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How to adopt an adult child in north carolina

Adoption is regulated primarily at the state level, and laws tend to vary quite a bit from one state to the next. According to North Carolina adoption laws, any minor or adult (consent needed at age 12 and older) may be adopted by an adult over the age of 18. The state also requires at least 90 days of home residency prior to finalization of the adoption.

The following table highlights the main provisions of North Carolina’s adoption laws, and an in-depth discussion follows. See FindLaw’s Adoption section to learn more.

Code Section §48-1-100, et seq.; No
Who May Be Adopted Any person; any adult with his consent; spouses may not adopt each other
Age that Child’s Consent Needed 12 years and older
Who May Adopt Any adult person over 18 yrs. old or husband and wife jointly or one spouse gives consent, only one unmarried person may file. Must have resided in North Carolina for six months next preceding filing of petition. Residency requirement waived under certain circumstances.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? At least 90 days
State Agency/Court Health and Human Services/Superior
Statute of Limitations to Challenge 6 months

Who may adopt?

In North Carolina, any adult person over the age of eighteen may adopt. Normally, spouses will adopt jointly, but North Carolina allows only one spouse to adopt as long as the other spouse consents. If unmarried, only one person may file for adoption.

Who is eligible for adoption?

Any person is eligible for adoption, including adults. If an adult is adopted, that adult must give their consent. However, spouses may not adopt each other. Because North Carolina’s adoption law allows for adult adoption, same sex couples may consider using adoption to gain access to benefits that are only afforded to legal family members, and to ensure inheritance rights. The age of the adoptive child and adoptive parent does not matter.

Whose consent is needed for adoption?

Consent of the adoptee is needed if they are twelve years or older.

Does North Carolina have an adoption residency requirement?

Yes. In order to adopt in North Carolina, you must live in North Carolina for at least ninety days.

Open vs. Closed Adoptions

Many adopting parents and birth parents may be concerned about a child’s ability to find the birth parents after the adoption. If the birth parents do not want the child to be able to find them, this is called a closed adoption. However, for medical reasons, some records may be maintained to help track genetic disorders, or for organ compatibility. If the birth parents and adopting parents want the child to be able to find the birth parents, this is called an open adoption. Sometimes the process for relocating the birth parents may be difficult, even if their names and birth location are known.

If you would like to know more about adoption laws, and whether you fit the requirements for adoption, there are many attorneys throughout North Carolina with adoption law experience who may be able to help. In addition to helping you understand the legal requirements for adoption, they may be able to help you navigate legal issues surrounding same sex adoption, international adoption, and open versus closed adoptions.

How to adopt an adult child in north carolina

Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in North Carolina.

International Adoptions must be completed through an accredited adoption agency or attorney. Find an international adoption service provider here .

Foster Care Adoptions in North Carolina can be completed through the Division of Health and Human Services ( 877-625-4371) .

The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.

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Can I Adopt in North Carolina?

Applicants must be at least 18 years old or older. You can be single, married, or divorced; own or rent a home; already have children or not; have parenting experience or not. Most adoption agencies require preservice training in order to become an adoptive parent. Parents will need to pass a criminal background check. Applicants must be at least 21 years old to foster. Foster parents must complete 30 hours of preservice training called TIPS-MAPP.

What Adoption Regulations Exist in North Carolina?

Advertising : Only adoption facilitators, agencies, or the county department of social services may advertise that a person will place or accept a child for adoption. This does not prohibit a person from advertising their desire to adopt. This type of advertisement must include that the person completed a preplacement assessment, identifies the name of the agency that completed the assessment, identifies the date of a completed assessment, and states whether or not the person is willing to provide for adoption expenses.

Relinquishment: A man required to give consent to an adoption may do so before or after the birth of the child. The birth mother must wait until the child is born to execute consent. A consent given for any minor child may be revoked within 7 days of giving consent. If placement occurs before a preplacement assessment then birth parents have 5 business days after the individual receives a preplacement assessment or the remainder of the 7 days, whichever is later, to revoke consent. § § 48-3-607 ; 48-3- 608 ; 48-3-609 ; 48-3-604

Birth parent expenses: Adoptive parents may pay the reasonable and actual expenses for: pregnancy related medical, hospital, pharmaceutical care; counseling for the birth parent and child; ordinary living expenses during pregnancy; legal services in connection with the adoption. Living expenses may not extend beyond 6 weeks after birth. § 48-10-103(a)

Post adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements in North Carolina are not legally enforceable.

