Do you live in North Carolina? Are you looking to adopt a baby but aren’t sure about the process. We explain how to adopt a baby in NC, what paperwork is needed, where to start, how long the process takes and how much it will cost you. Read on.
Many hopeful parents choose the adoption of a baby as a means to complete their family. However, adoption is a big step for any family, and you need to be mentally, emotionally, and financially ready for it.
In North Carolina, more than 11,500 children were in foster care in 2019, out of which about 10% of children aged out before finding a forever home. If you are looking to adopt in North Carolina, there are a few things like the eligibility criteria, laws, and regulations you need to know beforehand. Every adoption journey is unique, and we will try to cover as many possibilities as we can.
How To Adopt A Baby In North Carolina
Let us look at the step-by-step process of baby adoption in North Carolina.
- The first step is deciding that you are willing to adopt a baby.
- The second step is to select an adoption professional or an adoption services agency to help you through the adoption process. You can also talk to an adoption attorney. An adoption attorney can guide you through the legal aspects of adoption
- The next step would be completing the adoption requirements, like undergoing an adoption home study, and adoption planning questionnaire, and your adoption profile.
- The next step involves looking for adoption opportunities. If your adoption profile matches with anyone, you will get a chance to meet the birth parent.
- If you wish to have an open adoption, you will form a bond with the prospective birth mother throughout the pregnancy and after the child’s birth. The prospective birth mother can decide on the amount of contact you have with her.
- The last and final step would be a court hearing, after which the judge will sign the adoption orders, and the child will officially be yours. The prospective birth mother would have to sign away her legal rights as a parent before this happens
North Carolina Adoption Requirements
The adoption requirements in North Carolina are the same for all the adoptive parents looking to adopt a child. Below are the main requirements for adoption in North Carolina. If you wish to have detailed information about adoption requirements, it is better to consult an adoption social worker.
Adoption laws NC
For adopting a child in North Carolina, these are the adoption laws that you need to abide by:
- Any adult is eligible to adopt a child.
- A spouse can not adopt another spouse.
- A stepparent can file a petition to adopt the minor child of their spouse, if:
- The child is in legal custody of the spouse and living with the stepparent for at least six months before filing for adoption.
- If the spouse has legal custody of the child and is either unable to care for the child or dead. The child must be living with the stepparent for at least six months before filing for adoption.
International Adoption in NC
For international adoption in NC, these are the steps:
- Choose the country which you want to adopt.
- Select an adoption agency that deals in international adoption.
- Check your eligibility and apply with US citizenship and immigration services.
- Once applied, you will have to wait to find a child available for adoption.
- Apply for immigration for the child to bring them to North Carolina.
- Finalize the process of adoption after you bring the child to North Carolina.
Stepchild Adoption in NC
It is possible for a parent to adopt their stepchild in North Carolina if their spouse has legal custody over the child and the child has been living with the stepparent for at least six months.
A parent can also adopt their stepchild if their spouse has legal custody of the child and is either dead or unable to care for it. The child must have lived with the stepparent for at least six months before the adoption filing.
Domestic Infant Adoption in NC
For domestic infant adoption in NC, the adoptive families must be eligible for adoption as per the adoption laws in NC. It is also important that the adoptive parents meet all the requirements for adoption in NC, like undergoing adoption home study, criminal and fingerprint check, and other mandatory requirements.
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Cost of adoption in NC
The cost of adopting a baby in NC can be anywhere from $40000 to $60000. It all depends on the type of adoption that you decide on and the agency that you have agreed to work with.
In the case of stepparent and relative adoption, the cost will be significantly lower as you don’t have to pay the adoption agency fees.
Can A Felon Adopt a Child in North Carolina?
If the crime of a felon involves a child or is violent, then it is highly unlikely that they will be able to adopt a child. If the offense does not include a child and is not violent, and if they can prove that they have changed, it might be possible even for a felon to adopt a child in North Carolina.
What are North Carolina’s requirements for adoption from foster care?
For being eligible to become a foster parent, these are the requirements:
- The minimum age of the parent is 21 years.
- They have to undergo criminal records and fingerprint checks.
- They have to undergo the required training to become licensed foster parents.
For being eligible to adopt from foster care, these are the requirements:
- The minimum age of the foster parent is 18 years.
- They have to undergo criminal records and fingerprint checks.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the adoption process take in NC?
There is no specific amount of time it will take to complete the adoption process in NC. Once you have registered with the adoption agency, the waiting time to find a child for adoption can be anywhere from a few days, months, or even years. Once you have matched with a child and all the formalities for the adoption are completed, then it can take about six months to a year to complete the adoption process.
How can I adopt a child for free in NC?
Adoption of a child in North Carolina can be costly. Suppose you wish to adopt for free in North Carolina. In that case, you can consult a private agency licensed under the North Carolina government or the social services county department for the same. Please beware of the private agencies not authorized by the government, as they can charge a hefty sum for child adoption.
What can stop you from adopting a child?
Some factors can stop you from adopting a child:
If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria set by a state government, like age requirement, marital status, and other requirements.
If you have a history of child abuse, substance abuse, and criminal history, you may also be unable to adopt a child
How much does it cost to foster a child in NC?
According to the North Carolina’s department of health and human services, the rates of foster care set by the Legislature are:
$475 for a child per month up to the age of five years.
$581 for a child per month, ages six to 12 years.
$634 for a child per month for ages 13 years and up but under the age of 21.
Adopting a baby in North Carolina depends on which method of adoption you wish to go through. We have tried to cover all topics related to the adoption of a baby in North Carolina. Thank you for reading this article. We hope that you were able to find what you were looking for. If you have any further questions, please write to us in the comments section and we will get back to you.