There are many circumstances during which parents are not able to take care of their children. In these cases, a parent’s best choice may be to place their child with a relative, such as one of their child’s older siblings or a grandparent.
This often the best choice for the child, who is able to retain a strong connection to their family, whom they likely already know, and it may avoid disrupting the continuity of the child’s education, community, medical treatment, and more if the relative lives in the same place. If the child is forced to move to a new state or region, this change is at least softened by being placed with familiar faces and not strangers.
North Carolina authorities recognize the many benefits of keeping children in their families, which is why relative placement and adoption is encouraged by having a more streamlined process. If you are a parent who wishes to place a child with another relative, or you are a relative who wants to adopt a family member’s child, then contact a relative adoption lawyer from Breeden Law Office as soon as possible.
Relative placement occurs when a child’s birth mother and/or father places the child with the child’s grandparents, great-grandparents, aunt and/or uncle, an adult sibling, or other close relative. Placement does not require a specific legal procedure, though various legal processes can improve the transition and solidify the other adult’s rights over the child. In many cases, relative placement is not intended to be permanent.
If a child’s biological parents want to place the child with a family member permanently, then this requires a legal adoption. A relative adoption, also known as kinship adoption, is a slightly faster process than a traditional, independent adoption. However, it still changes the full legal parentage of the child. The child’s biological parents will lose their parental rights.
A relative adoption requires biological parents’ consent or the involuntary termination of one or both of their parental rights. While a relative adoption can take place if one of the parents contests it, this will be a longer and contentious process. For instance, a biological mother cannot push through a relative adoption without the biological father’s consent, unless the biological father is unknown or not listed on the child’s birth certificate. When one of the parents disagrees with giving the child up for adoption, or to a specific family member, then the court would have to terminate that parent’s rights before the adoption can move forward.
Relative adoption in North Carolina is a slightly different process than a typical adoption between strangers. This type of adoption is reserved only for when a child is placed for adoption by their parent, not an agency, and when the child is to be adopted by a:
If a parent places a child for adoption with another type of relative, then it is a typical, independent adoption and not considered a relative adoption.
A traditional, independent adoption requires many steps and can take a great deal of time. If you are involved in a relative adoption, there are some steps you can skip and you may be able to formalize the adoption sooner.
During a relative adoption in North Carolina, a pre-placement home study is typically not required – though it may be. A home study is conducted by a social worker or licensed professional to determine if the adoptive parents are capable of providing a safe and comforting home to the child. The adoptive parent does not have to have a home study done before the child can live with them.
Whether or not a post-placement home study is required or up to the discretion of the Clerk of Court who acts as the judge in adoptions and depends on the situation. The Clerk may waive a post-placement report if the child has lived with the grandparent or other relative for at least two consecutive years previous to their filing the adoption petition.
If you are hoping to adopt a young family member, a relative adoption lawyer can help you in a variety of ways, such as:
If you are parent who is giving your child up for adoption, then Breeden Law Office is here for you as well. We will provide you with guidance through this process and may be able to help you reach an agreement with the prospective adoptive parents to enable you to keep in touch with your child or to receive updates about their growth and achievements in the coming years. We understand how tough this decision and process can be. We are here to help you do what is best for your child.
Experienced relative adoption lawyer Jonathan Breeden of Breeden Law Office is here to help you through the kinship adoption process. Whether you are a potential adoptive parent or the child’s biological mother and father, he is here to facilitate a smooth relative adoption. From helping you to determine if this is the best option for your child to guiding you through the adoption court process, Attorney Breeden offers you the knowledge and compassion you need during an emotional journey.
For more information on how attorney Jonathan Breeden can help you and your family, call (919) 661-4970 to schedule a consultation.
Call Breeden Law Office today:Call (919) 661-4970