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Adoption and Termination of Parental Rights FAQ

Adoption

  • I want my spouse to adopt my child. Does the other parent have to agree?
    • If the other parent’s parental rights have not been terminated, he or she would have to consent to the child being adopted. If the parental rights have been terminated consent from that parent is no longer required. See below for info on the TPR process.
  • Does my child have to consent to be adopted?
    • Only if he or she is at least 12 years old.
  • Do we have to go to court?
    • Only in very rare circumstances. Most adoptions are granted without a hearing.
  • Can an adult be adopted in NC?
    • Yes, so long as the adoptee and the adoptive parents are in agreement. Adult adoptions require a brief hearing before the clerk of court.

Termination of Parental Rights

To succeed in a TPR action you must prove at least one ground by clear, cogent and convincing evidence, and then you must prove that termination is in the child’s best interests.

  • What if the other parent doesn’t show up to court?
    • A hearing will still be held in his/her absence.
  • Does my child get to tell the judge what he/she wants?
    • Not directly. The child will be appointed a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”). The GAL will talk to the parties, meet the child, and write a report to the court expressing his or her opinion of the outcome that would be in the best interests of the child. Our GALs are local family law attorneys who are very experienced in these matters.

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