I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to seek guidance on a legal matter regarding the termination of parental rights and adoption in South Carolina. I apologize for the previous message's lack of structure and coherence. Please allow me to provide a more organized account of my situation.
I am a resident of South Carolina and have been the primary caregiver for my daughter since her birth. Although her father and I were not married at the time of her birth, he signed a paternity acknowledgment agreement, and his name is listed on her birth certificate. Since our separation 12 years ago, he has not contributed financially to our daughter's upbringing nor expressed any interest in visitation. Occasionally, he has seen her at his grandmother's house, but these interactions have been sporadic and not intentional on his part.
I have since remarried, and my daughter has formed a strong bond with my husband. She now wishes for him to legally adopt her. However, the biological father continues to deny her, and despite my offer to pay for a DNA test, he refuses to undergo one. He has mentioned that he would willingly sign over his parental rights, but given his tendency for high-conflict behavior when it does not benefit him, I remain skeptical of his willingness to follow through.
Considering the biological father's history of addiction, unemployment, and an extensive criminal record, it is crucial to evaluate the feasibility of terminating his parental rights. Additionally, he is currently facing serious charges that could result in a lengthy prison sentence.
With these circumstances in mind, my main inquiry is whether I require legal representation to navigate the process of terminating the biological father's parental rights and facilitating my husband's adoption of my daughter. Alternatively, I would like to know if it is possible for me to handle the required paperwork and filings independently.
In summary, I am seeking your expert advice and guidance on the legal steps necessary to terminate the biological father's parental rights and proceed with the adoption process in South Carolina. I understand that the biological father's refusal to take a DNA test, coupled with his history of addiction, unemployment, and extensive criminal record, may significantly impact the chances of successfully terminating his parental rights. However, I remain committed to ensuring the well-being and stability of my daughter's future.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to your valuable insights and recommendations.