The word “parent” does not necessarily have to mean a child’s biological parents. Most people know that stepparents can play a valuable role in shaping a child’s life. They can provide a loving and supportive environment for a child. Adopting a stepchild in South Carolina can be a wonderful way to bolster your relationship with a child and to complete a beautiful blended family.
Why stepparent adoption is a good idea
There are several reasons why stepparent adoption is a good course of action for many families. By gaining parental rights for a child, a stepparent can:
- Protect the child in case of a spouse’s death. As a stepparent, if anything were to happen to your spouse, you could face custody challenges from other biological family members of the child. By officially adopting a stepchild, you will have full parental rights.
- Receive certain financial benefits. Stepparent adoption will allow you to claim your child on your taxes. You can also receive certain insurance benefits. Stepparent adoption will also allow your child to have access to your Social Security benefits and protect their inheritance rights.
- Perform everyday tasks. Stepparent adoption makes it much easier to do things like picking your child up from school, enroll them in clubs or classes, take them on trips, and more. This will also allow you to make medical decisions for your stepchild.
- A sense of security. Most importantly, stepparent adoption provides a sense of security and permanency for everybody in the family, including your child.
The other biological parent’s rights need to be terminated
One of the most complicated and potentially contentious parts of a stepparent adoption is the termination of the non-custodial parent’s rights. This is necessary under South Carolina law. Sometimes the non-custodial parent voluntarily relinquishes their rights to their child. However, if the other biological parent refuses to do so, you will have to work through the court system to have that parent’s rights terminated.
At the Elliott Frazier Law Firm, we are ready to help you through every aspect of your stepparent adoption case. You can contact our Greenville family law attorney for a consultation today so we can plan your family’s next steps forward.