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Adoptions in North Carolina

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Adoptions are the process by which an adult legally becomes the parent to a minor child, or another adult. This creates rights to inheritances, and other benefits associated with being a legally-related child. The adoption process in North Carolina can be complex to navigate. At Dugan & Leger, we provide the expertise and guidance necessary to ensure that our clients' rights are protected. We can assist with the following types of adoptions:

Independent Adoptions

An independent adoption, also known as a private adoption, is the adoption process that occurs without the involvement of an adoption agency. The responsibility is on the adoptive parents to match and formalize the adoption process, usually with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Step-Parent Adoptions

A step-parent adoption is the adoption process by which a spouse of the biological parent wishes to adopt the minor child as his or her own child. In most step-parent adoptions, consent to the adoption is required by the biological parent giving up their parental rights. However, in certain circumstances consent may not be required. The step-parent seeking to adopt must be married to the biological parent for at least six months prior to filing for adoption.

Relative Adoptions

In a relative adoption, a relative seeks to adopt a minor child who is related to them. The minor child is often a grandchild, nephew or niece, or a sibling.

Embryo Adoptions

An embryo adoption is the process by which a family with remaining embryos may donate them to another family so they may also enjoy pregnancy and child birth. Despite its name, embryo adoption is not an actual adoption, but is treated as a property transfer under North Carolina law.

Adult Adoptions

The most common reason for an adult to adopt another adult is for the purpose of inheriting the adoptive parent's assets. This allows an adult to more conveniently leave their estate to the adoptive child. Individuals also seek adult adoptions in order to formalize the parent/child relationship.

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