Adopting a child is an enormous responsibility, giving you all the legal rights and obligations of birth parents. To protect the safety of children, each state has legal safeguards in place that ensure adoptive parents are capable of providing a safe, stable home. Because the laws in North Carolina can be confusing and complex, it’s best to consult with an adoption lawyer before beginning the process.
An Overview of North Carolina’s Adoption Laws
Who Is Eligible to Adopt?
In North Carolina, any adult may adopt a child, including married couples, individual spouses, or singles. However, only one unmarried individual may file for adoption. Adoptive parents must also have lived in North Carolina for at least six months prior to filing the adoption petition.
Who Can Be Adopted?
Almost any individual can be adopted under North Carolina law, including any adult who gives consent. Blended families often use adoption to formalize relationships between stepparents and stepchildren. Children under the age of 12 don’t have to give consent, but older children must agree before the adoption can go through.
How Do You Pass the Home Study?
Before agreeing to the adoption, the court will order a home study that includes interviews with both parents, at least one visit to your residence, and evaluations of any other children you may have. Prospective adoptive parents must also pass an extensive criminal background check, provide financial information, and establish your physical and mental health. Your adoption lawyer will help you prepare for the home study and guide you through the process.
The Fulcher Law Firm is a full-service law firm conveniently located in the heart of Albemarle, North Carolina. Our adoption lawyers have over 18 years of experience, and we are proud to serve the residents of Stanly County and Montgomery County. Drawing upon our in-depth understanding of the law, we will help you navigate the complexities of adopting a child. Visit us online now to learn more about our family law services, follow us on Twitter for more legal tips, or call (704) 984-6060 now to schedule a consultation with an experienced adoption lawyer.