Experienced Adoption Lawyers Serving Clients in Western North Carolina and Surrounding Areas
There are many ways to grow a family, and adoption is one of them. Whether you are adopting a child through an agency or a private process, a skilled adoption attorney from Craig Associates can give you the legal counsel and representation you need to be sure that the process goes smoothly and that all legal requirements are met. You want to be sure that your adoption is done according to all of the rules and regulations that apply in North Carolina and that the process is as smooth and speedy as possible. If everything is done correctly, an adopted child has all the rights of a birth child. Don’t risk their status—call a skilled adoptions attorney today.
Call Craig Associates, PC at our Asheville office at828-258-2888to work with one of our experienced adoption attorneys.
What is “Directed Relinquishment?”
In North Carolina, “directed relinquishment” is the term used for a direct placement private adoption in which the birth mother selects the adoptive parents of the child she will deliver and surrenders that child to them upon birth. There are other kinds of private adoptions, as well, but this is the most common. Private adoptions of any kind, including directed relinquishments, must be handled properly and carefully to ensure that the rights of the child, the adoptive parents, and the birth parents are protected.
Who Can Adopt a Child in North Carolina?
The requirements in North Carolina to be an adoptive parent include being at least 18 years of age. When adopting a minor child not your stepchild, you might also need to undergo a home study. You may be single or married, have children already, or have no children, and you must have a desire to provide a stable home for a child. You will be fingerprinted and a criminal background check will be conducted. There are no income requirements for adoption, nor are there requirements for childcare or parenting experience. The main requirement is that prospective adoptive parents are ready to help an adopted child reach their potential with support, care, and unconditional love.
What Should I Expect in an Adoption Home Study in North Carolina?
Like most states, North Carolina requires that prospective adoptive parents go through a pre-placement assessment, commonly known as a home study, before they may adopt a child. In some cases, the home study must be completed before a person or family can even be considered as adoptive parents by agencies or birth mothers. The adoption home study can be a daunting prospect, as it is a very thorough investigation of your suitability to be an adoptive parent, and your ability to provide a good home for an adopted child. A home study will likely include personal documentation — criminal background checks, medical records, and financial records, for example–interviews, and visits to your home. This process can take approximately 4-6 weeks and should be initiated early in the adoption process. This is an important step in ensuring that both adoptive parents and adopted children are safe and protected as they enter the adoption process. While Craig Associates does not conduct adoption home studies, we can direct you to agencies and businesses that do.
Should I Use an Adoption Agency to Adopt in North Carolina?
While many adoptions are completed with the help of an adoption agency in North Carolina, a similar number of adoptions are handled privately through an adoption attorney. Typically, private adoption is pursued when adoptive parents have already made a connection with the birth mother, and both parties are interested in completing the process without the involvement of an adoption agency. Craig Associates has helped in many private adoptions in North Carolina, and we would be happy to help you with your private adoption process.
Why Would I Adopt My Stepchild or Grandchild?
There are as many reasons for adoption as there are families and children, but some common reasons to adopt a stepchild would include wanting to make the parent-child relationship between the stepparent and child “official,” granting certain legal rights to the child and the stepparent, including the rights to inheritance or government benefits, and to give the stepparent the same custodial and decision-making rights as the biological parent. Grandparents who are caring for a grandchild may want to adopt the child for the same reasons a stepparent would. Adopting a child gives grandparents more rights than legal guardianship does and makes those rights permanent.
Why Would Someone Adopt an Adult?
Sometimes, a stepparent or grandparent will adopt a child who has passed the age of majority in order to solidify or formalize the family bond. A foster family may want to adopt a foster child who has “aged out” of the system but who may still need care and whom they want to keep in their family in a more formalized way. A person or family may adopt an adult in order to ensure inheritance rights for the adoptee, as well. Adoptive parents and birth parent scan find it daunting to face the adoption process alone. An attorney experienced in family law can help you through the adoption process.
What if I Want to Adopt a Child From Another State or Country?
Sometimes you do not live in the same state as the child you plan to adopt, and the two states may have different adoption laws. Some states require that adoptions are facilitated by an agency, and others allow private attorneys to conduct adoption proceedings. For this reason, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) was created, and has been agreed to by all 50 states and the District of Columbia. When an adoption crosses state lines, it must adhere to the guidelines set out by the ICPC.
International adoptions are regulated by the US Department of State, following the Hague Adoption Convention, which is endorsed byover 100 nations, and which was implemented in the US by the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA). Under this convention, agencies processing international adoptions must be an accredited or approved adoption service providers. Adoption and immigration procedures will vary depending on whether or not the child’s country of origin is a signatory to the Hague Adoption Convention.
For help navigating the complex process of out-of-state or international adoptions, contact the experienced family law firm of Craig Associates to speak with one of our skilled adoptions attorneys at 828-258-2888.