Stepparent Adoption Lawyer

 
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Finalizing the adoption of a child you love can be a wonderful feeling for both you and the child, but it also gives you complete legal responsibility to take care of all of the child’s needs. Each family and prospective parent who considers adoption has their own unique motivation and hopes for their future.

If you are a stepparent seeking to formally adopt, an experienced North Carolina stepparent adoption lawyer can help you navigate this complex and tedious process. Breeden Law Office has helped many families complete the adoption process, and we will help you understand its requirements and likely timetable.

If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable North Carolina adoption lawyer about the stepparent or relative adoption process in North Carolina, contact Breeden Law Office today.

Call us at (919) 661-4970.

The Benefits Of Adopting A Stepchild Or Other Relative

Many people act as a guardian for their stepchild, grandchild, or niece or nephew, and it is very common for them to want to adopt a child with whom they share a relationship. Finalizing an adoption can be a great relief to everyone in a family, and you may emotionally benefit from the peace of mind that you are now the child’s parent in the eyes of the law.

It’s important to understand that if you do not adopt your stepchild, you will not have parenting rights in the eyes of the state. Therefore, you can lose the ability to care for the child even if you are their primary guardian. Stepparents who have not formally adopted their stepchild oftentimes face an extremely difficult custody battle if they wish to keep the child in their care in the event of the sudden death of the child’s legal parent.

Completing the adoption of your stepchild in North Carolina will legally allow for you to do the following:

  • Easily enroll the child in school, and be the person of contact for the child’s school
  • Access the child’s records and make medical decisions
  • Secure the child’s right to coverage under your insurance
  • Ensure the child has inheritance rights as a member of your family
  • Change the child’s name during the adoption process if desired

The Process Of Stepchild Or Relative Adoption

Each stepchild adoption case is different since no two family situations are the same. Many people are concerned about the time and burden that the adoption process might cause them and their children, but the good news is that North Carolina family courts generally make a stepchild or other relative adoption easier than traditional infant adoptions. Some of the details and requirements involved in the stepchild adoption process include:

  • Pre-screening by the state of prospective stepparent adoptions are much less intense than with the adoption of a non-related child. If you are a stepparent looking to adopt your spouse’s child, you will have to show that you have been married to the legal parent for at least six months. The state does not require a home study to be performed for stepparent adoptions but some Clerks of Courts still require them.
  • Other relative adoptions also tend to be less complex than non-relative adoptions. The requirements involved vary on a case-by-case basis, and screening requirements may be slightly more involved for certain relatives given their age, income, or criminal history. Additionally, a home study or other screening process may be required if you are trying to adopt a relative child who is from another state.
  • Notice of the adoption must be given to any other biological or legal parents whose parental rights will be terminated upon completion of the adoption. This is required even if the other parent is completely uninvolved in the life of the child.
  • Consent from the child is necessary. If the child is 12 years or older, then their consent is required as well.

Adopting When The Child’s Parent Owes Child Support Or Cannot Be Located

When a stepparent or other relative formally adopts a child, any previous requirement of a biological parent to provide child support payments ends. However, any back child support payments that remain outstanding are still owed, although the parent who is meant to receive such payments can forgive them.

Many cases involve adoptive parents who are ready to go through with the process, but there is a problem locating the biological parent who requires notice of the adoption. While this frustrating situation might cause you to fear that the adoption will stall, it is something that we have dealt with many times.

As a family lawyer with years of experience helping clients, attorney Jonathan Breeden has a variety of resources and tools to help find a parent who has been missing for an extended period of time, and if they cannot be found they can be given notice of the adoption in the newspaper in the city or town they were last known to have lived.

A Stepparent Adoption Lawyer at Breeden Law Office Can Help

Completing the adoption of a stepchild, grandchild, or other relative can be a great feeling, and it provides a genuine and well-founded sense of security for the child. While it is generally easier to adopt a relative over a non-relative infant, each stepparent, sibling, or grandparent adoption is unique and approached differently. Attorney Jonathan Breeden has helped many clients successfully adopt by showing the state that finalizing this adoption is in the best interest of everyone involved.

If you would like to adopt a stepchild, grandchild, or other relative, contact stepparent adoption attorney Jonathan Breeden today.

Call Breeden Law Office today at (919) 661-4970.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

(919) 296-3978
 
 

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