Raleigh Adoption Lawyer

 
See more adoption related topics

Adoption is a rewarding experience that benefits children, parents, and entire families. Many circumstances lead to the decision to pursue adoption, including infertility, stepparent-child relationships, and familial situations.

Regardless of the path you’re taking, adopting a child in Wake County is a memorable occasion and finalizing the process is cause for celebration. However, as with any official proceeding, there can be challenges along the way if you don’t have a legal background. You put your rights and future at risk unless you retain the services of an experienced Raleigh adoption lawyer.

Attorney Jonathan Breeden is a knowledgeable Raleigh adoption attorney that has years of experience representing clients across Wake County in all types of adoption scenarios. Breeden Law Office is dedicated to making you feel at ease as you’re building your family. We can advise you on your options, explain your rights, and help you navigate relevant laws.

To schedule an initial case consultation with a Raleigh family attorney, contact us today at (919) 480-8005.

Adoption in Wake County

Unless you have a clear idea of what to expect, you may feel overwhelmed as you face legal hurdles and potential intrusions upon your private life. Adoption in Raleigh can seem very frustrating, especially when you’re seeking to legitimize an existing situation, such as caring for a young family member or stepchild.

You can alleviate the uncertainty and anxiety by working with a Raleigh adoption lawyer who will help you navigate the process. Though every case is different, applicable laws include:

Eligibility Requirements

Any person over the age of 18 may adopt another person, though there is a prohibition on spouses adopting each other. One person can file a petition for adoption, though two unmarried people cannot both adopt the same individual. Anyone is eligible to be adopted, even adults. In such a case, the age of the parties is irrelevant.

Consent

The child’s biological mother must consent to the adoption, and a man who may or may not be the biological father must agree to the proceedings under certain circumstances. They include situations where the man:

  • Is or was married to the biological mother
  • Tried to marry the mother before the adoptee’s birth
  • Officially acknowledged paternity

Other Consent Requirements

In adoptions involving married couples, one spouse can only adopt if the other consents to the arrangement. In addition, consent of the adoptee is required for children over the age of 12.

Raleigh Adoption Agencies & Resources in Wake County

For more information about adopting in Raleigh, NC, please visit:

Wake County Human Services
A Child’s Hope
Amazing Grace Adoptions
Children’s Home Society of North Carolina
Triangle Adoption Services

Types of Adoption

In some situations, you may be addressing multiple types of adoption because of overlapping issues and circumstances. The statutes and procedural requirements can be complex, which is why you can trust Breeden Law Office to help you navigate the complicated legal landscape.

Still, understanding the basics should be helpful as you are considering adoption and working through the process. Talk to a Raleigh adoption lawyer about the various types of adoption, including:

Open and Closed Adoptions

Adoptive and birth parents alike may have concerns about the child’s ability to find the biological mother and father after the process is complete.

A closed adoption refers to the situation where the birth parents do not want the child to be able to contact them. There are some exceptions, however, such as having access to certain records for medical purposes. If the adoptive and birth parents want the child to be able to find the birth parents, the arrangement is an open adoption.

Independent vs. Agency Adoption

There is a distinction in adoption scenarios depending on whether you are going through an adoption agency or are acting independently. There are two types of agency adoptions in North Carolina that a Raleigh adoption lawyer can help you with:

  • Public Agency – Organizations may be licensed by the state to manage the adoption process for children who are awaiting adoption. These institutions typically handle many children of all ages, and they may or may not also handle foster care placements.
  • Private Agency – A private adoption organization may be an option if you are willing to pay more for counseling and support throughout the process. However, these agencies are more likely to have strict rules regarding placements, such as requirements on age and marital status. Potential adoptive parents seeking younger children or infants may find that a private entity is a better fit for their needs.

An adoption that takes place outside of the agency setting is an independent adoption. Often, this is the situation when you already have some connection to a child in need of adoption, such as through family or friends.

Independent adoption may seem relatively straightforward because you’ve already found the child. However, the legal requirements still apply, so it’s critical to work with an adoption attorney to ensure full compliance.

Bearing in mind these different types of adoption, there are multiple scenarios where you’ll need legal advice. An adoption lawyer can advise you on the laws may apply in scenarios such as:

  • Stepparent adoption
  • Adoption by a relative
  • Same-sex adoptions
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Single parent adoption

The Adoption Process in Wake County

Adoption proceedings will vary based upon many different factors, such as whether or not you’re using an agency, your relationship to the child, and the child’s residence. Still, some basic issues apply to the general process.

The adoption process unofficially starts by laying the proper foundation as necessary to move forward with official court proceedings. You must collect such documents as:

  • A pre-placement assessment report
  • Consents from the child’s biological parents
  • An affidavit of the biological mother, along with contact and marital status information on the biological father
  • A financial affidavit regarding adoption costs
  • A signed disclosure regarding any individuals who could not provide consent

The official adoption process begins when you file the petition for adoption in the county where you and/or the adoptive child lives, or where the adoption agency is located. For Raleigh adoptions, you would file with the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court.

You must provide certain documents, including:

  • Consent and documents described above
  • A Certified Copy of Background Information on the child
  • A list of all individuals who are required to receive notice of the adoption petition

It’s necessary to provide notice of the petition of adoption to anyone whose consent is required by law, and who did not provide it at the time you initiated the process.

The court will set a hearing date within 90 days after you file your petition, and all proceedings on your case must occur within six months. There may not be an official hearing if you meet the legal requirements and no one contests the adoption.

If anyone with proper standing opposes the adoption, the court must conduct a hearing. This proceeding is similar to a trial, where you must show that adoption is in the child’s best interests and you meet all other legal requirements.

How an Adoption Lawyer Can Help

Though state laws seem relatively straightforward, adoption in Wake County can be extremely complex as they apply to your situation. By retaining the help of a knowledgeable Raleigh adoption lawyer, you can feel confident that all the legal aspects of your case are covered.

Regardless of whether an adoption agency is involved, these organizations cannot provide you with the solid, legal advice necessary to guide you through the process. A skilled lawyer can take the procedural burdens off your shoulders, allowing you to welcome a new member to your family.

Contact Breeden Law Office

For more information on how a Raleigh adoption lawyer can assist you, call Breeden Law Office at (919) 480-8005, or reach out online to schedule a case evaluation today.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

(919) 296-3978
 
 

Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden

Download