Adopting a Child

Adopting a child is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. When you adopt a child, you provide him or her with a loving home and a lifetime of opportunities that may not have otherwise been possible. It is helpful to hire a Wilmington, North Carolina adoption lawyer to assist with the adoption process. Your adoption attorney will answer your questions and protect your rights as well as the rights of your newly adopted child. The process must be properly completed in order to ensure a successful adoption.

Whether you are adopting a child or placing a child for adoption, you need to make sure that the process is carried out according to the current laws. An adoption lawyer in Wilmington, NC will help you every step of the way to make sure there is a smooth transition. It is important to know that every adoption must go through the court system. The courts will ensure that the child is placed in a home that is best for them. Decisions are always made in the best interest of the child. The best time to enlist the services of a Wilmington, NC adoption lawyer is as soon as you decide you want to adopt.

Types of Adoption Available in North Carolina

The adoption process allows someone to become the parent of a child under the eyes of the law. Once complete, an adopted child will basically be the same as a natural child. Parents of adopted children are responsible for providing for their adopted child and have the same rights as other parents. An adoption lawyer will help you with the entire process from start to finish.

There are a variety of different types of adoption that are possible. Each type involves the adoption of a child by someone other than their biological parent. The adoption process requires that you follow a specific legal process. You can get answers to your questions from a Wilmington, North Carolina adoption lawyer.

Private Adoption

Private adoptions are often done through agencies. These types of adoptions can be complex and require help from an adoption attorney. Private adoptions are often closed, meaning that neither the adoptive parents nor the child is allowed to know the identities of the child’s biological parents.

Open Adoption

An open adoption is one where the biological parents remain known. This may occur in a number of circumstances. For example, there are situations where the adoptive family knows the mother and agrees to adopt and raise the child.

Relative Adoption

A relative such as an aunt or uncle may want to adopt a child. This can occur when the child’s parents are having difficulties or are no longer available to care for the child. For instance, a parent might be unfit because of drug addiction or is institutionalized or behind bars, and a relative may step in to take over parenting responsibilities.

Stepparent Adoption

Stepparent adoptions occur when a parent’s spouse wants to adopt a child. This happens in many instances where the family wishes to be unified. Speak with an adoption attorney to learn more about stepparent adoptions.

Grandparent Adoption

A grandparent may choose to adopt their grandchild due to a variety of circumstances. When a parent is not able or doesn’t want the responsibilities of parenthood, a grandparent may take over the obligations of parenting. Grandparent adoptions can be assisted by adoption attorneys in Wilmington.

About Child Adoption in North Carolina

The decision to adopt is a serious one and must be made after careful consideration. Once you adopt a child, you are responsible for his or her life, and you must provide everything the child needs to live and thrive. A minor child under the age of 18 may be adopted. Some children are placed in foster care and are not available for adoption. Except for rare instances, a child’s biological parents generally must consent to the adoption. A Wilmington adoption lawyer will answer your questions and help you through the process.

Generally, adoptions require you to complete some important steps:

  • First, you will need to fill out and submit an application with personal information.- It includes a great deal of background details that are necessary before you will be considered. Typically, adoptions take place with two parents, although more and more often, adoptions are allowed by one person alone. An adoption attorney can assist you in filling out the necessary applications.
  • You must take part in a pre-placement assessment.- This is also called a home study. The purpose of the home study is to view the potential home environment to make sure that it is satisfactory for the child. A pre-placement assessment is not required for stepparent adoptions because the child is usually already living in the home. Your adoption attorney will inform you as to whether any type of assessment will be necessary for your case.
  • The adoptive parent must be deemed to be a satisfactory parent for the child.- This is usually not problematic for potential parents. However, if you have a criminal background or have other issues, you should discuss these with an adoption lawyer before you begin the child adoption process. There might be some things that could disqualify you from adoption. If so, you should know that before you begin a lengthy, and sometimes, costly process. It is best to learn as much as possible about the process from an adoption attorney in Wilmington, NC.

Once you meet the background criteria, you will be placed on a waiting list for adoption with an agency. Some agencies may have a great many more adoptive families than adoptive children available, so you could be waiting for a while. The agency always tries to match you with a child that is best suited to your family. When a child becomes available, you will be interviewed, and you may be selected to become an adoptive parent. There is a great deal of paperwork that you must sign. You should have your adoption attorneys review it before you provide your signature.

About North Carolina Stepparent Adoptions

One of the most common types of adoption occurs when a stepparent wishes to adopt a stepchild. The modern family unit is often a mixture of stepchildren that come together to form a new type of family. The law allows stepparent adoptions so that families can create a legally bound cohesive group that will give children more support.

