- 1 What Is Adoption?
- 2 How to Start the Adoption Process in NC
- 3 What Is a Home Study, and Is It Required?
- 4 Can an Adoptive Family Pay the Costs Associated with the Birth for the Birth Parents?
- 5 Do Both Birth Parents Need to Consent to Placing a Child for Adoption?
- 6 Mills Adoption Law in Raleigh, NC – Experience for What Matters Most. Family.
Whether you’re considering adopting a child or placing a child for adoption, you likely have some legal questions about the adoption process in North Carolina. Below, Adoption Attorney Bobby Mills of Mills Adoption Law in Raleigh, NC, answers some of the most frequently asked questions he receives.
What Is Adoption?
Adoption is the legal process of revoking the parental rights of a child’s birth parents for placement of the child with an adoptive family. The adoption establishes the legal parental rights of the adoptive parent or parents.
Adoption can include:
- Giving a child new opportunities for a better life with an adoptive family
- Terminating the parental rights of a biological parent
- Allowing a relative or a step-parent to have legal parenting rights and raise the child responsibly
- Allowing a child over 12 to choose adoption by a prospective adoptive parent
How to Start the Adoption Process in NC
You may adopt a child in North Carolina if you are an adult with an approved home study. You must file up-to-date home study results with your petition for adoption. The court will order a post-placement study to follow up with the prospective adopting parents and adopted child before finalizing the adoption in court.
What Is a Home Study, and Is It Required?
A home study is an inspection and interview process by a state-licensed provider or social worker who conducts interviews with all family members living in the home. In North Carolina, a home study includes fingerprinting and background checks for all adults in the home, and interviews and documentation to include:
- Demographic information about race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and age
- Financial earnings, savings, and investments
- Mental and physical health
- Marital and family history
- Education and employment
- Criminal history above minor traffic violations
- Allegations of child abuse, domestic violence, neglect, or abandonment
- The home environment and well-being of children in the home
- The motivation of the adoptive parents to adopt
Can an Adoptive Family Pay the Costs Associated with the Birth for the Birth Parents?
Yes. If the birth parents and adoptive family agree, the adoptive parents can pay for certain expenses associated with the adoption, including certain birth parent living expenses. The adoptive parents must file an affidavit of fees and expenses related to the adoption. They may pay several costs for the birth parents, including:
- Medical, travel, and hospital bills for prenatal and neonatal care
- Birth parent adoption counseling by a licensed mental health professional
- Living expenses during the pregnancy and up to six weeks after delivery
- Legal expenses associated with the adoption
- Agency costs and fees for applications, the home study, and administrative fees
Do Both Birth Parents Need to Consent to Placing a Child for Adoption?
If possible, the birth mother and the biological father must consent to placing a child up for adoption in North Carolina. However, paternal rights must be established before requiring the father’s consent. If the father indicates no interest in establishing parental rights, just the mother’s consent is necessary.
North Carolina a father’s consent is required to the adoption if:
- He married the mother of the child or was married to her within a certain period around the birth of the child
- He attempted to marry the mother before the birth of the child
- He has established legal paternity of the child
- He provided financial support or other support for the mother during her pregnancy
In cases where one or both birth parents have lost parental rights or have died, a legal guardian or adoptive parent may consent to place a child for adoption if they have legal parental rights over the child.
Mills Adoption Law in Raleigh, NC – Experience for What Matters Most. Family.
Before searching for “adoption attorneys near me,” consider what factors matter most when adopting a child. While many family law firms offer adoption legal services, few focus almost exclusively on adoption. If you’re looking for an adoption lawyer near Raleigh, call Mills Adoption Law at (919) 306-2899 or complete our online form to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with Attorney Bobby Mills. With over 35 years of experience representing all members of the adoption triad—adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees—he can anticipate and plan for life’s challenges so they don’t become barriers to success.
Mills Adoption Law. Experience for what matters most. Family.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.