Birth father rights: While no paternity registry exists in NC, the birth mother may file a special proceeding with the clerk requesting the court to determine if the father’s consent is required. The biological father is then served with a notice of intent of the biological mother to place the child for adoption. Once the father receives notice he has 15 days to respond before the court rules that his consent is no longer required. § 48-2-206 ; 49-10

Finalization: Out of 1,161 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 10.7 months.

How to adopt an adult child in north carolina

Relative adoptions are very common in the United States. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 30 percent of the adoptions that occur in the United States involve relatives. If you’re considering placing your child for adoption with relatives or if you’re a relative considering an adoption, you might wonder how the process works. There are some special rules that apply in North Carolina. Here’s what you should know about adopting a family member in North Carolina:

What is kinship adoption in North Carolina?

Relative adoption in North Carolina is also called kinship adoption. Through adoption, the relatives become the legal parents of the child. The adoption process happens through the North Carolina courts, but it’s usually a routine matter of completing the paperwork and formalizing the adoption.

What are some reasons for choosing relatives for adoption?

There are a lot of reasons to pursue a family adoption. Adoption within an extended family allows a child to remain in the extended family when a biological parent has long-term personal difficulties. A child may not have to move from their community, or they may have an easier transition moving because they’ll be with known relatives.

Even in cases where a relative already has a guardianship, there are benefits to formalizing the adoption. Adoption allows the child to have inheritance rights through the adopted parent. If you’re the adoptive parent, you may get health insurance for the child with you as the qualifying parent. You may also seek medical care and school records without having to prove guardianship.

What is the process for family adoption in North Carolina?

Adoption with family members in North Carolina is a lot like any other adoption in North Carolina. You file a petition for adoption in the appropriate court. If everyone agrees to the adoption, you file paperwork that states that everyone is in agreement. If someone objects to the adoption, you must attend court for hearings about whether the adoption is in the child’s best interests.

There are a few ways that a family adoption in North Carolina is easier than other types of adoptions. In some cases, you don’t have to have a pre-placement assessment. The court might presume that the placement is acceptable if the child is already living with you. For the most part, the adoption is the same in other respects.

Only some relatives qualify for a family adoption

Only very close family relationships qualify for special family adoption proceedings. They include:

  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Great-grandparents
  • First cousins
  • Aunts/uncles
  • Great aunts/uncles

If you’re a relative but you don’t have a qualifying family relationship, you can still pursue a traditional adoption. If you’re married, both you and your spouse must adopt the child.

How do family adoptions usually come about?

You might begin your case with a guardianship. A guardianship gives a third party the right to act as a parent even though they’re not a parent. The third party is often a relative. Many adoptions are the natural extension of a long-term guardianship for a child.

Other adoptions within families occur from birth. You may decide to place your child for adoption with relatives, or you may decide to adopt a loved one’s biological child. If you choose to adopt from birth, there is paperwork that you can complete before the adoption that can give you rights immediately when the child is born.

Finally, some adoptions begin with child abuse and neglect proceedings. If the court terminates a biological parent’s rights to a child, North Carolina family services representatives will first look to place the child with relatives. Biological parents may give input as to the selection of a suitable adoptive relative, but it’s up to family services representatives and the courts to determine the best placement for the child.

If the child is the subject of an abuse or neglect proceeding, the State of North Carolina must look for relatives

When a child is removed from their parent’s care because of suspected abuse or neglect, the Fostering Connection to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 requires authorities to look for a relative placement before placing a child in general foster care. Family services workers must use due diligence to find relatives that might be suitable for caring for the child. They have 30 days to find and notify relatives.

There’s an important exception for cases where there is suspected domestic violence in a relative’s home. Even when there’s a relative willing to care for the child, family services officials must still make sure that the proposed placement is suitable for a child. A history of domestic violence is generally a disqualifier for a prospective family placement.

Do both parents have to consent to the adoption?

