Sheppard v. Sheppard, 38 N.C. App. 712, 248 S.E.2d 871 (1978)

Addresses opening of adoption records.
"Plaintiff subpoenaed the files of plaintiff's former counsel who were employed to aid plaintiff and her deceased husband in adopting their first child who was born out of wedlock. The trial court sustained objections to the introduction of those records on the grounds that plaintiff was attempting to avoid the special procedures for opening court files of adoption proceedings. See G.S. 48-26. Although we are unable to perceive from the record precisely what matter within the attorney's file plaintiff sought to introduce, we note that the final order of adoption and all papers and reports filed pursuant to G.S. Chapter 48 are protected by the statute. G.S. 48-24, 48-25, 48-26. We cannot say that the trial court erred in refusing to permit the attorney's files, which most likely contained duplicates of many of the papers protected by the statute, to become a matter of public record through admission into evidence at trial. The trial court was correct in preventing circumvention of G.S. 48-26 under the guise of a waiver of the attorney-client privilege. In so holding we note the mandate of G.S. 48-1(3) that when the interest of a child and adult conflict, resolution should be in favor of the child. See generally Matter of Adoption of Spinks,32 N.C.App. 422, 232 S.E.2d 479 (1977). We express no opinion concerning whether, if proper procedures had been followed, the plaintiff would have been entitled to open the official adoption records."

Children's Services

State case

Cross references: