Easley, SC asked in Family Law and Adoption for South Carolina

Q: If my father is my “biological” father as my parents claim why did he have to legally adopt me at 5 years old?

He wasn’t on the birth certificate when I was born, they didn’t get married until I was over a year old. Wouldn’t he just needed to do a dna test to prove paternity to get legal rights? They also changed my last name to his when they did the adoption. I feel like if he is my biological father he would have only needed to do a dna test and wouldn’t have needed to do an adoption. Please help me understand. The adoption happened in 1996 and I’m in South Carolina

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1 Lawyer Answer
Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Charleston, SC
  • Licensed in South Carolina

A: First, even if he had done a DNA test and was determined to be your father, the test result (by itself) would not be enough for your birth certificate to be changed. Your parents would still have needed to file an action to have him added to the birth certificate.

It is very possible the original case was *not* an adoption, but actually a case to determine paternity and change your name. The two types of cases can look the same to non-lawyers because they involve the same issues.

It is also possible that someone (perhaps his lawyer) decided pursuing an adoption, specifically, was the best option based on the facts of the case.

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