Since our blog post, Same-Sex Marriage and Adoptions of a Minor by a Stepparent, we have received several inquiries about the role of a sperm donor in an adoption proceeding. Although General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Resinger, 12 F. Supp. 3d 790 (W.D.N.C. 2014) and Fisher-Borne v. Smith, 14 F.Supp. 3d 695 (M.D.N.C. 2014) held NC’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, they did not specifically address parentage when a child is conceived or born during a same-sex marriage. And, although artificial reproductive technology has advanced in the last 20 years, the laws in NC have not fully addressed these advances and how they impact parentage. Continue Reading
Ask most any clerk of superior court in North Carolina and they will likely tell you that one of the highlights of their job is presiding over the finalization of adoptions. However, the clerk’s role does not end upon entry of the final decree. Within 10 days of the entry of the final decree, the clerk must transmit all of the original records filed in connection with the adoption (except the petition and final decree, of which only copies are sent) to the Division of Social Services of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. G.S. 48-9-102(d). The Division is charged with permanently indexing and filing the papers received from the clerk. G.S. 48-9-102(e). Included in these documents is the original Report to Vital Records (DSS Form 1815) signed by the clerk. Once the Division completes the indexing process, the Division sends the Report to the State Registrar and retains and seals the remaining documents from the adoption file. G.S. 48-9-102(f). The Report authorizes the State Registrar to issue a new birth certificate for the adoptive child with the child’s adoptive name and the names of the adoptive parents.