Adoption is a legal process that creates a new, permanent parent-child relationship where one did not exist before. It’s a journey of love and commitment but also involves navigating a complex legal landscape. In North Carolina, the adoption procedures are governed by specific laws and regulations. We want to give our clients a family law perspective to help prospective adoptive parents understand the process.
Eligibility for Adoption
In North Carolina, family law allows any adult to adopt a child. If you are married, you must adopt jointly unless one spouse is the child’s biological parent or if the non-adopting spouse is deemed incompetent by the court. Single adults and same-sex couples can also adopt.
Types of Adoption
There are several types of adoption in North Carolina, including agency, independent, stepparent, relative, and adult adoptions. Each type has its specific procedures and requirements.
The Adoption Process
A pre-placement assessment must be done before a child can be placed in your home. Often called a “home study,” it includes interviews, home visits, background checks, and providing references.
Once the pre-placement assessment is approved, a child can be placed in the home. The placement must be reported to the court within five days.
Following the post-placement supervision period, the adoptive parents can petition the court to adopt. The petition includes necessary consents or relinquishments of parental rights. The court issues an adoption decree legally establishing the new parent-child relationship.
Adoption is a significant legal process that brings immense joy and responsibility. While the process can be complex, understanding the adoption procedures in North Carolina can help prospective parents confidently navigate the journey.
Remember, every adoption story is unique, and every process is a journey toward creating a loving family. At Jones, Childers, Donaldson & Webb, PLLC, we are committed to providing the guidance in family law that you need on your adoption journey. Contact us to discuss your situation.