Written by Jonathan Breeden
Adopting a grandchild is an emotional process for everyone involved. North Carolina grandparent adoptions are considered kinship adoptions and are a slightly less complicated process than a regular adoption.
Whether you are a grandparent adopting your grandchild in NC, or a parent seeking to have a grandparent adopt your child, you need an adoption attorney who can move you through the process quickly, with skill and attention to detail. Breeden Law Office is experienced in grandchild adoption and is ready to provide you with top level legal representation. Contact us today at (919) 661-4970 or use our online contact form.
Adoption changes the legal parentage of a child. When a grandparent adopts a grandchild, that grandparent becomes the child’s legal parent and is entitled to:
The biological parent no longer has any legal rights to the child. Whether there is any contact with the child is completely up to the grandparent who now has complete parenting control, although the biological parent and grandparent can come to an agreement about staying touch if they wish.
There are lots of situations in which grandparent adoption might make sense. If you are a grandparent who has been caring for your grandchild in your home for a long period of time with little help or input from the biological parents, doing an adoption can give you full parental rights. Even if your grandchild has never lived with you, you might decide that their current living situation is not what’s best for them and seek to adopt them. If you are a parent who believes your child could have a better life living with their grandparents, a grandparent adoption will ensure the grandparents can care for your child.
Grandparent adoptions move a bit faster than traditional adoptions where a non-relative adopts the child, but are still a careful legal process. The biological parents must either give up their parental rights or have them terminated by the court. This is necessary for both biological parents, even if they are difficult to locate. If the father is unknown or is not listed on the birth certificate, he is not part of the process. If one of the biological parents does not consent to the adoption, it can be a contentious process to terminate their rights so the adoption can proceed. If the child is age 12 or older, he or she will need to consent to the adoption.
Adoption normally requires a pre-placement home study. A social worker visits the home and interviews the grandparents and provides a report that describes whether they can provide an appropriate home for the child. This type of study is not always required in grandparent adoptions, but may be. After the adoption is complete, a post-placement home study may also be required to determine if the adoption is working out. If the child has lived with the grandparents for a long period of time prior to the adoption, it’s common for the studies to be waived.
Whether you are a grandparent seeking to adopt your grandchild or a parent who would like your child’s grandparents to adopt them, you need experienced legal representation to ensure that the process is done correctly, in a way that protects everyone’s rights and does what is right for the child. Get the legal help you need for your adoption from Breeden Law Office. We work closely with our clients and take the time to understand their family dynamics. Call us today at (919) 661-4970 or use our online contact form to get your adoption started.