Articles Tagged with adoption

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It’s your first holiday with your adopted child and you’ve done everything to make it perfect, with magazine-worthy tables of food, a home full of beautiful decorations, and lights twinkling just right in the annual family photo – at least until the dog eats the turkey, the cat knocks down the Christmas tree, and someone is blinking in every single picture! We all know that reality never goes exactly as you plan, but by following these tips to support your adopted child through the inevitable messiness, your first holiday season as a complete family can turn out better than you ever imagined! Continue reading →

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In Part 1, we talked about how adult adoptees can find out information about their adoptions and birth families. However, for some adoptees, particularly older adoptees, adoption agencies may no longer have detailed records – or any records at all – of their birth families, making it harder to get information. Fortunately, each county’s court keeps the court records of adoptions that go through that county, and the Department of Social Services has all adoption records that have gone through the state. Court adoption records are sealed, which means they usually can’t be accessed, but there are court proceedings that can unseal those records in some situations. Getting court adoption records unsealed is a time-consuming and uncertain process, but if you have already tried contacting the adoption agency, working with a post adoption intermediary program, or genetic testing options and haven’t found the information you are looking for, the courts are available as a last resort. Continue reading →

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Many adopted children grow up wondering, “Where did I come from?” Until the last 20 years or so, the only way to answer that question was to ask a court to unseal your adoption records, which rarely worked. However, as society has gained a greater understanding of the possible psychological and medical impacts of adoption, new options have opened to help adult adoptees learn their personal histories. There are four different ways for an adoptee to get information about their adoption and birth family: through their adoption agency, through a post-adoption intermediary program, through the courts, or through genetic testing. Going through the courts can be costly and time consuming, so it is usually best to try another option first. Continue reading →

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Part 3: Family Law and Adoption

Many LGBTQIA+ couples and individuals choose to grow their families through adoption. LGBTQIA+ couples are more than six times more likely to adopt than straight couples and represent an important placement resource in the foster care and adoption communities. The biases and discrimination that permeate other areas of family law and of life in general can also impact fostering and adoption, but fortunately LGBTQIA+ adoption is legal in North Carolina, and an attorney experienced in family law can help you get past the hurdles and protect yourself from discrimination. Continue reading →

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We have written in the past about Social Security Benefits, specifically Survivor’s Benefits, and how they play a role in adoption of the minor receiving those benefits. What the author did not realize is that, in the case where the child is in foster care, many state welfare agencies seemingly apply for, receive, and take those benefits from the children, without any notice. Continue reading →

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There is a growing need in North Carolina for foster parents to care for foster children, especially in Rowan County.  In a recent article, the Rowan County Department of Social Services stated there were currently 160 children in their care, but only thirty-four (34) foster families in the county as of June 1, 2021. Continue reading →

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June is National Children’s Awareness Month.  This month brings awareness to children’s safety and well-being and provides the perfect opportunity to generate awareness on child abuse and neglect.  Just recently, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), co-chairs of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, announced that they have reintroduced the Safe Home Act to protect adopted children from unregulated custody transfers (UCTs). Continue reading →

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For full text of S. 397 click here

June is Children’s Awareness Month, and on the occasion a bill (S. 397) was introduced into the United States Senate titled the Safe Home Act. What this bill aims to do is curtail the “unregulated custody transfers” that occur incident to adoption. The bill defines this transfer as “the abandonment of a child by the child’s parent, legal guardian, or a person or entity acting on behalf, and with the consent, of such parent or guardian,” by placing the child with a person who is not the child’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, adult sibling, adult uncle or aunt, legal guardian, or other adult relative; or an adult family friend; or a member of the federally recognized Indian tribe of which the child is also a member. There must also be an intent to “severing the relationship between the child and the parent or guardian of such child” without “reasonably ensuring the safety of the child and permanency of the placement of the child, including by conducting an official home study, background check, and supervision” and “transferring the legal rights and responsibilities of parenthood or guardianship under applicable Federal and State law.” Continue reading →

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There are unfortunate times where one individual who has become fully insured for social security benefits passes away or gives up a child for adoption. In such cases, however, the Social Security Administration has enacted rules to pass on the benefit to the children. But exactly what happens when the child receiving a benefit is going to be adopted? Does the benefit simply end because he or she now has a new parent? Potential adoptive parents should speak to an attorney if they are considering adoption of a child receiving social security benefits. Continue reading →

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IN THE MATTER OF: J.M. (No. COA19-421)

Under certain circumstances, a court will remove children from the custodial care and control of a biological parent and place them with a foster family. The court then develops primary and secondary case plans. The case plans consider the children’s best interests and whether the parent is deemed fit or unfit. Courts strive to reunify the children with a biological parent, but in cases where courts determine a parent is unfit, adoption and/or foster families are appropriate alternatives. The case below reveals key findings the trial court needs to make before ceasing reunification efforts between a Mother and her child. Continue reading →