Making the decision to adopt a baby is life changing. The process can be fraught with emotional challenges and legal pitfalls. When you choose to grow your family through adoption, it is vital to find a partner who can guide you through the process, from deciding whether to work with an agency or to adopt independently, to preparing for your home visit.
Adopting a baby is a process that, unfortunately, can involve multiple legal and bureaucratic hurdles. To prepare for these challenges, it is worth taking the time to understand how the process works and what you can do in advance of bringing home your new baby to make the process easier.
Here, we will walk through a few key steps involved in the steps for adopting a baby in North Carolina.
Choose the right option for you.
There are many different ways to adopt a baby. You should consider the pros and cons of each of the options that are available to you. We can help you to identify the issues that are important to you, sort through the options, and choose the option that is right for you.
Create a plan.
Once you decide that adopting a baby is the right option for your family, you need a plan. You need a plan based on your specific personal preferences and goals for your family. All families have different goals and preferences, so it is important to understand yours before you start the adoption process so that it proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Consult an experienced North Carolina adoption attorney to learn more about what considerations you should make in creating your adoption plan.
Each prospective birth mother presents a potential adoption opportunity. The challenge is deciding whether the opportunity is the right one for you. An adoption professional can help you evaluate opportunities, respond to initial communications with potential birth mothers, and conduct due diligence research. Our firm can help you with these tasks.
You should never make important decisions about legal risk, money, or health issues in a compressed time frame. You need to be prepared for the call. Often placement opportunities are presented from the hospital with very little time to make a decision. It is important to know your tolerance for legal, financial, and medical risks before making a decision about a placement opportunity. There is value in having an experienced adoption professional help you evaluate these opportunities.
Meet the birth parents.
Independent adoptions, sometimes called direct or private adoptions, are open adoptions in the sense that the biological parents and adoptive parents know each other’s names. They often meet and sometimes share information after the placement. Your connection with the birth mother is important. The duration and extent of your relationship will vary based on the specific circumstances of your adoption but generally, there will be contact at some point. Building a genuine, positive, amicable relationship is in your best interest. Building a relationship will help the birth mother feel more confident in selecting you and/or you and your partner as adoptive parents for her child.
During her pregnancy, the birth mother will create a birth plan. You may be involved in this process. She will give consent for adoption after the child is born. Your adoption professional will work with the birth mother to obtain the necessary consent from the baby’s birth father.
Meet the birth parents.
Whether you use an agency or work independently, your connection with the birth mother is one of the most important relationships you will ever forge. The duration of your relationship will vary based on the specific circumstances of your adoption but generally, there will be contact at some point. As such, building a genuine, positive, amicable relationship is in your best interest – not to mention, it will help the birth mother feel more confident in selecting you and/or you and your partner as adoptive parents for her child.
During her pregnancy, the birth mother will create a birth plan. You may or may not be involved in this process. She will give consent for adoption any time after the child is born. Your adoption agency – if you engage one – will work with the birth mother to gain necessary consent from the baby’s birth father. Your agent will also explain her rights and what “consent” means before she signs the relevant paperwork.
Finalize the adoption.
The process is not over once you bring your baby home. You will need to undergo two post-placement assessments. The first assessment will occur within two weeks of the child being placed with you. Your attorney will then prepare you for the finalization process – which may or may not involve a court hearing. If so, you will appear in front of a judge who will ask you a few questions and ensure all laws have been followed. Then, the judge will issue a final adoption decree.
Hire an Experienced Adoption Attorney in North Carolina
When embarking on the exciting journey of adopting a baby, it is vital to engage a partner who can help you navigate the adoption process as smoothly as possible. Having a skilled attorney on your side can help you handle the process as seamlessly as possible, putting you one step closer to preparing to bring your baby home.
With more than 30 years of experience, Bobby Mills can help you prepare for your infant adoption. Contact our firm today to learn how we can guide you through this exciting process of building your family through infant adoption.