Stepparent Adoption in Charlotte

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Many people divorce and remarry, making stepparent adoption very common in North Carolina in recent years. Adopting your stepchild provides you with certain rights and the ability to make important decisions on their behalf while they are minors.

Stepparent adoption can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved, protecting your rights while providing a sense of security to the children. Speak to a family law attorney who is experienced with stepparent adoption in Charlotte for more information and help navigating the process.

The Stepparent Adoption Process

The process of adoption is more straightforward and has less invasive screening requirements for stepparents than for someone unrelated to a child. Family laws require a prospective adoptive parent to be married to the biological parent and live in the same household for at least six months. Further, the noncustodial parent must consent to the adoption. Children aged 12 or older must also consent to the legal adoption. State legislation guides who may commence the legal process.

A family law attorney could help a family determine that they have the needed paperwork, meet the requirements, and help navigate the complex process.

Noncustodial Parent Consent

While the regulations require noncustodial parental consent, there are times when the family court may waive the requirement. Sometimes, families wishing to file for a Charlotte stepparent adoption cannot locate the biological parent, or they never made an effort to be a part of the child’s life. In those cases, the family can request an exception from the family court judge.

The exception is unnecessary if the noncustodial parent previously asked for a termination of parental rights. It is also important to note that the adoption will end any child support and other legal responsibilities of the noncustodial parent.

Rights After Adoption

Without a legal adoption, stepparents have no legal rights to children in the event something happens to their spouse or there is a separation or divorce. After the adoption is complete, the law grants them certain rights, and those include many of the same legal parental rights and responsibilities biological parents have such as:

  • Custody and visitation rights should the couple divorce
  • If the biological parent dies, the adopted stepparent has legal rights over the child
  • Full access to school and medical records
  • The child is a legal heir in the event the stepparent passes away
  • The minor is insurable through the adopted parent’s health and auto insurance plans
  • The ability to carry about important tasks without the spouse, such as picking the child up from school or accompanying them to medical appointments

Not only does the process ensure legal parental rights, but the child often feels safe and protected knowing their stepparent made the legal commitment to adopt them. Another important note is that once the adoption is complete, there are legal responsibilities, including financial and other requirements necessary to ensure the child’s health and emotional well-being.

Call a Qualified Attorney About Charlotte Stepparent Adoption

The legal adoption of children by stepparents transfers the financial and emotional responsibilities from the child’s biological parent to the stepparent, giving them legal parental rights. Once the process is complete, families enjoy many advantages, including harmony, support, and security.

If you are considering filing a petition with the court, a compassionate and experienced family law attorney could provide knowledge, legal advice, and guidance throughout the legal process for stepparent adoption in Charlotte. Call today to schedule an appointment.

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