Our belief in the miracle of adoption and a desire to build happy families through the adoption process form the foundation of our work at the office of Attorney Raymond Godwin.
Both of these sincere beliefs occupy special places in the lives and hearts of our firm's founder, Ray Godwin. His adoptions of baby girls in the 1980s led Ray to his special focus on adoption law and have helped him complete more than 2,000 adoptions in his over 20 years of adoption experience.
The Miracle of Adoption
We welcome you to contact us if you are:
- A birth mother or birth father who needs help
- Interested in adopting an infant
- Considering adopting an older or "special needs" child
- Someone with a previous international adoption who wants to now adopt domestically
- A family with a child in DSS placement and you need an attorney to finalize the adoption
- Not paired with a prospective birth mother
- Already paired with a prospective birth mother
- A blended family desiring to finalize a step-parent adoption
- A family desiring to adopt a foster child when DSS has not made that child available for adoption through the department.
Building Families Through Adoption
We understand that each adoption presents unique challenges that require timely legal processing. Our office strives to obtain and process all the legal and medical documents necessary to complete an adoption. In addition, we have been providing the following services to prospective adoptive couples and birth parents for more than 20 years:
- Assisting with preparation of your home study
- Referring a birth mother to you or locating a child for you to adopt
- Reviewing and drafting your "Dear Birth Mother" letter
- Reviewing and drafting your portfolio
- Assisting in the selection of an out of state attorney to represent your birth mother
- Monitoring payment of legal and reasonable expenses for your adoption
- Obtaining Interstate Compact (ICPC) approval when you take placement of a child born outside of South Carolina or when you as an out-of-state couple take placement of a child born in South Carolina
- Updating you regularly on the status of your adoption
- Drafting, filing, and processing all legal documents
- Finalizing your adoption through the family court in the county of your residence or the child’s birth, whichever is located in South Carolina
- Obtaining an amended birth certificate for your child once your adoption is finalized
- Representing contested adoption situations and foster-adopt placements that involve your county Department of Social Services
Birth Mother to Birth Mother
We encourage the participation of birth parents in the adoption process as well. To that end, we have added one of our birth mothers to our staff to counsel birth mothers and to talk with our adoptive couples. She has the insight and understanding to help or encourage a woman considering adoption or who is already in an adoption plan. She has the experience to assist adoptive couples in their adoption journey.
An adoption plan must be a win-win for the birth mother, the child and the adoptive couple. We talk with and counsel birth mothers about their decision to place their child for adoption. We collaborate with other adoption professionals who counsel birth mothers on their rights in the adoption procedure and legal matters relating to relinquishment of parental rights.
Our commitment to serve you and others in our growing community and state doesn't end with our legal assistance. We also conduct adoption seminars coordinated with Nightlight Christian Adoptions, an agency which primarily facilitates international adoptions and home studies for South Carolina couples adopting internationally or domestically.
We genuinely feel that you should be able to trust your adoption attorney not only as a professional, but also as a good human being. We have been involved in community activities including youth sports activities, church-related outreaches, crisis pregnancy centers and some worthy political endeavors.
Ray and his staff are committed to serving others every day by trying to set an example in the community and help those in need.
Regardless of the type of adoption you are seeking, our comprehensive knowledge of adoption and understanding of the unique challenges you are facing will guide you through the adoption process. We are ready to help you move forward with your decision to build your family through adoption.
Contact us today by phone, fax or e-mail to arrange your initial consultation with Ray Godwin. We will handle your unique situation with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality.