Goldsboro Adoption Lawyers
Adoptions can give homes to children, enrich families, and serve as a tremendous benefit to society as a whole. It’s an option available to those who are at least 18 years old and can gain approval through the state of North Carolina’s adoption process.
Adoption is a process that comes with no small amount of legal hurdles and challenges. Strickland Agner Pittman believes in the great good that adoption can do, and we welcome the opportunity to provide legal counsel to those who want to enter the process.
Our Goldsboro adoption lawyers will see you through the entire process, from finding the right agency to navigating the home study, and more. Call today at (919) 893-0090 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
How Does the Adoption Process Work in North Carolina?
The state of North Carolina outlines 9 steps in the adoption process. We might condense and summarize those steps thusly:
- Work with an accredited adoption agency–this is something our attorneys can assist with.
- Through the chosen agency, complete a home-study course. Upon passage, the prospective parents have their names entered into a database as being qualified to adopt.
- Meet with available children or expectant mothers preparing to give up their baby for adoption.
- Go through the final legal process of becoming the child’s legal parents.
It looks straightforward, but the amount of paperwork can be substantial. A lawyer from our office can both help with that paperwork, as well as guide prospective parents in preparing for the home study.
This is the general process for a standard domestic adoption.
The desire to adopt a child from overseas is very common in the United States. Our country is blessed with children from Asia, Latin America, and other parts of the world.
These adoptions can take a long time and requirements will vary depending on the laws in the child’s country of origin. The Hague Convention, signed on to by many nations in 1993 served to standardize much of the process, but there can still be differences between nations that a Goldsboro adoption lawyer must be aware of.
International adoptions can be expensive, with prospective parents typically required to make multiple trips to the child’s country of origin, stay there for an extended period and make an appearance in that country’s courts.
We also have to say that there is a tragic amount of fraud and corruption in international adoptions. The Hague Convention has helped to clean some of that up, but the reality is that criminals find it easier to cheat someone halfway around the world than they do right at home.
This is not said to discourage any parent from pursuing this path. International adoption is done successfully most every day. We merely want all our clients to have their eyes wide open as we lead them through what can be a long and winding process.
Other Legal Issues in Adoption
Perhaps one of the biggest areas your Goldsboro adoption attorney will need to be alert to is whether the rights of the biological parents have been terminated and whether that termination will hold up under a court challenge.
Was the biological father aware of the adoption and given a chance to exercise his own parental rights? Was the mother under any form of duress to give the baby up for adoption? Finding out the answers to these questions, and others, is a part of a lawyer’s due diligence.
There are multiple ways a child can be legally adopted into a family. Depending on the circumstances, the process above can be slightly different. For example:
- Foster parenting is different from a domestic adoption. Foster parents are looking to provide a temporary home for a child while waiting on permanent adoptive parents. Those looking to become foster parents will need to take the TIPS-MAPP course–Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting. This course takes 30 hours and is aimed at helping prospective foster parents understand the child welfare system they want to participate in.
- Adult adoption is not common, but it does happen and there can be significant legal benefits. A person who is legally adopted can get inheritance rights on a par with the parents’ biological children.
- Kinship adoption is where prospective parents adopt a child to whom they are already related. There are cases where a biological parent loves their child and wants to be in that child’s life, but is simply not able to undertake the full responsibilities of raising the child. Supportive family members, from grandparents to aunts and uncles may step up. It’s possible in these situations to avoid the home study, depending on how long the child has lived with the relatives prior to the commencement of the adoption process. However, please be aware that the courts will have the discretion to order a home study.
Strickland Agner Pittman welcomes the opportunity to perform that detailed due diligence and to work hard on behalf of prospective adoptive parents.
Our firm is built on the concept of strengthening family. We know we can’t remove all of the burden prospective parents face. But we can make certain they at least have the peace of mind that comes from knowing their legal affairs are in good hands.