The Williams Law Group, PC. Our firm is dedicated to family
law issues including adoption, child custody, child support,
divorce, alimony and division of marital property. This page
will discuss some of the common issues related to adoption
in the State of North Carolina. Our firm handles stepparent,
private placement, foreign re-adoptions and adult adoptions.
general, are a rather “paper-intensive” endeavor.
Prospective adoptive parents will need to produce their
marriage certificate and a copy of the birth certificate for
the child(ren) at issue. Most adoptions will involve filing
of a pre-placement assessment, petition to adopt, consent
forms, a home study and other accompanying documents. The
exact forms to be filed will vary depending on the type of
adoption it is important to first determine whether or not a
pre-placement assessment is necessary. The law requires this
assessment prior to the child being “placed” for adoption.
It can be obtained from the local department of social
services for a fee which may be in excess of $1,000.00. Some
adoptions do not require this assessment. Therefore, it is
important to both discuss and resolve this issue in advance
of filing a petition.
An adoption of a
minor child can proceed more quickly when the biological
parents consent to the adoption. Their consent can
substantially shorten the period of time needed to finalize
the adoption. If one or both biological parents fail to
consent to the adoption, it may be necessary to first file
an action to terminate their parental rights prior to filing
the petition to adopt. The circumstances of the case will
determine both whether this action will be necessary and
whether this action will be successful.
If the adoptive
parent is the stepparent of the minor child, the process for
adoption alters slightly. Again, it is important to
determine whether the other biological parent consents to
the adoption of the minor child by their stepparent. The
length of time the minor child has resided with the adoptive
stepparent determines whether or not a home study will be
required for the adoption.
adoption differs from that of minor children. The adult to
be adopted must formally consent to their adoption. If the
adoptive parents have other adult children, those children
will have to be given formal notice of the adoption. These
adoptions do not require a pre-placement assessments or a
How much will
the adoption cost?
In most adoption
cases, it is necessary to have both a pre-placement
assessment and a home study performed. In general, the law
requires that the pre-placement assessment be completed
prior to placement of the child with the adoptive parents
and thus prior to filing the adoption petition. The
pre-placement assessment is valid for 18 months and must be
updated thereafter. The home study is performed near the end
of the adoption process.
do not have to wait to employ an attorney to begin the
pre-placement assessment process. In most cases it is very
helpful to have started or completed that process in advance
of hiring counsel to file the adoption petition. The
agencies that perform these tasks, including county
departments of social services, charge a separate fee for
both procedures. The total cost for both the assessment and
the study can range from $1,000.00 - $1,500.00 and must be
paid directly to the agency performing the assessment/study.
generally charges by the hour for work performed on each
adoption and will require a trust deposit. The initial
deposit with the firm will depend on the type of adoption
and other facts of the particular case.
If you are
considering adoption, please call our office to schedule a
time to meet with an attorney to discuss the specifics of