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2009-UP-169 - Aunt and Uncle v. Melvin M.

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Aunt and Uncle, Respondents,

v.

Addie W., Charles L., and Melvin M., Defendants,

of whom Melvin M. is the Appellant.

In the interest of a minor child under the age of fourteen.


Appeal From Kershaw County
 Roger E. Henderson, Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2009-UP-169
Submitted April 1, 2009 – Filed April 27, 2009


AFFIRMED


Grady G Hart, Jr., of Columbia, for Appellant.

James B Richardson, Jr., and John B. Allen, Jr., both of Columbia, for Respondents.

Moultrie D Roberts, of Columbia, Guardian Ad Litem.

PER CURIAM: Melvin M. (Father) appeals from the family court's order granting Aunt and Uncle's petition to adopt his minor Child.  Father argues the family court erred in finding his consent to Child's adoption was not required and the court erred in terminating his parental rights.  We disagree.

1.  We affirm the family court's finding that Father's consent to Child's adoption was not necessary.  See South Carolina Code Ann. § 63-9-310(A)(4) (Supp. 2008) (stating when a child is more than six months old at the time the child is placed with prospective adoptive parents, the consent of the child's biological father is not required for child's adoption unless the father "has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child"); Parag v. Baby Boy Lovin, 333 S.C. 221, 227-28, 508 S.E.2d 590, 593 (Ct. App. 1998) ("While the unwed father possesses an opportunity to develop a relationship with his offspring, this opportunity is of limited duration as a constitutionally significant interest because of the child's need for early permanence and stability in parental relationships.").

2.  Furthermore, we affirm the family court's finding clear and convincing evidence demonstrated Child lived outside Father's home for six months, and during that time, Father willfully failed to visit or support Child, pursuant to South Carolina Code Ann. sections 63-7-2570(3)-(4) (Supp. 2008).  We additionally affirm the family court's finding that termination of Father's parental rights is in Child's best interest.  See S.C. Code Ann. § 63-7-2570 (Supp. 2008) (stating the family court may order TPR upon finding one or more of eleven statutory grounds is satisfied and also finding TPR is in the best interest of the child).   

Accordingly, the family court order terminating Father's parental rights and granting Aunt and Uncle's petition to adopt Child is

AFFIRMED.[1]

HEARN, C.J., KONDUROS, J., and CURETON, A.J., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.