Adopting a child changes lives. Adoption provides a home for children who might not otherwise have had one. And for many people who aspire to be parents, the idea of bringing a child into their lives is one of the most wonderful things imaginable.
More often than not, however, the adoption process is far from straightforward. There are numerous laws to understand, obligations to fulfill, and various other things you need to do to prepare yourself for inviting a new family member into your life. Furthermore, the process can be costly. If you make mistakes along the way, you may end up having to pay some fees multiple times. This is why it is important to consult with a skilled family law attorney with significant experience helping clients with adoption.
The Pittsboro family law attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC have the experience, knowledge, and resources necessary to help you with this complicated process. Over the years, we have helped many families through their adoption processes, and our compassionate, skilled lawyers are ready to do the same for you. Contact us today online or call (919) 833-1040 for a confidential consultation and find out how we can help.
Who Can Adopt in North Carolina?
In the state of North Carolina, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to adopt a child. You do not need to be married or own a home, and there are no minimum income requirements. You must, however, pass a background check and complete a home study before you are able to adopt.
What Is the Adoption Process in North Carolina?
The adoption process is often stressful. You will be required to provide extensive documentation, complete assessments and background checks, and resolve court orders, petitions, and hearings. You will undergo a thorough screening to ascertain whether you are capable of adopting a child. The courts will only approve the adoption if they determine that it will be in the child’s best interests.
In the process of adoption, the biological parent’s rights will be terminated. A skilled Pittsboro adoption lawyer can assist with the termination process.
What Types of Adoption Are Available in North Carolina?
Before you begin the adoption process, you will want to determine which type of adoption you are seeking. Each family’s circumstances are unique, and their aims in the process will be unique as well. The Pittsboro adoption attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC will be able to help you with adoption processes such as:
Each of these types of adoption comes with its own legal and procedural challenges. The adoption attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC can take care of all the legal technicalities so that you can focus on preparing to welcome your new family member.
How Much Does Adoption Cost?
If you work with an adoption agency in North Carolina to adopt an infant domestically, the cost can be upwards of $40,000. The fees are determined according to an income scale and will be calculated according to your family’s annual earnings.
If you adopt directly from the foster care system, there are no adoption fees. There will, however, still be court and legal fees to pay if you choose this option.
What Is a Home Study?
A home study is a required part of the adoption process in North Carolina. This is where a social worker comes to your home to assess whether it is a safe, stable, healthy place to raise a child.
The home study also addresses your medical history, employment history, your family and friends, and your criminal background, if applicable.
Potential parents often find this portion of the process the most stressful. Luckily, the adoption attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC are very well versed in the home study process, and we will be able to tell you precisely what to expect and how to prepare.
What Are the Legal Requirements to Finalize the Adoption?
Once you file a petition to adopt, the court will order a post-placement study, which is a follow-up to the home study. This will assess whether the adoption is in the best interests of the child. It involves interviewing the adoptive parent or parents. It will also include an interview in which the adopted child is present in order to make a determination about their relationship with the adopted parents.
Following the post-placement study, there will be a report made that contains a recommendation about whether the adoption should be granted or not. If this post-placement study is favorable, a North Carolina court can finalize the adoption.
Should I Hire an Adoption Lawyer?
To complete an adoption process, you must adhere to the statutory procedures outlined in Chapter 48 of the North Carolina General Statutes. The laws are far from simple, and making mistakes can cost you a lot of time and money.
Working with a legal team that has experience with the adoption process can help things go as smoothly as possible, so you should consult with an experienced adoption attorney as early on in the process as you can. The adoption attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC will take care of all the complicated legal issues and will keep you updated about how the process is going every step of the way.
Contact a Pittsboro Adoption Attorney Today
Adopting a child can be one of the most joyful experiences you will have in your life. The reality is, however, that it can also be one of the most stressful. Without a thorough understanding of the statutes, laws, and requirements of the adoption process, you could face significant delays and frustrations.
If you are considering adopting a child, contact the Pittsboro adoption attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC as soon as possible. Our team has the experience and skill necessary to take care of everything you need on the legal side of things so that you can focus on preparing for the wonderful changes that are about to happen to your family.