An Overview of the Legal Adoption Process In North Carolina

Adoption is complicated and getting starting can be difficult. While navigating the process can certainly be challenging, adoption does not have to be intimidating. When you know what to expect, getting through the process is a lot easier. Below, our Union County adoption lawyers provide an overview of the key steps of the legal adoption process in North Carolina. If you have any specific questions about your rights or your options, we are here as a resource. 


  • Birth Parent(s) Must Relinquish Rights 


When you adopt a child, the child’s biological parents must relinquish their rights. This is true regardless of the type of adoption your family is pursuing—from stepchild adoptions to private adoptions through a lawyer. In all circumstances, the birth parent(s) must give up their parental rights before an adoption can be finalized. While a biological parent will not officially lose their rights until the process is complete, there are often steps that need to be taken early on to ensure that things proceed smoothly. 


  • Adoptive Parents Must Submit a Comprehensive Application


Parents getting ready to adopt a child should immediately begin putting together all of the documents, records, and evidence that they will need to complete the adoption process. The specific steps you need to take will depend, in part, on the type of adoption you choose. For example, if you are going through an adoption agency, the program will have some specific criteria to meet. In contrast, if you are adopting a child through a lawyer, your North Carolina adoption attorney will help you comply with all of the state’s requirements. 


  • Demonstrate Ability to Provide a Safety, Healthy Environment 


For most adoptive parents, a home study is one of the most important aspects of the process. As described by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), an adoption home study is a process through which a state-approved social worker will confirm that you and your family have the ability to prove a safe, healthy home for a child. Do not let the home study stress you out. While it is important to be prepared, no one expects your home to be perfect. You need to demonstrate that you can provide a healthy, loving atmosphere for a child. 


  • The Adoption is Finalized By a Judge 


In North Carolina, the adoption must be finalized by a judge. The adoption finalization process can be especially stressful for new parents—because they already put so much of their heart and soul into the process. The good news is that, with proper preparation, adoption finalization is not a big hurdle. A Union County, NC adoption lawyer will ensure that you are fully prepared so that no last minute surprises derail or delay your adoption. 

Call Our Adoption Attorneys in Monroe, NC Today

At Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP, our North Carolina adoption attorneys provide high quality, personalized legal guidance to clients. If you have questions about the adoption process, we can help. To set up a confidential consultation, please contact our law firm now. With an office in Monroe, we represent clients throughout Union County, including in Fairview, Indian Trail, Mint Hill, Weddington, and Waxhaw.