Archive for the ‘Adoption/Termination of Parental Rights’ Category

Supreme Court reinstates termination of father’s parental rights and authorizes foster parent adoption

The May 9, 2018 Supreme Court opinion in SCDSS v. Smith reverses a 2017 Court of Appeals opinion, terminates father’s parental rights, and authorizes the foster parents to adopt the minor child at issue. This case is extremely fact intensive but to summarize: at the time this child was conceived both Mother and Father were […]

Supreme Court issues slightly modified opinion in Ex-Parte: Carter

On April 11, 2018 the Supreme Court issued a slightly modified opinion of its March 21, 2018 decision in Ex-Parte: Carter. It appears to have made three minor changes that do not affect the general ruling. First, it adds a footnote indicating that “the Carters were sent an email in the morning of December 15, […]

Supreme Court authorizes collateral attack on adoption due to significant procedural irregularities

N.B. the opinion discussed below was subsequently slightly modified. See Supreme Court issues slightly modified opinion in Ex-Parte: Carter. The phrase Kafkaesque is an overused cliche but sometimes it’s apt. That is the situation described in the March 21, 2018 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion of Ex Parte: Carter. While Ms. Carter may be full of […]

Supreme Court makes it easier for foster parents to adopt

The January 3, 2018 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in SCDSS v. Boulware makes it easier for foster parents to adopt their foster children. The case distinguishes adoption petitions that predate the Department of Social Services (DSS) placing the child for adoption with petitions that postdate such placements for adoption. In Boulware, the Child was […]

Lessons from my first contested termination of parental rights prosecution trial

Last week I represented a mother and step-father in a contested termination of parental rights(TPR)/step-parent adoption case. I have been a licensed attorney for over twenty-five years–the last twenty of which I have primarily focused on family law. I have successfully defended a couple of TPR cases brought by DSS. I have filed contested TPR […]

Substituted, published Court of Appeals opinion clarifies terminating parental rights of incarcerated parents

N.B. On May 9, 2018 the Supreme Court reversed this decision.  See: Supreme Court reinstates termination of father’s parental rights and authorizes foster parent adoption On March 3, 2017, with no announcement I can locate, the South Carolina Court of Appeals substituted and published its March 1, 2017 opinion in SCDSS v. Smith, 419 S.C. 301, 797 […]

Insufficient guardian investigation causes Court of Appeals to reverse termination of parental rights

The December 30, 2016 Court of Appeals opinion in SCDSS v. Nelson reversed the termination of Mother’s parental rights primarily because the guardian ad litem had conducted an insufficient investigation. In Nelson, DSS removed Mother’s three children in September 2013 because she was living with her sister in a roach-infested home without running water, lights, […]

Abandoning children but fighting termination of parental rights

I recently took a phone call from a mother who’d just been served with termination of parental rights (TPR)/stepmother adoption action. A few years earlier she’d left her then-husband and child and moved far, far away. Since then she hadn’t seen the child nor paid her court-ordered child support. Her ex-husband had remarried and the […]

 

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