Generally, both biological parents have to consent to the adoption. If a parent has abandoned a child for two years or more and failed to provide financial support during that time, the court might presume that the parent consents to the adoption. If the parent doesn’t consent, you may still ask the court to terminate that parent’s rights. Terminating a parent’s rights requires a high amount of proof that the parent has abused or neglected the child.

In some cases, a parent’s whereabouts may be unknown. The court may order you to take reasonable steps to notify the parent. Your North Carolina relative adoption attorney can help you determine what notices you need to send in order to complete your petition for adoption.

What rights do the biological parents have after the adoption is complete?

After the adoption is complete, the adoptive parents have full legal rights to the child. They may make all decisions for the child in the same way that all parents make decisions for their child. After adoption, the biological parents no longer have rights of any kind for the child. It’s up to the adoptive parents whether to allow the biological parents to have direct or indirect contact with the child after the adoption is complete.

Are there things that I can do in order to make the process go more smoothly?

It’s important to discuss expectations with everyone involved. Both the biological and adoptive parents need to know what an adoption means. They should be clear that the adoption grants full legal rights to the adoptive parents. Everyone involved should be on the same page about what the expectations are before and after the adoption. If the child is 12 years old or older, they must also consent to the adoption.

How can an attorney help?

If you’re considering adoption in North Carolina, Bobby Mills can help. He can help you determine if you qualify for special family adoption proceedings, and can help you complete and file the necessary paperwork.

Your adoption attorney can attend court hearings with you and speaks on your behalf. They can also take the steps to make your case proceed as smoothly as possible. Your attorney also helps you avoid errors that may be problematic to finalizing your adoption. Call our office today to talk about your case and explore your options.

The decision to adopt a child represents a serious, lifetime commitment that is intensely exciting.

There is an ongoing need for adoptive parents in the state of North Carolina, but what kind of qualifications must you have?

Qualifications for adoption

In the state of North Carolina, anyone over the age of 18 whether single or married may become an adoptive parent as long as he or she meets certain requirements; for example, you must agree to a criminal background check along with fingerprinting. Also, LGBT couples must be legally wed to qualify for adopting a child. You must offer proof of your ability to provide a loving home and developmental opportunities for the adopted child. The single exception to the adoption process is that if the child is of Indian heritage, the requirements under the Indian Child Welfare Act take precedence.

Adoption as a stepparent

If you are a stepparent, you can qualify to adopt a minor child for whom your spouse has legal and physical custody. The child must have lived with you and your spouse for at least six months prior to filing the adoption petition. You can also file to adopt if your spouse is either incompetent or deceased as long as the child has resided with you for the previous six months.

The emotional qualifications

The emotional side of the decision to adopt is as important as your physical ability to raise a child. Your adoption specialist will want to know that you are just as committed to welcoming an adopted child into your family as you would a biological child. Your specialist will also want to know that you are preparing for the ups and downs of the adoption process but are looking forward to the wonderful end result.

Adopting a baby in North Carolina — or anywhere else — is a big step. It’s an amazing journey, but there’s a lot to think about when it comes to making the decision to adopt a baby. If you and your family are currently thinking about pursuing a baby adoption in North Carolina, here are some things to know about the process. Sometimes, knowing how to adopt a baby in the U.S. helps couples decide that they do in fact want to adopt a baby!

Step 1: Decide that you want to adopt a baby.

Chances are that if you’ve come to this article, you’ve already made the decision to adopt an infant in North Carolina. If you aren’t sure, though, that’s okay. This decision is not always an easy one, and it’s certainly not one to be taken lightly. If you’ve struggled with infertility or are unable to have a child biologically, you aren’t alone. Many couples attempt to have a child the “natural” way for years before deciding to adopt a baby. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it is important that you have fully grieved infertility before choosing to grow your family through adoption. You should be just as excited about adopting a baby in North Carolina as you would have been to conceive on your own.

Step 2: Choose a professional to help you adopt a baby in NC.

