Adoption in North Carolina – When people think of family law, unfortunately the first thought is usually the breaking up or the ending of a family. Fortunately, that is not always the case, because one of the areas of family law for which you may need an attorney is adoption.  Adoption is legal process of becoming a parent to a child that is not biologically yours.

In this blog, we will talk a little bit about adoption in North Carolina.  Like all of our other blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

What is adoption?

Adoption is the legal mechanism of taking someone in and creating a parental relationship with that person. The process of adopting a person ends the parental rights of some parent and gives the parenting rights to someone else.  What we mean by this is that, legally speaking, adoption permanently transfers all the parental rights and responsibilities from one party to another party, because of this, the following are true:

  • Legally, someone can’t have two sets of parents.  Once the adoption is completed, the biological parents no longer have parental rights to the child.
  • Once parental rights are terminated, biological parents cannot simply change their minds and undo the process.
  • There is no age limit for “children” who are being adopted. Adults of any age can be adopted with the same legal effect of adopting a minor.
  • Generally, for someone to be adopted, the parental rights of the biological parents that is being “replaced” must be terminated.

Types of adoptions

An adoption is straightforward, yet people tend characterize different types of adoptions such as:

The differences in types of adoption are simply the process by which it gets done, the legal effect will always be the same.

Legal consequences of adoption

The law makes no distinction between a biological child and an adopted child.  This means that any legal obligations and rights attach the same as they would have for a biological child such as but not limited to the following:

  • The same determinations for child support and child custody apply for both adopted children and biological children, meaning if a couple adopts a child together and they split up, they would follow the same process for child custody and child support as they would for a biological child.
  • Laws regarding wills and estates make no distinction between biological children and adopted children. 

If you need a family law attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina or the surrounding areas contact us.

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