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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
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.
Is Adoption Assistance Available in North Carolina?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in North Carolina have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In North Carolina, the maximum monthly amount ranges from $475-634 (depending upon your child's age and location). For more information please visit NACAC.org.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
In North Carolina, a foreign adoption decree will be accepted when adoptive parents request a U.S. birth certificate for their child.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates
State subsidy contact person:
Susan Sanderson, MS
Division of Social Services, Child Welfare Services Section
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
820 S. Boylan Ave, McBryde Building
2439 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2408
Adoptions in NC can be completed through the Division of Health and Human Services.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old to adopt, 21 to foster. You can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. Parents must complete an adoption home study to be approved.
Only adoption facilitators, agencies, or the county department of social services may advertise that a person will place or accept a child for adoption. A man required to give consent to an adoption may do so before birth of the child. The birth mother must wait until birth. A consent given for any minor child may be revoked within 7 days of giving consent.
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.