Judges and lawyers love adoptions. The courthouse is usually an unhappy place. Adoptions are a welcome change of pace, and involve the better side of the human condition. An adoption hearing is a time to celebrate and your judge will share that spirit. Bring your camera to the final hearing: Be ready to smile, and to shed some happy tears.
In North Dakota, step-parent adoptions are usually quite simple. The process involves gathering necessary documents, serving papers on biological parents and the State of North Dakota, and a brief hearing before a judge.
Compared with other kinds of legal work, step-parent adoptions are relatively inexpensive. That’s because they are usually unopposed. When a biological parent can’t be found, opposes the adoption, or presents other difficulties, legal fees will increase, sometimes considerably.
In North Dakota, adoptions by step-parents and biological relatives do not involve adoption agencies and home studies. This helps reduce cost and make the process unfold faster.
Some states require biological parents’ rights to be terminated in one action, and the adoption in a second, separate, action. In North Dakota, termination of biological parents’ rights and granting the adoption are all handled within the adoption action.