Are you thinking about adopting? If you have been planning this for a while and are finally taking the first step, you need to hire the right Charlotte adoption lawyer. Thanks to Waple & Houk you will have access to the legal help you need throughout the adoption process. We are experienced family law attorneys who can take you through your adoption process effortlessly. Call us now at (704)954-8697 to talk to our top adoption attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina.
How Do I Start The Adoption Process In North Carolina?
If you are planning to adopt, you should go through the following steps.
Choose An Adoption Agency
You will not pay any fees to adopt a child through a licensed child-placing agency contracted through the state or the Department of Social Services.
Submit An Application
Once you have chosen an adoption agency, the next step is submitting an application for the agency you choose. You will provide information about your family and the types of children you want to parent.
Complete The Preplacement Assessment
Here, you will have family consultations with a social worker to help you understand the adoption process and your new responsibilities. Your adoption agency might ask you to take special preparation and selection classes before adopting. Most foster parents have already met this requirement.
Find The Right Child
Next, you can work with your social worker to find the right child for you.
Visit With Your Child
Once you have identified the right child for you, a visitation plan will be set up so you can acquaint yourself with the child before placement.
Bring Your Child Home
All children always have a hard time adjusting to a new family. However, when you bring your child home, your social worker should be around to give you the support you need.
In North Carolina, the child should be in your home at least 3 to 6 months before the adoption process can be completed.
Legalizing The Adoption
Finally, if you are ready to adopt your child, you can legalize it in court. It’s advisable to use an attorney to file the legal proceedings.
Call Waple & Houk today for the best legal advice and assistance during your Charlotte, NC adoption.
How Do You Choose The Best Charlotte Adoption Lawyer?
If you are looking to hire an adoption lawyer in Charlotte, NC, here are some of the things you need to consider.
You should choose an adoption attorney who is licensed to operate in Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s because adoption laws differ from one state to the next.
You need to hire an attorney who specializes in adoption. Remember, family law differs a bit from adoption law. Therefore, look for an attorney who has actually specialized in adoption law for the best results.
Before hiring an adoption attorney, find out their hourly rates for any services rendered. You should be able to find an adoption attorney within your budget.
Find an attorney who has handled adoption cases in the past successfully. You need someone with the expertise required to handle such a delicate manner like an adoption effortlessly.
Fortunately, Waple & Houk is the best choice if you are looking for an adoption attorney in Charlotte, NC. We are licensed, specialized, affordable and experienced when it comes to adoption law. Rest assured that your adoption process will be hassle-free.
Is The Birth Father Required To Be Involved In The Adoption Process In North Carolina?
Every potential father has the right to know that a child they have fathered is being placed for adoption. If he is married to the pregnant woman during conception, birth or in between, the name will be in the birth certificate and consent for adoption will be required. A man who has fathered a child out of wedlock should take the necessary steps to show his commitment to creating a parent-child relationship before the law can recognize his right to withhold consent during the adoption process.
Once the father is served with notice of adoption, he can assert his claim within a specific timeframe. Failure to respond will be seen that his consent is not required for adoption. If he responds, his consent might not also be required depending on the adoption case. By working with our top adoption attorneys at Waple & Houk, you will have access to the best legal minds who can deal with any situation that arises as a result of the birth father.
Do You Have To Be Wealthy To Adopt In Charlotte, North Carolina?
You don’t have to be wealthy or own your home to adopt or foster a child. You need to have sufficient income to meet the needs of your current family. You should also be able to provide for a child coming into your home by offering their own bed and adequate storage space for their personal belongings.
What Are The Adoption Costs In Charlotte, North Carolina?
Remember, adoption cases are unique so your fees and expenses during the process will vary. If you choose to adopt a baby through a domestic adoption agency in NC, you should expect to pay about $41,000. Adoption services offer services such as:
• Screening and evaluating birth parents
• Advertising and matching services to find a prospective birth mother
• Counseling and support for hopeful parents and women going through the adoption process
• Contact mediation services
• Case management services
• Coordination with other adoption professionals
• Coordination with the hospital and medical personnel after the baby is born.
Also, you need to account for the cost of hiring an adoption attorney. If you hire Waple & Houk for your adoption process, we can make sure that every person’s legal rights are protected throughout the whole process, the rights of the birth parents are terminated and the adoption process is finalized accordingly.
You will also have to pay for home study providers. Before an adoption is finalized in Charlotte, NC, you must be approved by a home study professional. Some adoption agencies can complete these home studies because they are licensed and your costs will be covered in the overall fee paid to the adoption agency.
Finally, you have to pay for the living expenses of the birth mother until she gives birth. Part of the cost of adopting involves the legal and medical expenses incurred by the birth mother so you should budget for that too. Call us today at Waple & Houk so we can start working on your adoption case within your budget.
What is Included in the North Carolina Home Study?
The North Carolina adoption home study process requires:
- At least one personal interview with each adoptive parent.
- Fingerprint-based background checks for all adults living in the home.
- Demographic and social information, including age, race, nationality, ethnicity, and religion.
