South Dakota adoption law firm
Laughlin Law helps families adopt children through private adoptions and adoptions through the Department of Social Services. We also handle step-parent adoptions. It is important in adoption cases that each party has their own attorney to properly represent their interests. We have experience representing clients who are birth parents and adoptive parents. We also have experience with adoptions involving the Indian Child Welfare Act and can help families navigate those requirements.
south dakota adoption process
In general, South Dakota allows any adult to adopt a minor, with restrictions. The best interest of the child is the top priority in any adoption. This determination is the primary reason why the adoption process is usually lengthy and need legal proceedings.
adoption rules and laws
Adopting parents who are married need to have consent of both spouses and the adopting parent(s) must be ten years older than the adoptee. South Dakota law does permit an adult to adopt another adult.
Generally, birth parents must consent to the adoption, and children twelve years old and older must also consent to the potential adoption. A court may negate parental consent in some cases of imprisonment, neglect, and drug addiction.
South Dakota also has a residency requirement that children must live in the home of the proposed adoptive parent for a minimum of six months before a petition for adoption will be accepted by a family court. Along with the petition, there is a required home study, hearings to determine the best interests of the child and suitability of the adoptive parents, and taking statements from witnesses.