The laws and court rules surrounding adoption can be hard to navigate without a legal background. Your best strategy is to hire an Angier adoption attorney to walk you through the process.
Attorney Jonathan Breeden is a family lawyer with years of experience helping clients in Harnett County and the surrounding areas. You don’t have to be intimidated by the adoption process with Jonathan by your side. You’ll have all the information you need to grow your family.
North Carolina, and every other state, tightly regulate adoption. Before starting down this path, you should understand who can adopt and be adopted and the type of adoption processes. Breeden Law Office is here to answer any of your questions.
Anyone 18 years or older can adopt another person, but there are some important exceptions:
There are some special consent rules for married couples hoping to adopt in Angier. If one spouse files a solo adoption petition, they must have consent from their spouse.
An adoptive child’s biological mother must agree to a child’s adoption, or the court must have removed the mother’s parental rights.
The rules are different for potential biological fathers. Consent is necessary when the man:
Also, if the adoptee is over 12 years old, they must agree to their adoption.
If you have any questions regarding consent during the adoption, contact an Angier adoption lawyer for help today.
Breeden Law Office is here to help during any adoption. We guide you based on your specific circumstances.
Open and closed adoptions refer to how and when a child can seek out their biological parents after a court finalizes an adoption.
The adoption process depends on whether you work with an agency or act on your own.
An independent adoption means you privately find biological parents intending to give their child up for adoption. In most situations, independent adoption happens if you have some relationship or connection with the adoptive child.
For example, a stepparent may adopt their spouse’s child. Though the process may seem easier, the state still imposes numerous requirements.
It’s also common for agencies to facilitate the adoption process. There are generally two types of agency adoptions:
Multiple organizations licensed by the state work to connect adoptive parents with children awaiting adoption. These agencies take care of many children of all ages and backgrounds, and some handle foster placements.
A private adoption agency may cost more, but these organizations are often better able to meet your needs if you’d like to adopt an infant or younger child.
Many of these agencies can match you with the biological mother even before the baby is born. However, private organizations may have strict rules on age, marital status, and religious requirements.
The specifics of your adoption are unique to your family. Your relationship with the child, their citizenship, and whether you’re using an agency all factor into the process. That’s why we recommend consulting an Angier adoption attorney before getting too far into the process.
The unofficial process starts before you even file for adoption in Harnett County Superior Court. You’ll need to gather a lot of information to include with the adoption petition you file with the court.
Your adoption application must include all the following:
You’ll submit your petition and supporting documents in the proper county where you live, where the child resides, or where the adoption agency is located. A lawyer can talk with you about the proper jurisdiction and venue for your adoption.
After filing all the proper documents, you have to send an official notice of the petition of adoption to anyone whose consent you can’t get, such as the possible father.
The court schedules a hearing within 90 days. You might not need an official hearing with witnesses and testimony if you meet all requirements and no one disputes the proceedings.
If a person with proper standing challenges the adoption, you’ll have to go through a hearing. This hearing is like a trial. So, you’ll need to present evidence that adoption is in the child’s best interests and you’ve met all the legal requirements.
The entire adoption process has to finish within six months.
If you want to learn more about adoption in North Carolina, check out the NC Division of Health and Human Services, NC Kids. NCDHHS provides information that can help you get started. You can sign up for orientation to learn more about the process.
The North Carolina Judicial Branch also offers information on adoption and helpful links to resources.
If you’re interested in working with an agency, make sure to look for one licensed by the state. It’s also best to research the agency’s history and determine whether its rules align with your values.
Here’s a list of licensed private agencies in North Carolina. Many agencies have locations in Garner, Raleigh, and other larger cities. You may need to travel to meet with an agency.
Adoption can be an emotional and challenging process. There are agencies and other groups that offer support and resources, such as:
There may be local adoption support groups through local institutions, too.
You can find adoption forms through NCDHHS. The Petition for Adoption of a Minor Child is DSS-1800, and several other forms follow (DSS-1801 – DSS-1809). However, finding the right forms online can be challenging. Let Breeden Law office handle the forms for you.
The Harnett County Courthouse is located at:
301 W. Cornelius Harnett Blvd.
Lillington, NC 27546
You can call the courthouse at 910-814-4600. However, don’t expect the court clerk or any staff member to give you legal advice. They aren’t allowed to, and they may not know much about the adoption process. You’re better off working with an Angier adoption attorney who has all the information you need.
When you consider the legal, personal, and financial implications of adopting a child in Harnett County, you can’t take chances.
If you do something wrong, you’ve wasted your time, energy, and money. You’re better off working with someone already knowledgeable and experienced in the North Carolina adoption process.
Breeden Law Office helps with the pre-adoption process and the court process, including the various court filings, consent forms, and court hearings. We know how to handle the paperwork. This allows you to have more time to focus on welcoming someone new into your family.
Breeden Law Offices has years of experience guiding hopeful parents through the adoption process. We know the laws, the local court processes, and how to get started. Whether you’re still deciding if adoption is right for you or you’ve already done your homework, we’re ready to help.
With years of local adoption experience and a record helping families in Harnett County, you can rely on Breeden Law Office to efficiently guide you through the adoption process with confidence. If you have questions or want to know more adopting a child, we’re happy to schedule a consultation.
Call Breeden Law Office today:Call (919) 809-6599