of any pain medications.
We’ll make sure you have the opportunity to review the consent documents ahead of time, to understand exactly what it is that you might choose to sign. When, and if, you feel that you are ready to sign the consent documents, you will meet with an attorney or certified adoption investigator that is there just for you. They will go over the documents again and make sure you do not have any final questions.
There is no revocation period in South Carolina. Once the papers are signed, your decision is final. That’s why we make sure you understand exactly how to place a child for adoption at every step in the journey, so you are 100 percent comfortable with the decision you’re making.
Once you are discharged, post-placement contact may begin in the coming weeks or months. Your child will leave the hospital with the adoptive family.
Step 6: Begin Open Adoption Contact
Adoption is not “goodbye.” Instead, you’ll be able to maintain a relationship with your child and their adoptive parents.
The vast majority of adoptions are either considered open or semi-open. This means you can receive updates of your child through pictures, letters, emails, texts, social media messages and more — many of which may be mediated by your social worker. Some birth parents even participate in phone calls or visits with the adoptive family and their child.
Believe it or not, this is actually just a brief overview of how to place a child for adoption in South Carolina. There are many additional services, processes and steps to place a child for adoption — all of which your social worker can provide further details on.
Whether you are simply curious about how adoption works in South Carolina or want to learn how to start the adoption process, we are here to help. Reach out online anytime or give our social workers a call at 864-680-8083.