North Carolina Step-Parent Adoptions
Many children are raised in blended families and come to view their step-parent as their real mom or dad. Perhaps their biological mom or dad has never been involved with the child, or seldom spends any time with them. Adoption establishes a legal parent-child relationship which lasts forever, and gives the parents peace of mind and the child added security.
North Carolina law permits the spouse of a child’s parent, once they have been married at least six months, to adopt the child. Such step-parent adoptions create a “forever family,” ensuring that the step-parent’s relationship with the child will be respected and will continue even if the child’s first parent were to die, or the parents’ relationship were to end.
The extent of the absent parent’s involvement with the child determines whether his or her consent to the adoption is required. If it is, a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights can be filed in Juvenile Court to free up the child for adoption if the absent parent won’t consent to the adoption. In other circumstances, particularly when the absent parent hasn’t at all been involved in rearing the child, his or her consent isn’t required, but notice of the adoption proceeding must be served on the absent parent.
If you are interested in a step-parent adoption, contact us to schedule a consultation to explore your options!