To adopt a child in North Carolina is one of the most selfless acts that you can perform. The role of a stepparent to a child can be invaluable. Often, a child will look up to a stepparent as if he or she was his or her biological parent. In a blended family, this is often the best-case scenario. It is a relief for most parents to know that their children are warming up to their new spouse. Stepparent adoption can be beneficial to child and stepparent. The question that many stepparents have, however, is whether the child needs to consent.
Consent and adoption do often go hand in hand. After all, in order for you to adopt your stepchild, you have to have the consent of the other parent. One parent must give up his or her parental rights for you to step in. Now, if you cannot locate the other parent, there are ways to get around this rule. According to NorthCarolina’s statutes, the child does not have to give express consent if he or she is under the age of 12. Before the age of 12, a child cannot make decisions in his or her best interest. However, beyond the age of 12, the stepchild must consent to the adoption. In addition to the stepchild, the biological or legal guardians of the child must also consent. When adopted, the stepparent inherits all legal rights forfeited by the other parent.
The information provided here about stepparent adoption is only to educate on the subject and is not at all legal advice.