This is like a typical child adoption, except that both biological parents must consent to the process. In some circumstances, one parent has been absent from the child’s life, and the stepparent has already been acting as a parent. The adoption process allows the stepparent to be considered a natural parent under the law. Adoption attorneys will be available to give you the necessary details about what to expect with a stepparent adoption.

The adoption process for stepparents is typically less difficult than other kinds of adoptions. The basic requirement to begin the adoption process is that the biological parent and stepparent must be married for a period of at least six months.

In order for a stepparent adoption to occur, the non-custodial biological parent must consent to terminate his or her parental rights. In some instances, you may not know where the parent lives or have any contact with him or her. In these cases, the adoption process can be slightly more difficult. A Wilmington, North Carolina adoption lawyer will review the situation and advise you as to what options are available. In most cases, search methods can be utilized to locate the missing parent, even if they reside out of state.

Regardless of whether the non-custodial parent has been involved in a child’s life, he or she does still have parental rights. A biological parent must receive and respond to the notice that an adoption is requested.

As part of the adoption, the biological parent gives up his or her rights as well as responsibilities. This also means the parent will no longer be required to pay child support after the adoption is completed. However, if the parent owes back child support, he or she will still be obligated to make those payments. An adoption does not void the payment of support that has already accumulated before the adoption takes place.

Stepparent adoptions typically do not require an appearance in front of a judge as long as the legal requirements have been met. Your adoption lawyer in Wilmington, NC will review your case and help make sure that you follow the proper procedures.

Although stepparent adoptions are less complicated than private adoptions, they still require legal action that should be reviewed by an adoption attorney so that you can ensure you understand all the ramifications that are part of a stepparent adoption.

Family Adoptions in North Carolina

Family members may sometimes adopt children of their loved ones. Grandparent adoptions are not uncommon. They may happen when a grandparent is more suitable to provide parenting than the parent him or herself. Adoption lawyers may realize that this occurs most frequently when parents are young when they have children. In this case, the grandparent may feel competent to handle a young child without reservation.

The courts may prefer to allow these types of adoptions because the child will remain within the extended family unit. Therefore, the child may be able to continue seeing his or her biological parent throughout his life. This is often preferable to foster care, which could occur if the parent is unable to continue caring for the child. Discuss family and grandparent adoptions with an adoption attorney in Wilmington, North Carolina, to see if this is a viable option for you.

Another reason for family adoptions is the death of one or both parents. When a death occurs, a guardian is appointed, usually based on the parent’s will. In some instances, the guardian will prefer to become the legal adoptive parent. This can provide the child with a more stable environment and will make the child feel that they are more a part of the family. Of course, all of these special circumstances should be discussed in full with a North Carolina adoption attorney.

How a Wilmington, NC Adoption Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Adoption can be a complicated process, especially for those who are not aware of the complexities of the procedures. You probably have many questions that require answers before you make the decision to adopt. These questions can be answered by adoption lawyers in Wilmington, North Carolina. It is best to completely understand what you will be getting into, so you know what to expect. Adoption attorneys in Wilmington are available to assist you with your concerns.

Making the decision to adopt is almost always easier for those who are adopting relatives or stepchildren. You are already part of the child’s life and understand the importance of being a role model for the child. Providing a stable and secure home environment for the child will help him or her thrive and be happy.

Before you adopt, you need to understand your obligations. Once you adopt a child, you are responsible for providing care, including support should it be necessary. You’ll also have to be there for guidance as the child grows up. Becoming a parent through adoption is one of the best experiences you can imagine. To get started, reach out to a North Carolina child adoption attorney today.

Seek Legal Guidance from Adoption Lawyers in Wilmington, NC

Adopting a child is a significant decision that will bring lifelong joy to you and to your adopted child. While it is a joyful time, you should not overlook the legal aspects. An adoption attorney is able to guide you through the adoption process every step of the way. Your Wilmington, NC adoption attorneys understand the complexities of these types of cases and will handle all of the details to make the situation as stress-free as possible.

You need to concentrate on bringing your new family together, not on the legal issues of the adoption. That’s what your adoption lawyers are here to do. When you are considering adoption, spend time discussing the matter with our Wilmington, NC adoption attorneys.

At Speaks Family Law, we are here to assist you through the adoption process from answering your questions to completing the forms and attending a court hearing. We are available to handle all types of adoptions, including stepparent adoptions. Contact Speaks Family Law to schedule a consultation and to begin the adoption process or call us at: (910) 769-7339.

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