Adoption By City

How to Adopt in North Carolina

North Carolina may be famous for the birth of Pepsi-Cola and Krispy Kreme but it may also be the birth place of your future child. It’s also home to families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey. Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be your guide to all things adoption in North Carolina.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in North Carolina

To get started on your adoption journey, it is important to understand some of the fundamental aspects and frequently asked question about the process. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption in North Carolina.

What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in North Carolina?

To adopt a child in North Carolina, you must be at least 18 years old and be willing to support a child financially, physically, socially, and emotionally.

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in North Carolina?

To adopt a child in North Carolina, you must be at least 18 years old and be willing to support a child financially, physically, socially, and emotionally.

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the cost to adopt a child can vary greatly depending on the type of adoption and needs of the Birth Mother. Expenses that may be paid by Prospective Adoptive Parents include:

  • Agency fees
  • Counseling for a Birth Mother or child
  • Medical, hospital, nursing, and pharmaceutical costs
  • Travel costs
  • Living expenses of the Birth Mom during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the child’s birth
  • Home study
  • Court and legal fees

How do you become a Foster Parent in North Carolina?

To become a Foster Parent in North Carolina you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Obtain a license to foster by completing 30 hours of training
  • Have a stable home and income
  • Maintain a drug-free environment
  • Pass criminal background checks

Can you finalize an international adoption in North Carolina?

After an international adoption has been finalized in the child’s country of origin, re-finalization or “readoption” in North Carolina is not required, but it is highly recommended. The benefits of readoption after completing an international adoption include:

  • Allowing your child to obtain a Certificate of Foreign Birth, which is equivalent to a U.S. birth certificate
  • Documenting in American court that the adoption is final
  • Ensuring your child’s inheritance rights and
  • Creates a document that can be replaced if the child’s original birth certificate is lost or destroyed
  • Making it easier for the child to obtain other government issued documents such as a driver’s license or passport

What is a facilitator and is it legal to use their services for adoption in North Carolina?

An adoption facilitator specializes in matching prospective Adoptive Families with expectant mothers; however, they are usually unlicensed and unregulated. In North Carolina, it is legal for a facilitator to advertise adoption services via public media outlets such as a newspaper, radio and television. If an advertisement is made for a Potential Adoptive Family, it must include a statement that:

  • The person has a completed preplacement assessment finding that person suitable to be an adoptive parent
  • Identifies the name of the agency that completed the preplacement assessment
  • Identifies the date the preplacement assessment was completed

It is important to remember that facilitators only help with the advertising and matching of their clients. Once a Prospective Adoptive Family and Birth Mother have been matched, the facilitator will refer their clients to adoption professionals who will then help with the remaining process.

Click here to read about the difference between adoption agencies, attorneys, and facilitators.

What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in North Carolina

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in North Carolina.

Who must consent to an adoption in North Carolina?

Consent to adoption in North Carolina must be given by the following:

  • The Birth Mother
  • A man who may or may not be the Birth Father who:
    • Is or was married to the Birth Mom when the child was born
    • Has acknowledged his paternity of the minor
    • Is the adoptive father of the child
    • Attempted to marry the Birth Mother before the child was born
    • Has received the child into his home and treated the child as his biological child
  • The minors’ guardian
  • A guardian ad litem of an incompetent birth parent
  • Any adoptee who is at least 12 years old

If the adoption is finalized through an agency, the agency must also provide consent.

When is consent not necessary for adoption in North Carolina?

Consent to adoption in North Carolina is not necessary from:

  • A Birth Parent whose rights have been terminated
  • A Birth Parent who relinquished their parental rights, including consent
  • A deceased parent
  • An individual who actions resulted in a conviction and the result of the child
  • An individual who does not respond to notice of the adoption proceedings in a timely manner
  • A man who is not married to the minor’s birth mother and who, after the conception of the minor, has executed a notarized statement denying paternity or disclaiming any interest in the minor

You're Not Giving Up

If you are a woman in North Carolina who wants to learn more about adoption for your unborn baby, you might be struggling with the thought that you are “giving up a baby for adoption.” There is no “giving up” for a woman who chooses adoption for her baby. Adoption is not a decision a woman makes because she does not care or because it is the easy choice. Adoption is a very difficult decision a woman makes because she wants a better life for her child than what she is able to provide.

How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in North Carolina?

The child’s Birth Mother may give written consent to adoption under oath any time after the child is born.

