In North Carolina, it’s possible for a stepparent to adopt his or her spouse’s biological children. In many cases, stepparents choose to do this because they want to give their stepchildren a stable home that consists of two parents. The result of adopting a stepchild or stepchildren means that the non-custodial parent cuts all parental ties with the child or children. Because this process involves a severance of ties with a parent, it can be difficult and complex to navigate. If you’re wondering what kind of adoption rights stepparents might have, a Charlotte lawyer can help. When you turn to Emblem Legal for assistance with stepparent adoption issues, you’ll get answers you can trust.
The Step-Parent Adoption Process
In order to adopt a spouse’s children from a previous marriage, the stepparent must file a petition in the county in which he or she has been a resident of for the past six months. This step is necessary so that North Carolina jurisdiction can be established in the case. In some cases, a pre-placement assessment must also be submitted along with the petition, but that’s not true in every situation. If the stepparent has been married to the parent of the child or children for more than two years and the child has been in the residence for all of this time, then the court can waive this portion of the requirement. Once the petition and the assessment have been submitted, then the process can move forward.
Getting Consent for Adoption
If a stepparent wants to adopt a child, his or her spouse, the custodial parent, must give written permission. In addition to this, the stepparent must also gain the consent of the non-custodial parent. In some cases, getting this consent can be difficult and it changes the step-parent adoption process quite a bit. In cases like this, the stepparent must file for a termination of the other parent’s rights. In order for this to be granted, there needs to be some reason that parental rights should be terminated. See our page on parental right termination.
Step-parent adoptions can be difficult to deal with, and it’s never a good idea to go through the process without the assistance of a qualified Charlotte attorney. At Emblem Legal, we’re here to help you navigate all of the complexities that go along with step-parent adoptions. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you make this process smooth and easy on everyone involved!