One of the most loving things we can do as grandparents is adopt our grandchildren. If you have decided to adopt your grandchild, there are a few things you should know before you file.
1. Start Collecting Certificates Before You File for Adoption
North Carolina Clerk of Courts are meticulous when it comes to adoptions. To move forward with the adoption, you must present appropriate certificates. Not only will you need a certified birth certificate for the minor child, you will also need:
- Your marriage certificate (if applicable;
- Your divorce certificate (if applicable);
- The biological parents’ marriage certificate (if they are or were married); and
- The biological parents’ divorce certificate (if they got divorced).
You may already have a certified birth certificate on hand. But the marriage and divorce certificates could prove tricky to get. You’ll have to request them from the county and state in which the marriage or divorce took place. The turnaround time could be anywhere from 4-6 weeks so it’s important to start the ball rolling as soon as possible.
2. A Home Study May Not Be Required:
In NC, a home study is required to complete an adoption. The entire process can cost between $1,000 to $3,000. But, if your grandchild has lived with you for 2 or more years, the home study is not required. That being said, the clerk of court still has the discretion to order a home study.
To learn more about the home study process in North Carolina, click here.
3. You May Need to File a Termination of Parental Rights Action First
Consent by the biological parents is necessary to complete a NC adoption. But what happens if the biological parents are unwilling to consent? If that’s the case, you’ll need to file a petition to terminate parental rights. A termination of parental rights severs the legal parental rights between your grandchild and his parents. Read our Guide to Termination of Parental Rights in NC to find out more about this process.
Read our Guide to North Carolina Adoptions for even more information about NC Adoptions.
Adoptions can be complicated. It’s important to have a knowledgeable attorney at your side throughout the process.
If you are ready to find out more about how you can move forward with your own adoption, contact our office to schedule a consultation today.