Home  >  Adoption  >  Stepchild Adoption

Raleigh Stepchild Adoption Lawyers

Stepchild adoptions are becoming more common nowadays given the changes in family dynamics. Parents often remarry after a divorce, and the new stepparent is able to develop a strong bond with a stepchild. However, under the law, the stepparent typically does not have any actual parental rights over the stepchild. This can create frustration and a sense of helplessness for the stepparent, especially in critical situations where important choice need to be made for the child.

If you are interested in adopting your stepchild, the Raleigh stepchild adoption lawyers at Marshall & Taylor PLLC are ready to guide you through the process. As an adoptive parent, you will have the same rights as a biological parent. This includes making decisions about the child’s health, school, and smaller everyday items, like signing school forms for field trips. The child will also become eligible for insurance benefits and entitled to your inheritance. Adopting a child is a serious decision that comes with long-term responsibilities. It is also important to remember that if you and the biological parent were to divorce, you would still be responsible for child support.

If you are ready to take the next step with your family and adopt your stepchild(ren), let the experienced legal team at Marshall & Taylor PLLC help you through this complicated process. Our attorneys understand the challenges stepparents may face and have the necessary experience to get you the results you want. Contact us today at 919-833-1040 so that we can start you along this wonderful path.

Stepchild Adoption in North Carolina

In North Carolina, a stepparent can adopt a child after being married to the biological parent for six months or more. During this time, the child must have lived primarily with the stepparent and the biological parent in North Carolina. This does not include any time you lived together before being married.

The other biological parent must consent to terminate his or her parental rights in order for the adoption to be finalized. The stepchild adoption process will often move along quickly if the other biological parent is willing to terminate his or her rights. But, in instances where the other biological parent does not want to terminate, other alternatives will need to be explored to convince the court to terminate the parent’s right. If this is the case, you will need to file additional forms with the court and will need to demonstrate why the adoption is in the best interest of the child.

Some ways to prove that the other biological parent’s rights should be terminated are a failure to pay child support for an extended amount of time, a failure to maintain visitation visits, and/or abandonment. The process is similar to when the other biological parent cannot be located.

The first step of the stepchild adoption is to file a petition with the court. Once the petition is filed, if the other biological parent has not consented, you will need to serve the parent with a copy of the petition. If the other parent has given consent to terminate his or her rights, you are not required to serve the other parent. After serving the other biological parent, a hearing will be scheduled where the judge will decide whether the adoption is in the best interest of the child. Having an attorney present on your behalf at the hearing can make the experience less stressful for you and your family. An attorney can help argue your case and increase the chances of the desired outcome.

There a few steps to complete to ensure the adoption is in the best interest of the child:

  • Home visits (or home study) by a social worker—if you have been married to the biological parent for at least two years, the court can waive the home visit. For this reason, many couples decide to wait until the two-year mark to make the process easier.
  • Criminal background check

Also, if the child to be adopted is 12 years or older, he or she must also consent to the adoption in writing. In North Carolina, you can also adopt a stepchild over the age of 18, so long as the stepchild consents.

Contact Us

Stepchild adoption is an important decision for a family that has many legal consequences. Every situation is different and should be treated with extreme care to ensure the best interest of the child. Adoptive stepparents attempting to go through the adoption process alone run the risk of dealing with unexpected setbacks and delays. If you are thinking about adopting a stepchild, make the process easier for your family and partner by retaining the help of a caring attorney from Marshall & Taylor PLLC.

Our experienced team is ready to help make the process smoother and get you to your desired outcome. The Raleigh adoption attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC have established a reputation for putting family’s needs first and achieving optimal results. Do not let the legal complexities surrounding adoption deter you from adopting a stepchild. Call us today at 919-833-1040 to schedule your consultation.