Once you’ve decided to adopt a newborn baby in North Carolina, it’s time to choose an adoption agency to help you do so. Cost, of course, is important when you research different professionals, but you should also look for an agency that offers:

Advertising to pregnant women who may be considering adoption as an option for their babies

Short and accurate wait times for the families it works with

Round-the-clock counseling and support for women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and unsure about what to do

Help with facilitating communication between adoptive parents and birth parents, both before the baby is born and after the baby is placed with the adoptive family

American Adoptions offers all of these services and more to adoptive parents in North Carolina. If you speak with another adoption professional who claims to provide the same, make sure to ask whether everything is included in their total cost estimate. Unfortunately, there are hidden fees associated with some agencies; you don’t want to budget for your adoption opportunity and encounter a financial surprise along the way.

Step 3: Begin the actual process of adopting a baby in North Carolina.

Once you choose to work with American Adoptions, we will work with you to complete three steps before you can match with a prospective birth mother.

Step 1: Complete a home study. A home study is an assessment of your readiness for adoption that’s comprised of three phases: the documentation phase, a home inspection, and interviews with every family member living in your home.

Step 2: Complete an Adoption Planning Questionnaire. Otherwise known as an APQ, your adoption specialist will help you answer this series of questions about your adoption preferences. Your APQ will let us know what you’re comfortable with in your potential child, such as medical conditions, cultural backgrounds, contact with birth parents and more. This information will be used to connect you with a prospective birth mother, so remember: the more open you are, the greater the chance that you’ll be presented with an adoption opportunity within the estimated wait time.

Step 3: Complete an adoption profile. One of the biggest advantages American Adoptions offers is that all adoptive families who work with us get not one but two adoption profiles. These allow pregnant women considering adoption to learn more about your family and think about what her child’s life might be like if placed with you. The first type of adoption profile is in print; it’s a brochure of sorts that serves to let her know a bit about your family. If she’s interested, she can get to know you further through a video profile. She’ll be able to watch you interact in your own environment and get a feel for who you are — all before meeting you in person!

Step 4: Find babies for adoption in North Carolina.

Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, you’ll officially go “active” With American Adoptions. This means that your adoption profiles will be shown to prospective mothers. When a pregnant woman is interested in learning more about you, she’ll have her adoption specialist arrange a phone call or meeting with you. If that goes well, you’ll have found your adoption opportunity!

This waiting game can be stressful for many adoptive parents; you’ve been scrambling to get everything together for the previous steps in the adoption journey, and now there’s nothing for you to do but wait. We recommend that you try to stick to your regular routine during this time. We promise you’ll get that call eventually!

Step 5: Form a relationship with your baby’s birth parents.

Once you’ve connected with a pregnant woman considering adoption, it’s time to form a bond with her. At American Adoptions, we recommend at least some degree of openness, or communication, in all adoptions. Before your baby is born is a great opportunity to get to know his or her birth parents. Not only will you begin to form a relationship, but they will feel more comfortable following through with their adoption plan as well.

Step 6: Finalize your North Carolina baby adoption.

After your baby has been placed with you, there’s still one more step in the adoption process: finalizing your baby adoption in North Carolina. You’ll see a judge in your county who, after hearing your adoption case and verifying that everything was completed ethically and legally, will grant you a final decree of adoption.

Once this hearing is over, congratulations! Your child is legally and officially yours. This doesn’t mean that you can close the door on adoption, however. Be sure to keep lines of communication open with your child; they should know their adoption story is something to be proud of!

For more information about adopting a baby in North Carolina with our agency, call 1-800-ADOPTION, or request free information here.

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

Adoption is regulated primarily at the state level, and laws tend to vary quite a bit from one state to the next. According to North Carolina adoption laws, any minor or adult (consent needed at age 12 and older) may be adopted by an adult over the age of 18. The state also requires at least 90 days of home residency prior to finalization of the adoption.

The following table highlights the main provisions of North Carolina’s adoption laws, and an in-depth discussion follows. See FindLaw’s Adoption section to learn more.

Code Section §48-1-100, et seq.; No
Who May Be Adopted Any person; any adult with his consent; spouses may not adopt each other
Age that Child’s Consent Needed 12 years and older
Who May Adopt Any adult person over 18 yrs. old or husband and wife jointly or one spouse gives consent, only one unmarried person may file. Must have resided in North Carolina for six months next preceding filing of petition. Residency requirement waived under certain circumstances.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? At least 90 days
State Agency/Court Health and Human Services/Superior
Statute of Limitations to Challenge 6 months

Who may adopt?

