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North Carolina Adoption Blog

The role of consent in the stepparent adoption process

Until a child reaches adulthood or gains independence through emancipation, their parents are responsible for ensuring that their needs are met and their care is adequately provided. These requirements survive divorce, separation, and other life events that may force parents to live separately and terminate their relationships as couples. After parents split up they may form new relationships, enter into new marriages, and set new plans for their futures that include fostering the growth of their children.

When a parent remarries, their new partner becomes their child's stepparent. A stepparent has no legal responsibilities regarding their stepchild as they do not have a legal or biological connection to them. However, some stepparents wish to make their stepchildren their own and therefore seek to adopt them through the courts.

What is a pre-placement assessment?

Adoption is a major legal process that gives an adult or set of individuals the right to be considered the parents of a child who is not their biological relation. Domestic adoptions happen within the United States, and North Carolina residents who wish to become parents through adoption often can find their children within the state. In order to adopt them, however, the adults must complete a rigorous set of steps to ensure that they are prepared to bring those children into their homes.

A pre-placement assessment (PPA) is required of all prospective North Carolina adoptive parents. These assessments must be kept up-to-date and therefore must be completed every 18 months or when changes occur within the homes of the prospective parents. A person cannot register to look for children to adopt until they have completed their PPA.

Protecting legal rights when surrogacy begins

Becoming a parent is a dream for many North Carolina residents. Individuals may envision their futures with full families and lots of love, driving cars full of children to sports practices and to school, and eating together around big tables each and every night. This dream becomes a reality for many people over time as they find partners and gradually build their families together. For others, though, having children is impossible due to medical challenges.

Men and women who cannot have their own children may turn to medical professionals for assistance in this delicate and complex situation. While some may achieve their reproductive goals through the use of reproductive technologies, others may turn to surrogacy to bring their children into the world. Any option for having a child through the assistance of modern medicine creates important legal relationships that should be protected with the help of dedicated attorneys.

Sometimes the journey to parenthood is unpredictable

It is typical for couples to imagine what it will be like to have children. And while many times this results in a natural pregnancy, this is not always possible. Same-sex couples or those who struggle with infertility often look to other options.

Adoption is a wonderful choice for many. And while in vitro fertilization (IVF) may work for some couples, the process can be extremely expensive and often includes multiple attempts. Still, if you desire to have a baby but feel as though adding to your family may not be in the cards for you, you might want to consider surrogacy.

What is stepparent adoption?

Blended families are common throughout North Carolina. Parents marry other individuals who have kids and new step-relationships are created through those unions. A stepparent is a person who has married someone who has their own kids. A stepchild, then, is the legal child of a person who marries someone who is not the child's legal parent.

The relationship between a stepparent and their stepchild can be positive and fruitful. Though stepparents lack the rights of legal parents to control, direct, or raise their stepchildren, they can be positive role models for them and can support them in their endeavors. From time to time, stepparents may wish to create legal bonds with their stepchildren through the process of stepparent adoption.

The differences between open and closed domestic adoptions

Adoption is a unique legal process that not all family law attorneys handle. For families that are hoping to grow through the process, it is important that they work with Charlotte attorneys who are committed to supporting their clients' individual adoption goals. This post will address one small aspect of the domestic adoption process regarding the differences between open and closed adoptions, but readers are encouraged to speak to their own attorneys about their adoption needs.

A closed adoption is one in which a child's birth family and adoptive family have no contact. The birth parents and prospective adoptive parents never meet and never learn of each other's identities. Records regarding the adoption of a child through a closed process may be sealed and later in life it may be difficult for a child to learn about their birth family if their adoption was carried out in this way.

What happens to frozen embryos in a divorce?

Divorces can be extremely complicated, especially if there are issues involving assisted reproduction. One of the most complex issues for divorcing spouses in North Carolina surrounds the future of frozen embryos.

While storage facilities generally require couples to sign a consent form before beginning IVF, these documents do not always include information pertaining to the future of frozen embryos if a couple divorces or one of the spouses dies. The couple then must make the decision whether to keep the embryos frozen, donate them, use them or destroy them. Oftentimes, couples have differing opinions on the futures of the embryos, which has led to numerous lawsuits over the past few decades.

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