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