Stepparent Adoptions

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Items marked with an asterisk (*) may have different requirements if the stepparent has been married to the biological parent of an adoptee for more than two years.

___ Copy of Adoptee’s Birth Certificate (Does NOT need to be a certified copy)

___* Copy of Marriage License of Petitioner (Does NOT need to be a certified copy)(*To demonstrate that the petitioner has been married to the adoptee’s biological parent for over two years)

___ Forsyth County Criminal Background Check on petitioner

___ Petition for Adoption of Minor Child (DSS-5162) G.S. 48-2-301 to 48-2-306; 48-4-101.

NOTE: Parent who is spouse of stepparent must consent to the adoption, but does not join in petition.

NOTE: Child must have lived with the stepparent and parent who has legal and physical custody of the child for at least six (6) months prior to filing petition, unless this requirement is waived for cause.

___ Attachments to Petition. G.S. 48-2-305 (omitted information may be filed before the final decree. G.S. 48-2-306).

___ Affidavit of Parentage (DSS-1809) G.S. 48-3-206.

___ Consent to Adoption by Parent Who Is Spouse of Stepparent (DSS-5189) G.S. 48-4-103(a).

___ Consent to Adoption by Parent Who Is Not Stepparent’s Spouse (DSS-5190) G.S. 48-4-103(b).

___ Certified copy of any court order terminating the rights of a parent or guardian of adoptee.

___ Denial of Paternity (DSS-5118)

NOTE: Only unwed father may deny paternity. G.S. 48-3-603(a) (5).

___ Consent of Child for Adoption (DSS-5169) 12 years or older unless dispense within writing by clerk of court under G.S. 48-3-603(b) (1).

___ Certified copy of any court order or pleading in a pending proceeding concerning custody of or visitation with the adoptee.

___ A writing that states the names of any individual whose consent maybe required, but who has not executed a consent or whose parental rights have not been terminated.

___ A copy of any agreement to release past-due child support payments.

___ Proof of Service Notice by petitioner(s) to appropriate persons or certified copies of any written waivers of that notice by those persons. G.S. 48-2-401; G.S. 48-2-407.

NOTE: This includes any possible father who has not executed a consent or denial of paternity, had his rights terminated or been judicially determined not to be the father. It also includes notice to (1) the spouse of the petitioner if the joinder requirement may be waived, but effective for petitions filed on or after 10/01/05, this notice may be waived and (2) a minor whose consent has not been required by the clerk.

When notice is given and a possible father does not respond within 30days, 40 days to notice by publication, G.S. 48-3-603(a) (7) provides that his consent to the adoption is not required. Effective with petitions files on or after 10/01/05, the clerk must enter an order finding his consent is not necessary because he did not respond under G.S. 48-2-207. If publication is used, the petitioner must file an affidavit showing due diligence in trying to find the father. Rule 4(j1) and (j2) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

If a father or possible father does respond the clerk must hold a hearing to determine whether his consent is required under G.S. 48-3-601, setting out steps fathers must take to preserve their rights in an adoption. This hearing may be transferred to a district court judge pursuant to GS 48-2-601(a1).

___ *Order for Report on Proposed Adoption (DSS-1807) (*may be waived per 48-2-501(D)(1))

If the child has lived with the stepparent for at least two consecutive years immediately preceding the filing of the petition, the court may order a report, but is not required to unless the minor’s consent to the adoption has been revoked or the minor’s consent is to be waived or both or the minor’s parents are dead. Any waiver of a report on proposed adoption in these cases should be in writing.

___ *Report on Proposed Adoption (DSS-1808). G.S.48-2-502 and 503.(*may be waived per 48-2-501(D)(1))

___ Affidavit-Disclosure of Fees & Expenses (DSS-5191) accounting for any payments or disbursements made or agreed to be made by petitioner in connection with adoption. Must include amount of each payment or disbursement and name and address of each recipient. Must be filed at least 10 days before entry of decree of adoption in order to give clerk time to review. G.S. 48-2-602; 48-2-603(9); 48-10-103.

___ Decree of Adoption (DSS-1814)

Time and date of hearing (if contested) or disposition of petition set no later than 90 days after petition filed. Requirement that 90 days have elapsed since petition was filed may be waived for cause. Hearing or disposition must take place no later than six month after petition filed unless extended. G.S. 48-2-601; 48-2-603.

___ Report to Vital Records (DSS-5170).

State Law prohibits the Clerk’s Office staff from; providing any legal advice, providing instructions for completing forms, referring an attorney, or recommending specific ways to pursue legal action.

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