Six Things to Know if You’re Considering Adoption
At Schulz Stephenson Law, helping families grow through the process of adoption is exceptionally gratifying. Because the adoption procedures are so stringent it is advisable to hire a family law attorney to make the process more efficient. There are six steps to every adoption to keep in mind before beginning the adoption process in North Carolina.
- Termination of biological parents’ rights
Adoption not only creates a legal relationship between a parent and a child who are not related, but it permanently severs the relationship between the adoptee and one or more of their biological parents. Legally, a judge must issue a decree that perpetually ends all legal parental rights of a birth parent to a child.
Adoptions can either be high risk or low risk depending on if the rights have been terminated or not before the child is placed with the adoptive parents. It is important to be familiar with the law, or have someone on your team who is, that can aid in this difficult step.
- Court Appointed Guardian Ad Litem
A Guardian Ad Litemt may be court appointed to review the adoption matter, and advise the Court as to whether it is believed to be in the child’s best interests to be adopted.
- Consent to Adoption
There are three different legal documents that fall under the consent category. The first document is to be signed by the birthparents to authenticate their intention to give their child up for adoption. The second document is issued by an adoption agency to allow the adoptive family to finalize the adoption after all requirements have been met. The third document is the child’s consent, provided they are twelve or older.
- Birth Certificate
The original birth certificate provides the birth mother and father’s name, the date, place, time of birth, and the name given to the child. Once the child is adopted, an amended birth certificate is issued.
- Finalization of adoption in court
This is one of the last steps in the adoption process. Finalization is the legal process that officially transfers custody of the child to the adoptive family. In North Carolina the Clerk’s Office handles issuing the Final Decree of Adoption.
The lawyers at Schulz Stephenson Law serve clients considering adoption in the Morehead City, Beaufort, Newport, New Bern, and Bayboro communities of Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico County NC. For more information on adoption call us at 252-728-7300 for a consultation.