Home Practice Areas Child Support Calculator Forms Resource Links Our Firm Our Locations Contact Us

Welcome to 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.

Adoptions, in 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 pursued.

When considering 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.

An adult 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 home study.

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.

Adoptive parents 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.

Our firm 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 your case.

Copyright Williams Law Group
NC Divorce Law Attorneys, Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support, Alimony, Equitable Distribution, Marital Asset Division, Domestic Violence, Criminal Assault, Collaborative Law, Separation, Divorce, Property Division, Visitation, Guardianship, Paternity, Dissolution of Marriage
Serving Garner, Cary, Wake County, Johnston County, NC, North Carolina
Web Design by Consultwebs.com, Inc. Raleigh North Carolina - Webs For Law Firms

Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is provided as a public service for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law or, in particular, to contain legal advice. Laws vary from state to state and are subject to change, which could affect the information available on this site. If you have questions regarding any information found on this site, you should consult an attorney. Persons receiving information found on this site should not act on this information without receiving professional legal counsel. Use of and access to this web site does not create an attorney client relationship between The Williams Law Group and the user or browser.