A licensed agency that places a minor for adoption shall execute its consent no later than 30 days after being served with notice of the proceeding for adoption. It must be signed by an authorized employee under oath.

If the child’s father required to give consent, he may do so before or after the child is born and it should be done in writing and under oath.

If the child being adopted is 12 years or older, they may consent to the adoption at any time.

A consent to the adoption of an Indian child must meet the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in North Carolina?

The Birth Father may revoke his consent to adoption up to 30 days after the child’s birth or 30 days after the initial consent, whichever occurs later.

The Birth Mother may revoke her consent to adoption up to 30 days after her initial consent to adoption. After the 30-day period, consent is irrevocable.

The validity of the consent to adoption may be challenged 60 days after the child’s birth, 60 days after the initial consent, or 30 days after the entry of adoption decree, whichever occurs earliest. It will be invalidated if the alleged fraud or duress is proven by:

  • A preponderance of the evidence in the case of consent by a person age 21 or younger
  • Clear and convincing evidence in all other cases

What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in North Carolina?

All men in North Carolina have the right to receive notice of adoption proceedings of a child they potentially fathered, but the right to receive notice does not mean the father's consent is required for adoption. While a man who was married to the Birth Mother may be required to consent, unmarried Birth Fathers first must prove a strong child-parent relationship before court requires his consent.

If the Presumed Father fails to respond to the notice, the court will take that as his agreement to the adoption proceedings.

Home study and Post Placement Requirements in North Carolina

Prospective Adoptive Parents in North Carolina are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.

What is a home study and what happens during the process?

A home study, or preplacement assessment, is an initial check to ensure the Potential Adoptive Family is ready to welcome a child into their home. In North Carolina, each home study applicant will be interviewed to determine the following:

  • Marital status and history
  • Education and employment history
  • Reason for wanting to adopt a child
  • Age, nationality, race or ethnicity, and religious preferences
  • Physical and mental health
  • Property, income, and financial information
  • Quality and safety of the home environment
  • Whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime
  • Whether the individual has ever been a respondent in a domestic violence proceeding or a proceeding concerning a minor who was allegedly abused, dependent, neglected, abandoned, or delinquent

Prospective Adoptive Parents and all household members 18 years or older must also pass fingerprint-based background checks for county, state and Federal crimes before being approved for adoption.

A preplacement assessment must be completed or updated within 18 months immediately preceding a placement of a child for adoption.

Who oversees a home study in North Carolina and who is included in it?

A social worker from the Department of Social Services or a licensed agency may conduct home studies in North Carolina.

The Prospective Adoptive Parents and any one 18 years or older living in the home will be included in the study.

Why would my home study not be approved in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the following criminal convictions show an Adoptive Parent is unfit to adopt a child and therefore will not pass the home study inspection:

  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Spousal abuse
  • Crime against a child, such as child pornography
  • Violent crimes, such as sexual assault, rape, battery, or homicide
  • A physical assault, battery or drug-related offences committed within the past 5 years

A home study will not be approved if a Prospective Parent does not consent to a criminal background check.

Is a home study different for stepparent or relative adoptions in North Carolina?

The home study requirement is not necessary for a stepparent, grandparent, sibling, first-cousin, uncle, aunt, great-uncle, great-aunt, or great-grandparent adoption the child.

What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?

An interstate placement of a minor for purposes of adoption shall comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

What is a post placement requirement and what happens during the process?

A post placement study is required after the child has been placed into the adoptive home to ensure the family and child are adjusting well and that no major changes have occurred to hinder the family’s ability to care for the child.

In North Carolina, a post placement report will include the following information:

  • A description of the child’s emotional, physical, and mental condition
  • A list of all adoption expenses
  • The marital and family status, physical and mental health, home environment, income and finances of the Adoptive Parents
  • Copy of all court orders and legal proceedings relevant to the child’s welfare
  • A fact or circumstance that might prove the adoption may be a risk to the child’s welfare and is no longer in the best interest of the child
  • A recommendation grating the post placement approval

What are the requirements for a Foster to Adopt placement in North Carolina?

This issue is not addressed in the North Carolina statutes and regulations.

North Carolina Adoption Agencies and Professionals

North Carolina is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:

Carolina Adoption Services

800-632-9312

A Child’s Hope

877-890-4673

Christian Adoption Services

800-453-1011

Things to do in North Carolina

If you find yourself in North Carolina during your adoption journey, visit some of its famous sites and attraction while you wait:

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh

Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington

NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville

Historic District in Wilmington

No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in North Carolina. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.