- Marital and family history.
- Physical and mental health.
- Education and employment history.
- Financial information.
- Motivation to adopt.
- The home environment and functioning of any other children in the home.
- Any reports of domestic violence, alleged child abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
- Convictions of any crimes other than minor traffic violations.
The North Carolina adoption home study must be completed by a licensed child-placing agency.
At Waple & Houk, PLLC, our family law attorney in Charlotte, NC also focuses on the following practice areas:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Contested Divorce
- Property Division
- Uncontested Divorce
- LGBT Family Law
How Long Does The Adoption Process Take In Charlotte, NC?
There are a lot of things to consider when determining how long it takes to complete an adoption. Once you have chosen an adoption agency, it takes about 3 to 6 months to complete a home study and agency-related training. Once you have completed the pre-placement assessment, there are other factors to consider.
These include the type of child you are looking to adopt and the type of family the agency is looking for. The adoption process is mostly child-focused so there is no exact timeframe. However, once a child has been placed in your home for adoption, the process of finalizing it takes about 6 months or longer.
Will The Adopted Children Know About Their Birth Family In Charlotte, NC?
It depends on the birth mother. If she wants a closed adoption, it means she doesn’t want access to the children now or in the future. If it is open adoption, you can allow the children to meet her according to a visitation plan in place. Note that, there isn’t a right time to tell your child that they are adopted.
It’s ideal to tell them as early as possible. Make sure that your children feel reassured and accepted, even if they are adopted. Whether or not you have your own children, you should also treat your adopted children the same.
Can A Birth Mother Revoke Her Consent To Adoption In North Carolina?
The birth mother has 7 days to revoke their consent for giving up their baby for adoption. Note that, since the process is extremely emotional for the birth parents and the adoptive parents, it’s prudent to take time before signing away consent to avoid any regrets. Remember, the birth mother has the right to change their mind before signing the consent.
When is Consent Not Needed to Adopt a Child in North Carolina?
Consent to an adoption is not required when:
- The parent is deceased.
- The parents’ rights and duties have been terminated.
- The parent has been judicially determined not to be the father of the child.
- The individual’s actions resulted in a conviction and the conception of the minor to be adopted.
- The parent has relinquished parental rights or guardianship powers, including the right to consent to adoption.
- The individual does not respond to notice of the adoption proceedings promptly or whose consent is deemed unnecessary by the court.
- The individual has not executed consent or relinquishment and fails to respond to a notice of the adoption proceeding within 30 days of the service of the notice.
- The man is not married to the child’s birth mother and after the conception of the minor executed a notarized statement denying paternity or disclaiming interest in the child.
Talking with our experienced adoption attorneys in Charlotte will allow you to understand the legal statutes and requirements necessary to successfully navigate the process.
Contact Our Charlotte Adoption Lawyers Now
If you have always wanted to adopt a child in Charlotte, NC, you need to know the laws regarding the process. Fortunately, with the best adoption attorneys, you have a chance to get ahead of the process. At Waple & Houk we will work together with your adoption agency to make sure the process is hassle-free. With our extensive knowledge of the adoption law in North Carolina, we will make sure that your adoption goes off without a hitch.
Call our Charlotte adoption lawyers now at (704)954-8697 so we can start discussing your adoption and advise on the right way forward.
Frequently Asked Questions for Our Adoption Attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina
Do You Have to be a Foster Parent to be an Adoptive Parent in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, you do not have to be a foster parent to become an adoptive parent. However, there is a supervisory period, during which the child should be in your home for at least three to six months before the adoption process can be completed.
What birth parent expenses can an adoptive family pay in North Carolina?
Outside of the adoption agency services and legal expenses, there are other costs the adoptive family may assume on behalf of the birth parent.
Those expenses may include, but are not limited to:
- The birth mother’s medical, hospital, and travel expenses incurred in connection with the pregnancy.
- Birth parent counseling services provided by a licensed professional.
- Living expenses during the pregnancy and up to six weeks after the baby is born.
The adoptive parents must file an affidavit of fees and expenses, which is an accounting of all payments made in connection with the adoption.
What are the Requirements to Finalize an International Adoption in North Carolina?
After adopting a child outside of the United States, adoptive parents may readopt the child under the laws of North Carolina. If two parents adopted the child, they must readopt jointly regardless of their current marital status. An adoption order entered in the child’s birth country may be accepted instead of the biological parents’ consent.
Can I Adopt a Relative’s Child in North Carolina?
A child who has a living parent or guardian may be adopted by an adult who is related to them by blood or marriage in North Carolina. While the process may be eased slightly because of the child/adopting parent’s relationship, the legal aspects of formally adopting a relative still apply as they would with a standard adoption. Adoptive parents who are adopting relatives gain full parental rights for the child they adopt, just as they would during a standard adoption.
I Was Adopted in North Carolina and Looking For Information About My Birth Family. Where Should I Start?
The process of requesting your non-identifying information or the Confidential Intermediary process to potentially gain identifying adoption is required before any birth parent or family information can be provided. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services can help you get started.