In North Carolina, any adult person over the age of eighteen may adopt. Normally, spouses will adopt jointly, but North Carolina allows only one spouse to adopt as long as the other spouse consents. If unmarried, only one person may file for adoption.

Who is eligible for adoption?

Any person is eligible for adoption, including adults. If an adult is adopted, that adult must give their consent. However, spouses may not adopt each other. Because North Carolina’s adoption law allows for adult adoption, same sex couples may consider using adoption to gain access to benefits that are only afforded to legal family members, and to ensure inheritance rights. The age of the adoptive child and adoptive parent does not matter.

Whose consent is needed for adoption?

Consent of the adoptee is needed if they are twelve years or older.

Does North Carolina have an adoption residency requirement?

Yes. In order to adopt in North Carolina, you must live in North Carolina for at least ninety days.

Open vs. Closed Adoptions

Many adopting parents and birth parents may be concerned about a child’s ability to find the birth parents after the adoption. If the birth parents do not want the child to be able to find them, this is called a closed adoption. However, for medical reasons, some records may be maintained to help track genetic disorders, or for organ compatibility. If the birth parents and adopting parents want the child to be able to find the birth parents, this is called an open adoption. Sometimes the process for relocating the birth parents may be difficult, even if their names and birth location are known.

If you would like to know more about adoption laws, and whether you fit the requirements for adoption, there are many attorneys throughout North Carolina with adoption law experience who may be able to help. In addition to helping you understand the legal requirements for adoption, they may be able to help you navigate legal issues surrounding same sex adoption, international adoption, and open versus closed adoptions.

Since adoption laws can be complex, understanding all the different adoption laws in North Carolina can be difficult. Whether you’re a North Carolina family or you’re hoping to adopt a child from prospective birth parents in North Carolina, it’s important that you know your adoption is being completed legally. With this in mind, we’ve gathered a few of North Carolina’s most prevalent adoption laws for you to brush up on.

Keep in mind, though, that this article does not serve as legal advice. To learn more about North Carolina adoption laws or to speak with a social worker about a specific situation, please contact your adoption attorney.

Who can adopt a child in North Carolina?

As we wrote in our “North Carolina Adoption Requirements” article, North Carolina adoption laws outline the following requirements for adopting a child:

Any adult can adopt, although spouses are not allowed to adopt each other.

A stepparent can petition to adopt their spouse’s minor child if:

The spouse has legal and physical custody of the child, and the child has lived mostly with this parent and the stepparent in the 6 months prior to the stepparent filing the petition.

The spouse is deceased or incompetent but had custody of the child prior to dying or becoming incompetent. If this is the case, the child must have lived mainly with the stepparent in the 6 months prior to the filing of the petition. It’s important to note that there are some cases in which a stepparent can adopt a spouse’s child even when these requirements are not met.

What are the requirements to adopt from North Carolina’s foster care system?

If you are interested in adopting from the foster care system, you must:

Be 18 years age of age or older

Complete criminal background checks

If you are interested instead in foster parenting, you need to:

Be 21 years of age or older

Complete criminal background checks

Complete 30 hours of required training

Can prospective birth parents have their adoption expenses covered in North Carolina?

Pregnancy-related medical, hospital and travel expenses

Living expenses during pregnancy and up to six weeks after the child is born

Adoption-related legal services

Adoption agency expenses

Keep in mind, though, that it illegal to give or receive money or anything of value in exchange for custody of a child. North Carolina adoption laws allow adoptive parents to pay prospective birth parent expenses as a way to help the prospective birth parents, not as a means of convincing them to choose adoption.

What are North Carolina’s laws about adoption consent?

In North Carolina, consent for a child’s adoption must be given by:

The child’s mother

Any man (whether he is the biological father or not) who:

Is or was married to the child’s mother

Attempted to marry the mother before the child was born

Has legitimated the child under any state law

Has acknowledged paternity of the child

Has openly received the child as his

Is the adoptive father of the child

The child’s guardian

If the child is 12 years of age or older, he or she must consent to adoption as well, unless the court determines this is not in the child’s best interests.

