In an independent adoption, a parent places their child with another individual(s) for adoption that they have personally chosen. No agency is involved, although sometimes, the birth parent finds the adoptive parent through a website or national database.

When a parent places their child for adoption, a consent to adopt and various paperwork must be prepared and filed. Making sure that paperwork is correct is one of the most important tasks of an attorney.


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Must the birth parents have their own attorney?

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea and we strongly recommend it in order to minimize the possibility of challenges to the validity of the adoption in the future.

A birth mother wants to place her child with me for adoption but the father isn’t willing to consent. What can I do?

The answer depends on the level of involvement of the birth father with the minor child. It may be possible to terminate the rights of the birth father or to convince a court that his consent is not necessary for the adoption. If the child is not yet born, it may also be possible to dispense with the birth father's consent before filing the adoption petition.

I have located an adoptive family to take my child. Can NicholsonPham represent me?

Yes. The attorneys at NicholsonPham have experience representing adoptive parents and birth parents.

I have a co worker/friend/relative that knows a woman about to give birth who wants to give up her child. I want to adopt the child. What are my first steps?

An initial consultation as soon as possible is an excellent way to meet the attorneys at NicholsonPham, and get answers to your questions about the process of an independent adoption. We will review the steps to an adoption, the costs, the possible pitfalls and the timeline.

Do I pay the birth parent in an adoption?

North Carolina prohibits paying for a child. However, it is permissible to pay for the expenses of a birth parent. Often those expenses are attorney fees, transportation costs, medical costs and other expenses incurred during the time the birth mother is pregnant.

Are there tax credits available for adoptive parents?

Yes, the federal government offers tax credits. You should speak with your tax advisor about your tax situation.