Step-Parent Adoptions

Adopting a step-child can be an emotional and joyful time in your life. However, the adoption process is complex and can be difficult to navigate on your own. Our attorneys at Plumides, Romano, Johnson & Cacheris, PC, in Charlotte, have helped many families through North Carolina's step-parent adoption process. Our law firm is unique because both Michael Romano and Richard Johnson are board-certified specialists in family law in North Carolina. Working with a board-certified specialist can make sure your rights and best interests are always protected.

Termination Of Parental Rights

In order for a step-parent to become a legal parent, the other biological parent's rights need to be terminated. Termination can occur when the other biological parent voluntarily terminates his or her parental rights. This does not mean the biological parent will stop having a relationship with the child.

In some cases, you will need to pursue legal action to terminate that person's parental rights so you can become the legal parent of the children.

A biological parent can file a motion to terminate the parental rights of the other biological parent under several different circumstances, including:

  • No child support being paid for one year or longer according to the terms of the order
  • Abuse or neglect of the child
  • Abandonment of child
  • Inability to properly care for the child

We Can Help You Every Step Of The Way

The step-parent adoption process results in the step-parent obtaining all the legal rights of the biological parent who has had his or her parental rights terminated through the adoption. This allows for the biological parent and step-parent to act as a family and make decisions together for their children.

Several documents must be provided when filing a petition for adoption. The documents include:

  • Pre-placement assessment
  • Consent to adopt from the biological parents
  • Affidavit from the biological mother stating the names, addresses and marital status of the biological parents
  • Certified copy of the adopted child's health, education, social and genetic history
  • Any court order regarding the child's custody or visitation
  • Affidavit for any payment for the adoption
  • Document identifying any required consent for the adoption

We understand how delicate this process can be for many families. Not all parents will voluntarily terminate their rights. In these instances, it is vital to have an experienced lawyer on your side to make sure all steps are properly followed during the adoption process. We will evaluate all factors in your specific situation to determine what steps to take to complete the adoption process.

Thinking About Step-Parent Adoption? Contact Us.

We care about helping you and your family. Contact us online or call us at or to start discussing your adoption case.