Raleigh Adult Adoption Lawyer

When most people think about adoption, their minds travel to the idea of a couple adopting a young child. While this is certainly a common version of adoption, any person in Raleigh over the age of 18 can adopt any other person, even adults.

In some cases, a person other than the birth parents raised a child to adulthood and the child considers the caretaker as their true family. The caretaker may have held the child out as his own child throughout the child’s life. And as an adult, it may be time to formalize that family bond.

This can carry great benefits for both the adopting person and the adoptee. This means that this adoptee has the right to inherit property, visit their legal parents in the hospital, and collect social security survivor benefits.

Adult adoptions typically involve a collaboration between the person who wishes to become the adopter and the prospective adoptee. However, there are some situations where a biological parent of an adoptee may wish to contest this hearing. There are also specific rules that people engaging in the adoption process—with or without a qualified family attorney’s help—need to follow. A Raleigh adult adoption lawyer could assist you with all these matters if you are looking to expand your family through adoption and help you make this dream a reality.

North Carolina Laws Concerning Adoption

The general rule concerning adoption in North Carolina is that any adult may adopt any other individual except for their spouse under North Carolina Statutes §48-1-103. Of course, an adult cannot be adopted without their consent, but typically an adult adoptee will be in contact with the adopter and help with the process.

In order for a North Carolina court to have jurisdiction over the adoption, the parties must have lived in North Carolina for at least 90 days prior to filing the paperwork. However, even if both parties agree to the adoption, they have the obligation to serve notice of the adoption on certain other people. These parties, who have six months following the serving of notice to contest the adoption, include:

  • The spouse of the adopter if they have not already given their consent
  • Any adult children of the prospective adoptive parent
  • Any parent, spouse, or adult child of the adoptee listed in the petition to adopt

These parties have the opportunity to object because the adoption would affect their legal rights. For example, the adult children of the adopter would have to split any inheritance upon the death of the parent with the adopted child. A Raleigh adult adoption lawyer could help clients ensure that all required parties are notified of the proceedings.

The Effects of an Adoption

An adoption carries many legal consequences. According to North Carolina Statute §48-1-106, an adoption:

  • Completes a substitution of the new family for the old one
  • Establishes the relationship of parent to child
  • Entitles the child to inherit property, and carries all the legal burdens of the parents
  • Affects all executed wills or deeds that carry the term “child” and makes them now apply to the adopted person

In short, an adoption makes the adopted child a full legal child, as if they were born naturally to the adopted parents.

The adopted adult receives a birth certificate with the names of the adoptive parents listed as the birth parents.

However, people should note that it is still prohibited to attempt second-parent adoptions in Raleigh. In other words, unmarried couples cannot adopt the biological child of one of the partners. Further clarification on this matter and the options available to unmarried couples could be provided by a qualified Raleigh adult adoption lawyer.

How a Raleigh Adult Adoption Attorney Could Help Prospective Parents

North Carolina’s laws allow almost any adult to adopt another person, even another adult. This makes the adopted person a child carrying the full benefits of the law. As long as both parties consent, most adoptions are completed without issue.

However, the law requires people attempting an adoption to serve notice of their intent on people whose legal rights would be affected. This can include the other children of the adopting couple and the parents of the prospective adoptee.

A Raleigh adult adoption lawyer could help guide you through this complex process to make your family complete. Contact a local attorney today to schedule a case review.