Adoption & Termination of Parental Rights

Adoption is a wonderful way to build a family, but with it comes many questions.  It is always best to seek the advice of an attorney who can steer you through the process. There are several types of adoption that bring families together and our firm can help you with the following:  

Domestic adoption:  Our firm represents parents who have already found a child they wish to adopt and will file the paperwork necessary to make that child a permanent part of the family.  We do not search for birth-mothers as part of the services we provide.

Stepparent adoption:  A stepparent adoption is the proper legal procedure when the spouse of a biological parent of a child wants to adopt the child.  If the other biological parent still has their parental rights intact, then they can consent to the stepparent adoption.  Or, if the other biological parent refuses to consent, then his or her parental rights must first be terminated before the stepparent adoption can proceed.  Our firm has experience in terminating parental rights so that the step-parent adoption can be completed.   We also have experience and have succeeded in stepparent adoptions.

Termination of parental rights:  Sometimes, it is not in the child's best interest or welfare for their biological parent to continue to have rights to visit with them or otherwise be involved in important decisions about them.  In such cases, it may be that the child would best be served by having that parent's rights terminated.  This is an extreme legal measure requiring long-term, cautious and careful consideration but in those cases where it is the best thing for the child, then our firm has had success in terminating parental rights to serve the best interest of the child.

Second parent adoption:  Second-parent adoptions occur when the partner in a same-sex relationship seeks to legally adopt either the biological or adopted child of their partner.   Judges in both Durham County and Orange County have granted second-parent adoptions.  Ms. Matthews has experience in representing both biological parents and their partners who desire to afford legal status to the biological parent's partner with respect to the child.  Ms. Matthews recognizes that families occur in all sorts of ways and that it is the job of the law to remain abreast and current with the demands and needs of our families today.   Ms. Matthews has also fought for the right of the partner of the biological parent to maintain her parental rights after the relationship ended.  (see Same Sex issues article in Family Law issues).

Office Hours

Gabriela J. Matthews
& Associates, P.A.
100 E. Parrish St., Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701

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Office Hours:  Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Phone: (919) 956-7888 
Fax: (855) 422-6288

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