The mother of a child can consent to adoption at any point after the child’s birth. Any man whose consent is required can do so either before or after the child’s birth.

Who must have an adoption home study in North Carolina?

Anyone who wishes to adopt a child must first complete an adoption home study.

For more information about adopting in North Carolina with American Adoptions or to start the adoption process today, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us online.

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

How to adopt an adult child in north carolina

How Can My Fiancé Adopt My Daughter or Son in N.C.?

Sometimes, prospective adopting parents come to us, explaining, “I want my fiancé to adopt my son or daughter.”

While being engaged is certainly a sign of your fiancé’s commitment to you and your child, it is only the first step toward actually providing your fiancé legal parental rights to your son or daughter. In the eyes of North Carolina law, an engagement to be married has no legal standing as a familial relationship. Before you begin your fiancé’s adoption of your child, you will actually need to follow through on your engagement and officially be married.

At the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC, we understand that prospective adopting parents will ask, “How can my fiancé adopt my daughter or son?” in order to learn more about the process before starting. If this is your situation, you can call our attorneys at 919-821-1860, upon which they will explain the different steps required for your fiancé to adopt your child so you can prepare for this process in the future.

Keep reading to learn more about what steps to take if you would like your fiancé to adopt your child.

How Can My Fiancé Adopt My Son or Daughter?

It’s a common question: “How do you go about having your fiancé adopt your child, or adopting a child that is your fiancé’s?”

Some states in the U.S. allow for this kind of adoption (known as a “second-parent” or “co-parent adoption”), but North Carolina does not. In practice, if you wish for your fiancé to adopt your child before you are married, the only way to do so would be by surrendering your own parental rights — which is obviously not a solution for engaged couples about to embark on a life together.

Simply put, there is only one way that your fiancé can adopt your child: you must be married first. North Carolina adoption law does not allow for unmarried couples to adopt, no matter their personal history or the amount of time the child has been living with the fiancé and their legal parent.

However, asking the question, “How can my fiancé adopt my daughter or son?” is not a non-starter, even with the somewhat disappointing answer it gives. In fact, asking this question is a wonderful first step, as it shows that you and your fiancé are both ready for the challenges and rewards of legally establishing your blended family. It will also help you prepare for the requirements of the stepparent adoption process ahead of time.

Requirements for Adopting a Child that is Your Fiancé’s — and Vice Versa

But what exactly are the requirements you’ll need to meet for your new husband or wife to adopt your child after you are married?

Even though you and your fiancé aren’t yet married and, therefore, cannot start the stepparent adoption process, it’s still beneficial to learn more about this legal process for when you do decide to begin it later on.

First off, know that being married in itself is not enough to eventually have your fiancé adopt your child. There are a few more requirements that you’ll need to meet:

  • Being married for at least six months, with the child residing with both of you for that time
  • Obtaining consent to terminate parental rights from the child’s noncustodial parent
  • Obtaining consent from the child if they are 12 years of age or older
  • Background checks for the adopting parent , if not waived by your local court
  • Providing certified copies of the child’s birth certificate and the adopting parent’s birth certificate, as well as a certified copy of any marriage certificate

While these are the general requirements for a stepparent adoption, each stepparent adoption is different — and only an experienced adoption attorney can explain exactly what your personal adoption process may look like. Some of these requirements may be waived by your local court, while others may be more complicated to complete, especially when it comes to relationships with your child’s noncustodial parent.

In regards to that requirement, it’s important to know that in order for your fiancé to establish parental rights to your child, your child’s noncustodial parent must lose their own parental rights. If your child’s other parent is still involved in their life, you may need to have a serious conversation with them and your child to determine what is best for all involved moving forward. Remember, North Carolina adoption law requires that your child’s other parent give consent for your fiancé to adopt your child after you get married.

Learn More about Stepparent Adoptions in N.C. Today

A stepparent adoption is an important legal step to unifying a blended family. If you’re considering this kind of adoption even before you and your fiancé are married, it’s a wonderful indicator of your commitment to each other and the new family you will create.

