How long does adoption take in South Carolina? The answer to this question usually depends on the type of adoption you are seeking.
The three main types of adoptions are domestic infant adoptions, international infant adoptions, and foster care adoptions.
Read on as we examine these three adoptions. We’ll look at the steps involved and the timeframe for each style of adoption.
Domestic Infant Adoption
If you want to adopt a domestic infant in South Carolina, your wait time will largely depend on how long it takes for a birth mother to choose you.
The first step, though, is complete a background screening and home education program. This process usually takes two to three months.
You will then be ready to be matched with a birth mother. Placement of the infant will depend on how far along the birth mother is in her pregnancy.
Once the baby is placed with you, you will wait for the adoption to become finalized in court. This process usually takes about six months from the date of placement.
Domestic infant adoption takes about a year to complete. Sometimes the process can take a little longer if you were matched with a mother early in her pregnancy.
International Infant Adoption
The timeline to adopt an infant child internationally will depend on the country of the child you choose to adopt.
The first step is to submit dossier documents. These are the necessary background documents required by the country of origin. You will also likely need to complete a home study course. This process can take between two to five months.
At that point, you’ll be waiting to be matched with a birth mother. The wait time will depend on several factors, such as:
- the age and gender of the child
- if the child has any special needs
- the adoption laws of the country you’re adopting from
The wait time for placement varies widely depending on the country of origin. For example, the average wait time for a child from Mexico may be three to six months. Whereas placements from China might take much longer, maybe even four to five years wait time.
Compare the challenges of foreign adoption and international adoption to determine which is best for you.
Foster Care Adoption in South Carolina
You may wish to adopt a foster child through the South Carolina Department of Social Services.
There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. 114,556 of these children cannot return to their families.
The wait time to be placed with a foster child may be faster than the other adoption types because many children in foster care are already available for adoption. After placement, the adoption still needs to be legally finalized, which can take up to six months.
Remember, the foster care system wants to reunite children with their legal parents. If you choose to adopt a foster child who is not currently available for adoption, be prepared for unpredictable wait times for placement. Ultimately, the child may also reunite with their birth parents.
This waiting period can be avoided by choosing to adopt a child whose parents have terminated their legal rights under South Carolina law. Foster parents in the state also have the right to file for termination of parental rights (TPR).
How Long Does Adoption Take to Adopt: Wrapping It Up
How long does adoption take in South Carolina? The average time is about one year, although as we have outlined, the process could take longer.
To make things go as fast as possible, it is clearly important to return documents in a timely manner and to know what is required at every step of the adoption. These requirements and the desire to not stumble along the way is why a lot of families rely on an excellent adoption attorney for assistance.
If you are planning to adopt a child, or are working your way through the process on your own, contact us for help!