Have guardianship of two grandchildren for 8 and 10 years. Father pasted away and mother agreed to sign for us to adopt. ? Contacted our same lawyer in N.C. to start adoption. Wondering if it is going to be Home Study and long process of financial inquiries. Not wanting to cause a big deal in front of kids. They think we are already their parents. Thank you
You describe perhaps the easiest adoption available. While you will have to fulfil the other normal statutory requirements for adoption, there are some big elements that you'll be able to avoid.
You may avoid the requirement of a pre-placement assessment: See especially NCGS § 48-3-301:
"A preplacement assessment is not required in an independent adoption when a prospective adoptive parent is a GRANDPARENT, full or half sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, or great-grandparent of the minor."
Also...assuming your children have lived the requisite amount of time in your home, then -- if I were representing you -- I would move the court to waive the requirement for a post-placement Report to the court during proceeding for adoption of a minor. No hesitation. See especially NCGS § 48-2-501(d)(2): "In any adoption of a minor by the minor's grandparent in which the minor has lived with the grandparent for at least the two
consecutive years immediately preceding the filing of the petition, the court may order a report. However, the court is not required to order a report unless the minor's consent is to be waived, the minor has revoked a consent, or the minor is eligible for adoption assistance pursuant to G.S. 108A-49."
Notwithstanding the above, you will need to determine who can or must consent to the adoption. If you are really a "guardian," then you may be able to place the children for adoption with yourself. It is almost ALWAYS best practice to get the mother's consent, even if you could arguably work around her. It will be easiest and most appropriate to have her consent to adoption on file. Frankly, I would likely recommend that she have the benefit of independent legal counsel too.
If you have contacted an adoption attorney, you will be fine. Most states have straightforward requirements for getting things like placement reports and home studies waived. Your attorney should be able to tell you whether or not one is required, but I doubt one would be required if you are the guardian and are biologically related.
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