Adult Adoption

People often tell me, “I raised my stepdaughter and stepson like my own children. They are adults now. I always intended to adopt them while they were children, but just never did. Can I adopt my stepdaughter and stepson now, as adults?”

Yes, you can adopt another adult to create a legal relationship when there is a genuine parent-child relationship and the petitioner and adoptee understand the legal and practical consequences of the adoption.

Through adult adoption, families can protect important relationships and inheritance rights, while providing a sense of belonging. The most important benefit of an adult adoption is often emotional. The decree of adoption does not create a family, but it does make it official and provides a feeling of permanence and security.

There are also other benefits, including:

  • Inheritance rights
  • Access to medical records
  • Participation in healthcare decisions
  • Visitor access for in-patient health care
  • Social Security benefits

Consent – In North Carolina, only three people must consent to the adoption of an adult – the person being adopted (adoptee), the adopting adult (petitioner), and the spouse of the petitioner (if applicable).

Notices – We must send notice of the proceeding to the following individuals:

  • Any adult children of the prospective adoptive parent
  • Any spouse of the prospective adoptive parent
  • Any parent of the adoptee
  • Any spouse of the adoptee
  • Any adult child of the adoptee

The Clerk of Court may “for cause” waive the requirement to serve notice of the proceeding on the biological parent of the adult adoptee.

The fact that these individuals receive notice of the proceeding does not mean that their consent is required. They cannot prevent the adoption by objecting to the proposed adoption or withholding their consent.

People often ask, “Since we all agree, can’t I do this myself?” The paperwork and procedures can be challenging. The fact that everyone agrees, makes it possible. It does not make it easy. Some things are too important to take a chance.

Experience On Your Side

No legal proceeding is simple, but it can be a lot easier with an experienced partner at your side. Bobby Mills has practiced adoption law in North Carolina for over 30 years. Call us today at 919-533-4025 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

 

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Why Should You Choose An Adoption Attorney?

Adoption is a wonderful option for expanding your family, but the laws governing the process are quite complex. Working with an attorney with significant experience in adoption law will help ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly.

An adoption attorney will:

Provide

We will provide an unbiased explanation of adoption procedures and develop a legally secure plan tailored to your needs.

Assess

We will assess the risks involved, including determining what payments are permissible and ensuring that birth parents are treated fairly and their rights are legally terminated before placement is finalized.

Clarify

We will clarify your options, if any, for post-placement arrangements with birth parents, making sure your interests and those of the child are served.

Explain

We will explain your rights and adoption laws in your state or refer you to attorneys who practice in other states or internationally.

Review

We will review and negotiate the adoption agency contract to protect your interests.

You Should...

Contact

You should contact an attorney as early as possible in the decision-making process.

Learn

Learn about the specific types of adoption services the attorney provides. Ask what percentage of the practice is dedicated to adoption and how many adoption proceedings the attorney has handled.

Choose

Choose an attorney who is experienced in the type of adoption you are considering.

Know

Know what the attorney charges, how fees are structured and that you can afford the services.

Ask

Ask questions, request references, share your concerns and provide the attorney with all relevant documents. Ask for a written retainer agreement that outlines what the attorney charges, how fees are structured and other details regarding fees and fee payment.

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