If you are interested in adopting a child, there are several things you must do. North Carolina is like most other states when it comes to the adoption process. The first thing your Charlotte adoption lawyer needs to figure out is what kind of adoption you’re looking to do. Are you looking to adopt your new spouse’s children? Or are you interested in adopting a child from another country? Either way, you will need the consent of the child’s biological parents to proceed with any adoption. If you’re lucky, the other parent or parents will agree to the adoption and sign off on their parental rights. Unfortunately, things are rarely this easy. Even in a stepparent adoption, which is typically routine, you may run into trouble securing consent from the child’s parents.
While your family lawyer in Charlotte cannot force the other parent or parents to give up their parental rights, they can help you file a petition with the court to have these rights terminated. Just keep in mind, the family court judges are reluctant to terminate anybody’s parental rights. Judges believe that it’s always in the best interest of a child to have a relationship with both of their biological parents if that’s possible. There are times, however, when keeping the children with their biological parents is just not the best idea.
If you feel that you’re ready to move forward with your own adoption, contact our office right away. You can schedule your initial consultation with one of our Charlotte adoption lawyers over the phone or through our website. To be honest, the adoption process can be daunting. However, with the help of a family lawyer in Charlotte, the process may go more smoothly.
Your Charlotte Adoption Lawyer Can’t Force the Biological Parents to Give Up Their Rights
As briefly mentioned above, there’s nothing that your Charlotte adoption lawyer can do to force the biological parents to give up their child. Parental rights are something the courts do not take lightly. Even if the child’s parents are in jail or are homeless, that doesn’t mean the judge is going to terminate their parental rights. Typically what happens is the judge gives the parents one final opportunity to prove that they are fit to be a parent.
Sadly, our family lawyers in Charlotte have handled more than our fair share of cases where the adoption falls through because the biological parents step in and take their children back. This is why it’s sometimes a good idea to negotiate a private adoption. At least these adoptions are secured by a contract. Just know that a contract is not always enough to convince the judge to permanently terminate someone’s parental rights.
You Can Petition the Court to Terminate the Other Parent’s Rights
If the other parents refuse to consent to the adoption, you can file a petition with the family court asking them to terminate the biological parents rights. There are very few circumstances in which a judge is likely to do this. For example, if a child’s biological parent has been out of the picture for more than seven years, it may not be all that difficult to convince the judge to sign off on the termination. The same is true if the other parent has denied paternity since the child was born. However, even in these situations, the judge will still take a careful look at the situation and make the decision that’s in the best interests of the child.
What Can You Do if the Other Parent is in Jail or Missing in Action?
If the other parent is missing in action, there are certain things you can do. Your Charlotte adoption lawyer can help you hire a private investigator to track the other parents down. You can also check the last known address for the other parent and see if there’s any record in that town of them passing away, being arrested, or hospitalized.
If you have done your due diligence and cannot locate the child’s other biological parent, or parents, there is a better chance the judge will grant your request. What our family lawyers in Charlotte have found is that the judge may grant temporary custody of the child to you while giving the biological parents a final opportunity to prove that they want to be involved in their child’s life. If this happens, you can usually go back to court after a certain period of time and reactivate your petition for adoption. If, by this time, the child’s biological parents have not entered the picture, you’ll have a better chance of having your adoption be approved.
You’re Better Off Having a Family Lawyer in Charlotte by Your Side
If you and your spouse or partner are looking to adopt a child, there are certain steps you must take. The first thing you have to do is file your petition for adoption with the local county family court. Once your petition is filed, you will have to secure consent from the children’s biological parents. If your spouse or partner is on good terms with the other parent, this may not be that difficult. If, however, you are not doing a stepparent adoption, it’ll be a lot harder to do this. If you are able to secure their consent, then you can move forward with your background checks and home study. Your family lawyer in Charlotte will be by your side throughout this entire process. They can even connect you with an adoption agency if necessary.
We suggest that you contact our office and sit down with one of our Charlotte adoption lawyers once you’re confident you’re ready to move forward. You don’t want to waste money or time by seeing an attorney if you’re not ready to proceed. Once we meet, we will determine the type of adoption you want to secure and take the necessary steps to get there. With so much at stake, it’s not a good idea to try to handle this on your own. Having a family lawyer in Charlotte there with you will make sure that everything is done properly and that you have the best chance of completing your adoption.