North dakota Adoption

The courthouse can be an unhappy place, but that is not always the case. Adoptions are a joyous event that bring families together. An adoption hearing is a time to celebrate beginnings and new moments. The experienced North Dakota adoption attorneys at Parvey, Larson, and McLean are happy to be a small part of that event for you.

Types of Adoption Proceedings

There are several categories or types when it comes to adoption in North Dakota. In North Dakota, anyone can adopt another person. The adoptee can be a stranger, a stepchild, a family member, or even an adult.

In many cases, adoption involves a child who is not biologically related to either intended parent. This type of proceeding occurs when the child is an infant or toddler, although it is also not unusual for this type of adoption to involve an older child or teenager.

These adoptions can take place privately, through an adoption agency, or they can be “identified” adoptions. In an identified adoption, the birth mother enters into an adoption plan and agreement with the intended parents before the child is born.

Another common kind of North Dakota adoption involves a step-parent legally adopting his or her spouse’s child or children, or another family member such as a grandparent or aunt/uncle adopting a family member.

Sometimes, an adult or an adult couple will decide to adopt another person who is over age 18. This is usually done to create inheritance rights in the adopted person.

Regardless of what type of adoption you are considering, it is important to hire an ND adoption lawyer with the knowledge and experience needed to handle that type of proceeding.

Understanding the Adoption Process in North Dakota

The process for each adoption varies depending on whether it involves a step-parent or relative adoption, an identified adoption, or an adoption through an agency.

In most cases, the process involves gathering necessary documents, serving papers on biological parents and the State of North Dakota, and a brief hearing before a judge. In cases where the child is not a relative or a stepchild, additional steps, such as home studies and post-placement requirements, are generally necessary.

Some states require biological parents’ rights to be terminated in one action, and the adoption to take place in a second, separate, action. In North Dakota, termination of biological parents’ rights and granting the adoption to the new parent(s) are all handled within the adoption action. However, in cases where the child is part of an identified adoption, the process requires two separate steps that occur over a period of months. 

Depending on the type of adoption you want, the process may be relatively fast and inexpensive when compared to other types of legal actions. However, if a parent refuses to consent to the adoption or if complications arise with the adoption agency, the complexity, time, and costs can increase. Hiring a trusted adoption lawyer in ND can help make an otherwise complex process easier and less stressful.

How a Skilled ND Adoption Attorney Can Help

The adoption process should bring you joy, but it’s also natural to have a lot of questions along the way. An adoption lawyer in North Dakota serves as a valuable resource and an advocate for your rights and interests — and those of your intended child. Your lawyer will play a key role in helping you understand the process, gathering necessary documents and records, and representing you throughout court proceedings. 

If you are considering adoption, choose the adoption attorney North Dakota individuals and families know and trust to provide compassionate, dedicated service — Parvey, Larson, and McLean.