Suthrnboy80

Step-Daughter Adoption

11 posts in this topic

In 2004 my ex wife and I married. She has a daughter that was 3 at the time. Fastforward 12 years and we separated and divorced this year. Her daughter (my step-daughter) has never had a biological father in her life. In fact she has always called me daddy and has always looked to me as her dad and would love to have me adopt her, however, her mother has decided that since we are no longer together hat she now refuses to allow it unless I agree to a voluntary increase in child support (we had another child together), or basically pay her to allow me to adopt her. At 17 in SC a minor child can leave the house without parental consent, but I'm trying to find out if me and her (my daughter) go to the courts after she turns 17 if we can petition the courts to overrule her mother's decision and allow me to adopt her. 

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1 - From a legal standpoint you and the child are unrelated strangers.

 

2 - You will NOT be able to adopt her without the consent of her mother until she is 18 and becomes an adult.

 

3 - At 17 she is still a minor and, while the police often don't retrieve 17 year old runaways, a lot depends on how much hell the mother raises which could also include a restraining order.

 

I suggest you talk to a criminal defense attorney before you encourage her to leave home. Find out just what kind of risks that you take.

 

Since you have a child of your own with the mother you'll have plenty of opportunity to continue your relationship with the older child and encourage her to do the right thing by staying home and behaving herself, concentrating on school, etc, etc.

 

Or, you can just pay the mother what she wants and get consent. Though I suggest just getting consent for custody at first to see how things work out. Take it from me, raising a teenager is no picnic (I raised two) and you may find yourself biting off more than you can chew.

 

 

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First: I never said anything about encouraging her to leave home, nor did I say she expressed a desire to leave. My only concern is the adoption. 

 

I know that at 17 children have a lot more say in their futures in the state and was wondering if that included adoption in regards to a father that has raised her for 13 years. 

 

 

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If she wants you to adopt her, you can proceed with it once she has turned 18 and becomes a legal adult.  Before that, you need her mother's agreement. 

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In a custody hearing between two legal parents of a child, the judge will consider the child's preferences, but it is still not up to the child. When one adopts a child, it is customary for that child to live with said parent. In fact, in your state it is required that the child live with you for 90 days before the adoption is final.

 

http://statelaws.findlaw.com/south-carolina-law/south-carolina-adoption-laws.html

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3 hours ago, Suthrnboy80 said:

her mother has decided that since we are no longer together hat she now refuses to allow it unless I agree to a voluntary increase in child support (we had another child together), or basically pay her to allow me to adopt her.

 

I disagree with the cynical comment at the end.  Obviously, if you adopt her, you will be obligated to pay child support.

 

 

3 hours ago, Suthrnboy80 said:

At 17 in SC a minor child can leave the house without parental consent

 

Where'd you get that idea?  Can you cite the law that purports to allow this?

 

 

3 hours ago, Suthrnboy80 said:

I'm trying to find out if me and her (my daughter) go to the courts after she turns 17 if we can petition the courts to overrule her mother's decision and allow me to adopt her.

 

No court is going to allow you to adopt the child over her mother's objection.  I don't know if SC allows adult adoptions, but you can look into that once she is 18 (although I'm not sure why you'd want to do this).  Note, by the way, that South Carolina law appears to allow persons who are neither parents nor grandparents to obtain visitation with a minor child if the person has a "psychological-parent relationship with the child.  The information provided in your post suggests you may be able to meet these criteria, so this is something you should discuss with your divorce attorney.

 

 

2 hours ago, Suthrnboy80 said:

I know that at 17 children have a lot more say in their futures in the state

 

You "know" this how?  Again, can you cite the law that says this?

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16 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

 

I disagree with the cynical comment at the end.  Obviously, if you adopt her, you will be obligated to pay child support.

 

 

Let me rephrase. A voluntary amount above what the child support would be. That has already been discussed. She wants not only the support, but a voluntary increase above that. 

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18 minutes ago, Suthrnboy80 said:

 

 

Let me rephrase. A voluntary amount above what the child support would be. That has already been discussed. She wants not only the support, but a voluntary increase above that. 

Which is extremely common. The formula the courts use is only a starting point. If you adopt her before she turns 18, you will be on the hook for child support for her.

 

You  can wait until she is 18 at which point her consent is all that is necessary. That may or may not be desirable as your income would then play in role in her qualifying for any financial aid for school, but you could also cover her on your insurance and she would stand to inherit part of your estate if you pass without a will.

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27 minutes ago, Suthrnboy80 said:

 

 

Let me rephrase. A voluntary amount above what the child support would be. That has already been discussed. She wants not only the support, but a voluntary increase above that. 

 

The other thing to keep in mind is that, if you adopt, you could be on the hook for child support through college.  You might be better off simply seeking visitation as per my prior response.

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I believe the child support her is referring to and that the wife wants to increase is for their own child, not the child he wants to adopt.

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