The Law Office of Russell W. Hall III

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“The family court may order the termination of parental rights upon a finding of one or more of the following grounds and a finding that termination is in the best interest of the child: (2) The child has been removed from the parent pursuant to subarticle 3 or Section 63-7-1660 and has been out of the home for a period of six months following the adoption of a placement plan by court order or by…
This new list of priorities was established by Order of Supereme Court of South Carolina with Appellate Case No. 2015-001725 signed on 20 January 2016. In the event an attorney of record is called to appear simultaneously in actions pending in two or more tribunals of this State, the following list shall establish the priority of his obligations to those tribunals: (1) The Supreme Court. (2) The Court of Appeals. (3) The Commission on Judicial…
Even the simplest of adoptions require a person to have the knowledge of the processes and procedures needed to terminate the rights of the parent or parents and then establish the rights of the adoptive parent or parents. Each adoption process has many steps involved. I am often asked whether it is possible to do an adoption without an attorney. I respond that it is. I then tell them that it is also possible for me…
Artificial Insemination is mentioned one time in the South Carolina adoption statutes under the Responsible Father Registry statute.  The implication is that a father who consents to artificial insemination continues to have rights to the child and may preserve those rights by filing with the Responsible Father Registry. Section 63-9-820(L) of the South Carolina Code of Laws reads: An unmarried biological father’s failure to file a claim of paternity with the registry is deemed to…
The service of the petition for termination of the parental rights must be served on a child if the child is fourteen years of age or older; and it must be served on the child’s guardian if the child is under the age of fourteen. The direct service on the child that is fourteen years of age or older seems to correlate with the requirement that a child that is fourteen years of age or…
“Withdrawal of any consent and relinquishment is not permitted except by order of the court after notice and opportunity to be heard is given to all persons concerned, and except when the court finds that the withdrawal is in the best interest of the child and that the consent or relinquishment was not given voluntarily or was obtained under duress or through coercion. Any person attempting to withdraw consent or relinquishment shall file the reasons…
I place this checklist in all my adoption files. This Adoption is: Step-parent adoption or adoption related by blood or marriage Non-relative adoption   The following documents have been filed with the Clerk of Court: Summons Complaint Order appointing GAL Proper service of Order appointing GAL on the GAL Answer of GAL   Proof of service of Summons and Complaint on: Biological parents (if no consent/relinquishment or TPR) Child to be adopted (if 14 years…
Section 63-7-40 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amend, provides distressed young women and men an opportunity to surrender a new born child without being prosecuted for abandoning the child. The above section provides that a person who leaves an infant at a  safe haven or directs another person to do so must not be prosecuted for any criminal offense on account of such action if: (1) the person is a parent of the…
In South Carolina, all adoptions of minors require a guardian ad litem to be appointed to represent the interest of the minor. In Horry County, the guardian ad litem is an Attorney. The purpose of the guardian ad litem is to perform an investigation to determine if the adoption is in the best interest of the child. In all the adoptions I have been been a part of to date, the guardian ad litem has…
A parent’s rights may be terminated if the parent abandons the child. Abandonment of a child is when a parent wilfully deserts a child or wilfully surrenders physical possession of a child without making adequate arrangements for the child’s needs or the continuing care of the child. Section 63-7-20(1) of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, defines “Abandonment of Child.” Section 63-7-2570(7) of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended  (Termination of Parent:…