To ensure that you are ready for the day when your fiancé eventually adopts your child, please contact the adoption attorneys at Parker Herring Law Group PLLC today. Even if you are not yet married but thinking, “I want my fiancé to adopt my son or daughter,” our attorneys can help you prepare for when you do choose to begin your stepparent adoption process. To learn more today, please call 919-821-1860.

Parker Herring Law Group, PLLC

Parker Herring Law Group, PLLC is a Raleigh, North Carolina based family law firm. Our attorney represents clients in adoption, divorce, separation, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services improves outcomes for the children of North Carolina by acting as an advocate for children and families.

You may qualify to become a foster or adoptive parent if:

  • You are interested in providing a safe and loving home to a child
  • You have patience and wisdom to share
  • You are willing to learn about fostering or adoption

COVID-19 information: Find the latest resources for foster and adoptive parents at the Fostering North Carolina website.

On this page:

State contact information

Contact us Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time, with questions about fostering or adopting in North Carolina.

For general inquiries and county-specific information:
NC Kids Adoption and Foster Care Network
Toll-free hotline: 877-625-4371
General email: [email protected]
Fax: 877-625-4374
Address: 820 South Boylan Avenue, MSC #2445, Raleigh, NC 27699

Para información en español, contacte:
[email protected]
877-625-4371

Foster care and adoption licensing requirements

Foster or adoptive parents must be ready to give a child or children opportunities to develop to their full potential – physically, academically, socially, and emotionally – with realistic expectations and unconditional support and love. That is the most important requirement.

Adoption requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 to become an adoptive parent.
  • You can adopt if you are single, married, divorced or widowed; own or rent; have parenting experience or none at all; already have children in your home or not.
  • Adoptive applicants will be finger printed and have a criminal record check completed
  • While State law does not specify the number of training hours to become an adoptive parent, most adoption agencies provide training to those who want to be foster or adoptive parents.

Please visit the NC Kids website for more information about adoption.

Foster care requirements:

  • The minimum age to become a foster parent is 21.
  • You can foster if you are single, married, divorced or widowed; own or rent; have parenting experience or none at all; already have children in your home or not.
  • Like adoptive applicants, foster applicants will also be finger printed and have a criminal record check completed.
  • You will need to complete all required training and be licensed as a foster parent. To do this, you will attend 30 hours of preparatory training called "Trauma-Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence/Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting" (TIPS-MAPP). Many other families, like yourself, will also participate in the classes, and you will be able to learn from each others’ experiences.

To find out more on how to become a licensed foster parent call 877-625-4371 or view more foster care information.

Foster care and adoption costs

You can work with your county department of social services or a licensed private agency to foster or adopt for free.

Some private agencies not under contract with the State of North Carolina may charge a fee for their services.

To learn which private agencies are under contract with the State of North Carolina, please call 877-625-4371 or email [email protected]

Agency contact and orientation information

Once the County location of your family is determined, NC Kids will provide you with a list of private agencies that contract with the State of North Carolina, as well as the contact person at your local county department of social services.

Each County department of social services and private agency has their own orientation schedule. You can contact your local Department of Social Services to inquire about their orientation session.

The following private agencies have extensive experience completing adoptions for children in the foster care system. They provide services at little or no cost to families. These agencies have locations throughout North Carolina to assist families in adopting children from the foster care system.

Parent support groups

See a comprehensive list of post-adoption and guardianship support services and support groups available to families who live in North Carolina.

Post-adoption support services

See a comprehensive list of post-adoption and guardianship support services and support groups available to families who live in North Carolina.

Information on children

The children in foster care are from all walks of life and range from young children to young adults. Of the thousands of children in foster care, approximately half are placed in foster homes. The rest of the children live with relatives or are placed in group homes. Most will return to their birth families, but about one-third of them will not, and, once their birth parents’ rights are terminated, they will need adoptive families.

The majority of children who already need an adoptive family are school-aged children or sibling groups who need to be placed together in a family.

The North Carolina Heart Gallery is a photography exhibition of children in the North Carolina foster care system who are available for adoption and in need of adoptive homes. For more information about the NC Heart Gallery or to participate in an upcoming event, please contact the NC Kids staff by email or by phone at 877-625-4374.