I would suggest you call Ben Stevens. He is a great guy and will help you out. Phone: (864) 598-9172 Good luck.
The information provided should not be considered legal advice. I am not licensed to practice in any State other than SC. The results of your case will depend on the presentation of evidence, the law and other factors that may change depending on an in depth analysis of the facts of the case. Please see an attorney before making legal decisions.
Unfortunately the choice is not entirely his to make no matter his age until he is emancipated at the age of 18. Further, this is not a situation where he is choosing between two parents in which case his preference would be a factor for a court to consider but not the sole determinative factor. In this situation, he is not your biological child so you are at a disadvantage. Your best bet is to convince the mother to give you custody of the child. If she will an attorney to help you make the custody transfer "official" through the family court. Another route would be to contact DSS to see if they will intervene to take custody and place the child with you. However, this approach has its problems and there is no guarantee that the court place the child with you. Also, this placement would only be temporary. Part of what DSS tries to do is to reunite the parent with the child If the parent successfully follows DSS's plan for reunification.
This response is for informational purposes and is not intended to convey detailed legal advice on specific issues. Transmission of the information contained in this response is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The attorneys of Futeral & Nelson, LLC practice law only in jurisdictions we are properly authorized to do so and do not seek to represent anyone in any other jurisdiction where this site does not comply with applicable laws and bar rules. This site does not make use of any secure encryption technology, and any transmissions to the law firm of Futeral & Nelson, LLC may be intercepted by third-parties. DO NOT send us any information that you regard as privileged or confidential. The lawyers of the Futeral & Nelson, LLC are licensed to practice law in the State of South Carolina. Readers should not act upon the information contained in this site or the linked sites without first seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice in your area.