Growing your family through adopting a child is an incredibly rewarding experience. However, the process is not always straightforward, and having a trusted family attorney by your side to help you understand your legal rights and options is paramount to having a smooth experience.
Reach out to a Charlotte adoption lawyer from the Sussman Law Firm, PLLC, for individualized guidance you can rely on to empower you throughout your journey.
What Is the Process of Adopting a Child?
There are several steps that go into the adoption process, some of which must be addressed before the petition is ever filed with the court. An adoption lawyer in Charlotte could provide valuable insight into each of these steps during a private consultation.
There are materials that must be created and collected before filing a petition with the court. First and foremost, applicants must go through a pre-placement assessment by the state. Once this is completed, it is necessary to secure important documentation from the biological mother. This includes not only written consent for the adoption to take place but also an affidavit that provides important details regarding the child, including the name and marital status of the biological parents.
Filing the Petition
The proceedings formally begin with a court filing. The party intending to become the parent of a child must file a Petition for Adoption with the court, then provide all interested parties with notice of the filing as well as any pending hearing dates.
Once the court reviews the filings, a hearing is set. At this hearing, the judge will consider all the documentation to ensure the law has been followed. It is up to the judge to determine if this process is what is best for the child. The final hearing can only occur after six months have passed since the filing of the petition.
Who Can Adopt a Child?
In order to qualify as an adoptive parent, a person must be 18 years of age or older. The minimum age is 21 when it comes to serving as a foster parent.
There are no strict requirements for earning a specific income or owning a home. What matters is a prospective parent’s ability to provide a safe home for a minor child.
Single people and married couples alike are allowed to adopt under the law. While there is no requirement for a person to be married, spouses are required to jointly adopt a child instead of doing so on an individual basis. That means each spouse must meet all the necessary requirements and go through the process together. Single people are allowed to adopt, but they cannot do so along with a partner if they are unmarried.
Step Parent Adoptions
The most common type of private adoption is a step-parent adoption. Step-parent adoptions are a great way to bring blended families together. This type of adoption is for step-parents who want to adopt their spouse’s child from a previous marriage or relationship. A Charlotte adoption attorney could help you navigate the entire process to become your step-child’s legal father or mother.
Although step-parent adoptions can be uncontested, sometimes the absent parent refuses to consent to the adoption or can’t be located. Depending on the involvement of the absent parent in previous years, we can arrange to terminate their parental rights by law.
Talk to an Adoption Attorney in Charlotte Today
Adopting a minor child can be a life-changing event for everyone involved. However, the process is challenging—especially if you are on your own. The guidance of experienced legal counsel could be invaluable every step of the way.
If you hope to expand your family, it could be time to discuss your options with a Charlotte adoption lawyer. Your choice of legal counsel could directly impact your chances of success. Reach out right away for a confidential consultation.