Adoption Lawyer in Angier, NC

See more adoption related topics

If you’re considering an adoption in Harnett County, you know that there’s a lot involved with welcoming a new member into your family. Multiple decisions will directly affect your household, including your existing relationships, finances, housing, and other factors. There are also legal considerations that you need to address.

Regardless of whether you’ll adopt an infant, an older child, a stepchild, or another relative, you do need to comply with the requirements designated under state law. The statutes and procedural rules can be difficult to navigate if you don’t have a legal background, so the best strategy is to retain the help of a knowledgeable Angier family lawyer to assist you through this process.

Attorney Jonathan Breeden is an Angier adoption lawyer with years of experience helping clients in Harnett County and the surrounding areas. Though adoption is rewarding and you’re probably eager to move forward, you may feel anxiety as you face an overwhelming legal landscape. Since it’s so critical to lay the proper foundation, working with an advocate attorney Breeden puts you in a better position to avoid legal pitfalls and facilitate a smooth process.

Contact Breeden Law Office at (919) 296-3978 to schedule a consultation regarding your case.

Adoption in Harnett County

State adoption laws are very specific and follow certain requirements. The procedures are highly detailed, leading many potential adoptive parent in Angier to feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the process. Additionally, going through adoption is a very personal experience. It can sometimes seem that the laws are prying into your private life.
Whether you’re adopting to make your existing circumstances legal, or you intend to welcome someone new into your home, you can avoid doubt and anxiety by getting help from a lawyer.

Adoption Qualifications

Any adult aged 18 years or older can adopt another person, but there are some important exceptions:

  • Spouses cannot adopt each other
  • Two unmarried individuals cannot adopt one person, though it is possible for someone who is not married to adopt

There are no statutory restrictions on who can be adopted, subject to the consent matters described below.

Consent Requirements

An adoptive child’s biological mother must provide consent, but the consent rules apply differently to the potential biological father. Consent is necessary when the man:

  • Is currently or was married to the child’s mother
  • Attempted to marry the mother before the birth of the child
  • Acknowledged paternity by executing the necessary legal documentation
  • Is otherwise involved with the child, as described by the relevant statues

There are some special consent issues for married couples hoping to adopt in Angier. If one spouse files a solo adoption petition, consent of the other spouse is required. Also, if the adoptee is over 12-years-old, they must provide consent.

If you have questions regarding consent, contact an Angier adoption lawyer for help today.

Completing an Adoption in Harnett County

When the adoption process is final and the court enters the proper orders, you become the legal parent as if your adoptive child was born to you. You have legal custody and all the rights and responsibilities associated with being a parent, including:

  • Providing for the child’s care, comfort, well-being, and financial needs
  • Decision-making power over all matters that relate to raising the child

Types of Adoption and Adoption Agencies

The state’s adoption laws cover various familial situations. Having a basic grasp of the different types of adoptions will help you realize what to expect and what options are available:

Open or Closed Adoption

This refers to how and when a child can seek out their biological parents after an adoption is finalized. In a closed adoption, the birth parents can restrict contact information so the child can only access medical and related records. An open adoption allows free communication if the adoptive and birth parents agree.

Independent vs. Agency Adoptions

The specifics of an adoption also depend on whether you’re working with an agency or acting on your own. There are generally two types of agency adoptions:

  • Public Agency – There are multiple organizations licensed by the state that work to connect adoptive parents with children who are awaiting adoption. These agencies take care of many children of all ages and backgrounds, and some also handle foster placements.
  • Private Agency – A private adoption agency may cost more, but these organizations are often better equipped to meet your needs if you’d like an adoption with a younger child or infant. Many of these agencies can match you with the biological mother even before the baby is born. However, private organizations are more likely to have strict rules on age, marital status, and religious requirements.

An adoption that doesn’t involve an agency is considered independent. In the majority of situations, independent adoption happen if you have some relationship or connection with the adoptive child. A stepparent adopting the child of a spouse is a common example. Though the process may seem easier, the state still imposes various requirements.

The Adoption Process

The specifics of your adoption are unique to your family. Your relationship with the child, the child’s citizenship, and whether you’re using an agency are all factors that impact the proceedings.

The unofficial process starts before you even file for adoption in Harnett County Superior Court. Your adoption application must include:

  • A pre-placement assessment
  • Consent from the biological parents and other individuals as necessary by law
  • A sworn statement from the child’s mother, including information on the biological father’s address and marital status
  • An affidavit stating that all adoption costs have been paid
  • Disclosures on individuals who refused or couldn’t provide consent

You must submit your petition and supporting documents in the proper county, which could be where you live, where the child resides, or where the adoption agency is located. You’ll need to attach:

  • The consent and affidavits listed above
  • A Certified Copy of Background Information on the adoptive child
  • A list of individuals who are entitled to notice of adoption proceedings

After filing all the proper documents, you must send an official notice of the petition of adoption to anyone whose consent you were unable to obtain. The court will then schedule a hearing within 90 days. An official hearing with witnesses and testimony may not be necessary if you meet all requirements and no one disputes the proceedings. The entire adoption process must conclude within six months.

However, if a person with proper standing files a legal challenge, a hearing is necessary. This hearing is like a trial, so you must present evidence that adoption is in the child’s best interests and that you have complied with all requirements.

How an Adoption Lawyer in Angier Can Help

When you consider the profound legal, personal, and financial implications of adopting a child in Harnett County, you can’t risk mistakes. The pre-adoption process can be complicated and difficult to navigate without experienced help.

You’ll want someone to answer your question and deal with hurdles before they become obstacles. To do this effectively, having an understanding of the legal requirements, court forms, and local Harnett County procedures is essential.

In addition, there are various court filings, consent forms, court proceedings, and financial factors to consider. When you work with a skilled Angier adoption attorney, you gain peace of mind knowing your case and family are in good hands.

By working with attorney Jonathan Breeden, you’re entrusting the complexities of your Angier adoption to a dedicated professional, who is committed to expanding your family.

Schedule a Consultation with an Angier Adoption Lawyer

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:

(919) 296-3978

Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden