A married couple who are unable to have children of their own may consider adopting a child the next best thing. However, it is not an easy or simple process; it is not like picking up a puppy in the pet store. There are laws in place that are designed to protect the rights not only of the child but also the birth parents and the adoptive parents. But because there are many and, ifs, and buts in the laws, it can get pretty easy to get lost in the forest and fall into quicksand.
In an ideal world, a pregnant female who is unable to care for the unborn child will give it up for adoption so someone who has a better chance of providing a good life for the child can do so. The child will grow up well and healthy, and everybody goes home happy.
However, more often than not a snag happens to clog up the works. The birth mother may change her mind right after giving birth or just before the grace period expires, the birth father may assert his custodial rights, or it turns out that the adoptive parents do not qualify under state adoption laws.
In North Carolina, this is embodied in the North Carolina General Statutes (Chapter 48) which endeavors to provide concise guidance for the judicial process that will smoothen the way for a clean, final adoption. Under the law, for example, adoptive parents may be held responsible for some expenses of child birth but only up to a certain limit, so the birth mother cannot legally demand more than that.
Even in North Carolina, it is advisable to hire a lawyer in the area specializing in adoption to oversee the entire process. Adoptive and birth parents are typically not aware of their rights, and it is up to the lawyer to ensure that their client’s rights at least are protected.