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Step-Parent Adoption Done Right

The step-parent adoption process allows mothers and fathers who have remarried or married a person other than their son or daughter’s mother or father to legally complete a blended family. Completing the adoption process and becoming a step-parent means being responsible for your adopted child’s well-being financially, legally and emotionally. After adoption, step-parent rights are legally no different than those of a child’s biological parent.

Becoming A Second Parent: Adopting Your Stepchild

Of all types of adoptions, step-parent adoptions are the most common. The step-parent adoption process starts with a “Petition By Stepparent To Adopt A Minor Child” filed with the appropriate North Carolina court that includes the name of the child to be adopted, the child’s legal or biological parent and the step-parent who is adopting the child.

How Long Does A Step-Parent Adoption Take?

Time depends on the completeness of your petition for adoption and any court-ordered reporting requirements. The court is not required to order a home or preplacement assessment in step-parent, adult, and certain relative adoptions.

Revocation Of Parental Rights

Your spouse must consent to the adoption of his or her child, except in limited circumstances. A step-parent adoption does not change your spouse’s rights related to your step-child but will sever the child’s other mother’s rights or father’s rights related to the adopted child.

Issuance Of A New Birth Certificate

After a step-parent adoption is finalized, a new birth certificate noting the step-parent and his or her spouse as the parents of the adopted child will be issued by the State Registrar once it receives a certified copy of the order granting the step-parent adoption.

Same-Sex Couples And Step-Parent Adoption

Currently, North Carolina does not allow same-sex couples to adopt their partner’s children. Please see our section on LGBTQ family law for more information on legal protections available to same-sex couples in North Carolina.

Ready To Help You Every Step Of The Way

Our family law attorneys can guide you and your family through the process of adopting your stepchild as well as answer any questions you may have related to child custody and child support that arises out of adoption. Contact us online or call our Statesville office at 866-575-2011.

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“I was impressed working with Judith Daly. Judith was responsive, caring and answered every question I had by email or by phone. She’s very diligent. I would highly recommend her to any of my current or future clients.” 

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