Looking for an attorney whose ethics and morals are above reproach? Look no further than the attorneys at Marshall & Taylor... He has my strongest recommendation if you are in need of a professional attorney who not only understands the law, but is highly experienced and cost effective! -Jody from Avvo

- Phenomenal Cost-Effective Attorney

The divorce process is tough. Not only is it emotionally difficult and physically draining, but the actual legal process itself is simply unchartered territory for most of us. When my spouse served me with a separation papers & an out of this world financial proposal — I nearly had a heart attack. I was just plain shocked and totally unprepared for the ridiculous and unjustified financial demands that she wanted. I was an emotional wreck, but in a panic, I called my CPA advisor and asked for help. I’ve known my CPA for over 5 years having found him thru the Dave Ramsey website. When I asked him to recommend a divorce attorney, he gave me one name, Jeff Marshal. I’m not going to attempt to list all the reasons you should call Jeff, but I can attest that you will not be sorry you called. The divorce process has significant and lasting implications on everything important in your life after divorce. Make sure you that you have Jeff by your side when these decisions are being made, I am certain that you will be glad you did.

- I recommend Jeff Marshall

I found myself in a position of impending separation/divorce. My situation involved marital misconduct in another country(a very difficult to prove situation), did my due diligence; read reviews and went to visit 5 different attorneys... My case outcome was much better than the original offer I made to my ex spouse(before I had a lawyer) and giving credit where credit is due; Jeff’s knowledge to execution is what made the difference. I must add Jeff made me look past my anger and really had the best interests of me and my children in mind... - Client from Avvo

- I highly recommend Jeff. Him and his staff are awesome!

MR Marshall prepared my Premarital Agreement for me. I am extremely pleased with the results. He provided excatly what I asked and more. I would highly recommend Mr. Marshall to anyone needing his services. - Client from Avvo

- Great Job!

I recently used Jeff Marshall to settle my drawn-out and contentious divorce and custody cases, and found him to be extremely helpful. He took his time to get to know me and my situation, helped me make decisions moving forward, gave me great advice on things that I could do that would limit the time he needed to spend on the case (thus dropping my bill), and represented me quite well during my custody hearing. Having Jeff as my attorney was, in my opinion, critical to positive outcome I received from the custody hearing. - Client from Avvo

- Great attorney!

Jeff Marshall has been a great attorney during a difficult life event. He always responded to my questions and concerns in a timely manner and was great at making me understand the process from start to finish. - Client from Avvo

- Great lawyer!

Jeff has always been my go to attorney when it comes to family law. He is unbiased and fair and has a great interpretation of the law. Divorce is not a fun process and sometimes following advice of someone other than yourself is hard to do. Looking back Jeff was spot on. His advice has saved me thousands of dollars! - Client from Avvo

- Invaluable Advice

Jeff and his team helped me with my seperation and divorce. I was very happy with my settlement and the way they were able to just focus on the buisness at hand which was to protect my interests. Most of this process was conducted while I was living in another state, but Jeff and his team kept me informed throughout the process. I would recommend him without reservation. - Client from Avvo

- Very Satisfied Customer

Mr. Marshall is a superb attorney. He understands the law better than anyone else with whom I consulted. He is very prompt in responding to email and voicemail. He kept me from making several major mistakes that my previous attorney had nearly made and would have cost me big. Mr. Marshall is more expensive than others, but he is also more efficient so it may not make a difference in the long run. - Client from Avvo

- Excellent Attorney

Jeffrey is a consummate professional and and a master practioner in the field of family law. He guided me through a very difficult case that concluded as favorably as possible. - Client from Avvo

- Master practitioner in the field of family law

Jeff Marshall provided solid advice and followed through on services promised. I would highly recommend Jeff to others seeking a divorce or custody attorney - Client from Avvo

- Needed Help with Divorce and Custody

He has worked with me a great deal and understands the relationship I have with my children. He believes in doing what is right and in best interest of children. I trust him with any and all legal decisions I have had to make. Jeff is truly one of the best around. I highly recommend him to anyone that has to deal with high conflict situations. - Client from Avvo

- Jeff is very straight forward and honest.
Search Engine Optimization for Lawyers