Adoption and North Carolina Family Law
- Adoption in North Carolina
- The Difference between Open and Closed Adoptions
- Types of Adoption Placements
- Who Can Adopt in North Carolina?
- Do I Need an Attorney?
Adoption in North Carolina
Adoption is the legal process of establishing a parent/child relationship in which one person takes the child of another person as his or her own and assumes complete legal custody and responsibility for that child. The biological parent(s) give up their parental rights and responsibilities severing all legal ties to the child. The adopted child has the same legal rights as a biological child of the adoptive parent(s).
North Carolina adoption laws are specifically written to advance the best interests of the child by finding good adoptive parents. Adoption is carefully regulated by statute to accomplish that goal.
The Difference between Open and Closed Adoptions
An open adoption is when both the biological parents and the adoptive parents agree that the adopted child can find his or her birth parents in the future. A closed adoption is when the birth parents do not wish to have the child find them. For medical purposes in a closed adoption, it is wise to provide some means of access to the biological parents’ health records in case a genetic disorder or organ compatibility situation becomes an issue at some point for the adopted child.
Types of Adoption Placements
Adoptions generally fall under two categories: direct placements and agency placements. When the biological parent(s) finds the adoptive parent(s) on their own without help from an adoption agency or other licensed intermediary, the adoption is called a direct placement. When the biological parent(s) find the adoptive parents, or the adoptive parent(s) find the child, through an agency or other official state intermediary, the adoption is called an agency placement.
Specific information is required in an adoption petition. Whenever a petition for adoption of a minor is filed, a preplacement assessment must be made to the court which determines whether or not the petitioner is an appropriate person and has an appropriate home for the adoptive minor child. These assessments are prepared by the respective county’s Department of Social Services.
Special rules apply to step-parent adoptions. Generally, the child needs to have resided with the step-parent and parent for at least six months preceding the filing of the petition.
Who Can Adopt in North Carolina?
Any adult, 18 years or older, can become an adoptive parent of a child or another adult in North Carolina. The adopting parent can be single, married, divorced or widowed. State law does not regulate the economic status or the parenting experience of the prospective adoptive parent(s). The primary requirement is that the adopting parent(s) be personally committed to the positive welfare and happiness of their new child.
Do I Need a North Carolina Adoption Attorney?
The adoption process can be a complex web of legal work including securing and filling out forms, drafting agreements, making proper filings, reviewing documents and representing you as a prospective adoptive parent in a court. However, the happy event of adding a new member to your welcoming family is well worth the effort. A caring, experienced North Carolina adoption attorney can offer legal advice as well as emotional support as you work through the process – and can insure that your adoption is both a legal and personal family success.
Greenville NC Adoption and Family Law
Attorney Cynthia Mills
Your future will be determined by the legal action you take today! Insure that you take the right path and secure what matters most to you and your family. Let me help you through the uncertainty and emotional stress of your family legal crisis with skill, experience and dedicated representation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 252-752-6161.