Raleigh Adoption Attorneys
Herring Mills & Kratt, PLLC, in Raleigh, is widely known and respected for our adoption services. The adoption law group at Herring Mills & Kratt, PLLC, includes two attorneys and staff with more than 25 years of experience in family law and adoption. Both attorneys are Board Certified Specialists in Family Law. Parker Herring is an adoptive mother and an experienced adoption attorney. Bobby Mills is a distinguished adoption lawyer and a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.
Our adoption law group places a special focus on interstate adoption affected by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).
Adoption Legal Services
Our adoption lawyers provide adoption services in a wide variety of adoption related matters such as:
- Independent adoptions
- Agency adoptions
- Relative (stepparent) adoptions
- Termination of Parental Rights actions
- Contested adoptions
- Surrogacy issues
We Are Serious about Adoption Services
Parker Herring and Bobby Mills supported lobbying efforts in the North Carolina General Assembly for legislative changes that make it easier to adopt children in North Carolina such as:
- The period for birthparents to revoke their consents to adoption has been changed from 21 days to 7 days;
- Birthparents and adoptive parents in agency placements are now permitted to exchange identifying information so that they can have an open adoption if they choose to;
- Adoptive couples who have completed pre-placement assessments will be permitted to advertise in a public medium in North Carolina, indicating they will accept a child for adoption.
Two of our Board Certified family law attorneys co-direct A Child’s Hope (ACH), a licensed North Carolina adoption agency that offers personalized services to birth parents and adoptive parents and focuses on placing newborns with North Carolina adoptive parents. ACH provides a full range of adoption services:
- Adoption process counseling
- Pre-placement assessments (Home studies)
- Domestic Adoptive Placements
- Post-placement supervision
Contact the adoption law firm of Herring Mills & Kratt, PLLC, in Raleigh, to schedule an opportunity to meet with Parker Herring or Bobby Mills about your adoption needs. We are the law firm for your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are common questions about adoptions. Because the circumstances of your adoption may be unique, this summary cannot address the issues presented by every case and is not intended to provide legal advice. Please ask us if you have other questions after reviewing the following.
- Do I need a lawyer? Adoption changes the structure of your family. The laws governing the adoption process are quite complex and are strictly applied. Engaging an experienced adoption lawyer is an important part of ensuring that your adoption proceeds smoothly and is not subject to challenge.
- There are so many options for how to adopt. How do I choose the right one for me? It is important to select the option that best meets your needs. An adoption attorney will answer your questions about the law and adoption process, help you assess risks involved, clarify your options, and develop a legally secure plan for adoption.
- Do I need a home study?
A home study, sometimes called a preplacement assessment, is generally required unless you are closely related to the child. A preplacement assessment is not required in stepparent adoptions. It is also not required in certain relative adoptions. It is not required when a parent or guardian places a minor directly with a grandparent, sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, or great-grandparent of the minor child.
- How do I identify a child available for adoption? Most prospective adoptive parents locate children available for adoption through:
- a. Friends and relatives;
- b. Private adoption agencies;
- c. County departments of social services;
- d. Adoption facilitators (A adoption facilitator is an individual or nonprofit entity that assists biological parents in locating and evaluating prospective adoptive parents without charge); and
- e. Advertising. In North Carolina, prospective adoptive parents with a completed preplacement assessment which recommends them as adoptive parents can place advertisements seeking a child for adoption. Certain other states severely restrict or prohibit advertising.
- Can I advertise? An individual with a completed favorable home study may advertise. Advertisements may be placed in any periodical or newspaper, or by radio, television, or other public medium. The advertisement shall include a statement that (i) the person has a completed preplacement assessment finding that person suitable to be an adoptive parent, (ii) identifies the name of the agency that completed the preplacement assessment, and (iii) identifies the date the preplacement assessment was completed. An advertisement may state whether the person is willing to provide lawful expenses. Violation of this provision is a crime in North Carolina. Certain other states severely restrict or prohibit advertising.
- What is an open adoption? Adoption arrangements which include plans for continuing communication or contact between biological and adoptive parents or adopted children are called open adoptions. In North Carolina such arrangements are valid, but they are not legally enforceable.Open adoption arrangements are also available in agency placements. If both birth parents and adoptive parents agree, confidentiality restrictions can be waived. If confidentiality restrictions are waived, the agency can release identifying information to birth parents and adoptive parents allowing them to communicate directly. Without the waiver, all information must be transmitted through the agency.
- Can the mother change her mind? In North Carolina, a parent who gives consent to an adoption may revoke their consent In North Carolina, a consent to the adoption of a child may be revoked within 7 days following the day on which it is executed, inclusive of weekends and holidays. The rules are very different in other states.
- What about the father?Every potential father has the right to receive notice that a child that he may have fathered is going to be placed for adoption. Notice means just that. He is provided notice that he has been named as a possible father and that the mother intends to place or has placed the child for adoption. Unlike a husband or legal father, an unwed biological father’s right to receive notice does not mean that his consent is required in order for the adoption to proceed. A man who fathers a child out of wedlock must take affirmative steps to show his commitment to establishing a parent-child relationship before the law recognizes his right to prevent an adoption by withholding his consent.
If a husband or legal father opposes the proposed adoption of his child, a court must terminate his parental rights before an adoption may proceed.
- What if the baby is in another state?
If a child is born in State A (the Sending State) and is to be adopted by parents in State B (the Receiving State), then special rules apply. The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC or the Compact) applies to adoption. In those cases in which the Compact applies, the laws of both states must be satisfied before the child can leave State A and travel into State B.The Interstate Compact does not apply when the child is to be placed with a close relative of the child – the child’s parent, stepparent, grandparent, adult brother or sister, adult uncle or aunt, or the child’s guardian.