October 8, 2021

The Top Five Benefits of Hiring an Adoption Attorney

Michael & Russell, PLLC is proud to be the first law firm in the southeast North Carolina region to focus on adoption and collaborative family law. We believe that our law firm's approach is much needed to serve family law clients in New Hanover County.

As part of our mission, we are dedicated to helping families through the legal process of adoption. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of family law and we’re honored to be part of a family’s adoption journey. With more than two decades of combined experience in family law in North Carolina, our attorneys, Ashley Michael and Ashley-Nicole Russell are knowledgeable about the adoption timeline and process. While some types of adoptions can be done without legal assistance, many families choose to work with an attorney because it is a complex and multifaceted process.

In fact, managing attorney Ashley Michael is widely recognized for her work in adoption cases. She has experience handling adoption matters across North Carolina, throughout the United States, and internationally. In addition, Ashley is a board-certified legal specialist in family law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. According to data from August 2021, she is one of just 271 attorneys in North Carolina to hold this distinction out of more than 35,000 licensed attorneys statewide. Her work with adoption matters on this level allows us to offer our clients the utmost care and support during their adoption journey. We’d like to share the top five benefits of hiring an experienced adoption attorney at Michael & Russell.

1. We can minimize the stress

The adoption process in North Carolina can be extremely stressful. It’s often a long journey that sometimes takes years due to state laws and procedures. While the length depends on several factors, attorneys at Michael & Russell are able to work through it as quickly as possible. We pride ourselves on being efficient and detail-oriented. Our well-organized and effective methods allow you to worry less about the process than if you were navigating it on your own. Plus, we’re available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have along the way.

2. We handle the paperwork

Adoptions involve a lot of paperwork. As adoption attorneys, our law firm will handle the document preparation and filing for all adoption matters. As a Michael & Russell client, we’ll explain the details of each document so you’re knowledgeable about the process and have the information you need prior to signing. From adoption forms to name change requests, we’re here to help you and your family. There are many situations where additional paperwork may be involved such as international adoptions and reissuing birth certificates. If the adoption is an international process, we can help settle any citizenship concerns. In the case of obtaining a new birth certificate after the adoption decree, we can guide you through the process with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Vital Records.

3. We’re familiar with the process

In North Carolina, an attorney is not required to initiate or finalize an adoption. However, when you choose an attorney that is familiar with the process, it can make all the difference. Michael & Russell’s legal team, based in Wilmington, can work through the proceeding swiftly with proficiency. The North Carolina court system and its representatives, including court officials and clerks of court, can’t give legal advice or provide legal assistance during the adoption case. If you have questions about this intricate process, it’s beneficial to turn to an attorney who you can trust. The Michael & Russell legal team is well-informed in adoption law and can offer you guidance and advice every step of the way.

4. We know how to help if issues arise

With over 20 years of combined experience in adoption matters, we know how to handle unexpected issues. In the field of family law, especially adoption, sometimes there is uncertainty. Our legal team works to navigate these sensitive situations and will react as necessary. In the past, we’ve seen adoption cases where biological parents re-emerge or other family members insert themselves into the situation. With our background in adoption and family law, we’re able to advocate for you and your new family, no matter what type of issue may come up during the adoption process.

5. We strive to keep you informed

At Michael & Russell, our clients are our priority. We want you to feel comfortable and safe while working with us. During the process of adoption, or any family law matter, we are committed to keeping you involved throughout the duration of the case. We equip you with all the information you need to know in order to make an informed decision that is best for you and your family. In addition, we are passionate about serving as a professional resource during this often complex yet rewarding process. We’re here to address any questions or concerns you may have throughout the adoption journey.


We’re Focused on You and Your Family

At Michael & Russell, PLLC, you can trust that we are committed to serving you and your family. Through our New Hanover County office, we are able to provide family law services to all of southeastern North Carolina as well as handle adoption matters on a national and international scale. Please reach out to our Wilmington-based legal team at 910-255-5722 to learn more about working with us for your adoption, collaborative divorce, or family law needs.