Raleigh Adult Adoption Lawyers
Adoption is not limited to children under the age of 18; in North Carolina, adult adoption is allowed by statute and includes adults who are married and emancipated minors. Any adult can adopt another adult, but spouses cannot adopt each other. Adult adoption allows the adopted adult to establish a life-long connection with individuals he or she is not related to by blood. Most importantly, the adoption ratifies an existing relationship that exists between the individuals involved.
If you are interested in adult adoption, Marshall & Taylor PLLC can help to lead you through the process. While adult adoption tends to be easier than a traditional child adoption, the process includes many steps that cannot be overlooked. The Raleigh adult adoption attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC have many years of experience in family law and have an established reputation for treating clients with the utmost compassion. Attorney Jeffrey E. Marshall has met the high standards set by the North Carolina State Bar and is Board Certified in family law.
Let the attorneys at Marshall & Taylor PLLC handle the process of adult adoption from beginning to end so that you can focus on the benefits of the newly solidified relationship. Call us today at 919-833-1040 to schedule a consultation.
Adult Adoption in North Carolina
In order to begin the adult adoption process in North Carolina, both the adopting adult and the adoptee must have lived in the state for at least the last six months. The first step for adopting an adult is to file a petition at the local courthouse. Additional paperwork may need to be attached, such as the birth certificate of the adult being adopted. Some courts may also require the adopting adult to include a statement explaining why he or she wants to adopt the individual. Along with the required paperwork and petition, a filing fee will need to be paid.
The consent of the adult being adopted is required and must be in writing. In cases where the prospective adopting parent is married, his or her spouse must also be named on the petition. There are exceptions to the requirement if the adopting parent is a stepparent married to a biological parent or if the court waives the requirement for cause. The person being adopted does not need the consent of his or her legal parents in order for the adoption to be finalized, but the legal parents may receive notice of the adoption proceedings. The legal parents do not need to consent to the adoption simply because they received notice. In some cases, the court may waive the notification requirement to the legal parents of an adult adoptee.
After filing the petition, a formal hearing will be scheduled. The adult adoptee and the adopting adult are required to attend the hearing. However, there are instances where the required attendance may be waived by the judge. At the hearing, the judge will determine if the adoption is in the best interest of the adult being adopted. The judge will also review the documentation to determine whether the required consents were obtained. If your spouse opposes the adoption, the judge may waive the consent requirement. This is typically done when spouses are separated or estranged.
If the adult being adopted is incompetent, then the adult’s guardian must provide written consent to the adoption. The guardian must acknowledge the adoption will terminate the legal relationship between the adult adoptee and his or her former parents. In the written consent, the guardian must indicate that he or she believes the adoption is in the best interest of the adult adoptee. The adoption does not terminate the rights, duties, or powers of the guardian.
Once the adoption is finalized, the adult adoptee will have many legal advantages, including the following:
- Inheritance rights
- Access to health insurance
- Access to social security benefits
- Name change
The adopting adult will also gain legal advantages, including access to the adoptee’s medical records and the ability to make medical decisions for the adoptee.
Adult adoption establishes a legal bond between two people who are not necessarily related by blood. If you and your family are interested in adopting an adult, contact the experienced team at Marshall & Taylor PLLC today. We will explain to you in detail the legal ramifications of the adoption, and an attorney will also ensure the forms are completed accurately to avoid any unnecessary delays. Our knowledgeable Raleigh adoption lawyers are familiar with the requirements which tend to vary by county.
While the process of adult adoption is usually easier than a typical child adoption, every case is different and must be handled with extreme care to ensure that you receive the results you are seeking. Contact Marshall & Taylor PLLC today at 919-833-1040 to schedule your consultation.