Bringing a child into your life through an adoption is a life-changing experience for both the parents and the child. However, the North Carolina adoption process is complex and, at times, frustrating. Adoptive parents looking for assistance should consider reaching out to the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC. At the Olsinski Law Firm, our Charlotte family law attorneys have extensive experience helping families make their dreams of adoption come true. We understand that these matters present exceptionally high stakes, and we do everything possible to eliminate as much uncertainty as possible to ensure a smooth process for everyone involved.North Carolina Adoption Requirements
In order to legally adopt a child in North Carolina, a parent must be at least 18 years old. Additionally, an adoptive parent must reside in North Carolina for six months, and in their current home for 90 days, before submitting a petition for adoption.
Both single parents and couples are permitted to adopt. However, in the case of a step-parent adoption, at least one parent must provide their consent.How Much Does it Cost to Adopt a Child in North Carolina?
The costs involved with adopting a child in North Carolina can vary significantly. On one end of the spectrum, adopting a child of a loved one who can no longer care for them or a step-child adoption can be relatively straightforward and may cost only a few thousand dollars. However, adopting an infant from an adoption agency costs, on average, about $40,000.The North Carolina Adoption Process
All adoptions in North Carolina go through the same process, although some proceed more quickly than others. There are three steps to the adoption process.Gather the Necessary Materials
Once you’ve decided you want to adopt a child, the first step is to gather all the material you will need to complete the pre-placement assessment, also referred to as the “home study.” The home study is an intensive review of your entire situation and requires you to provide the following:
- A recent medical examination,
- Proof of financial stability,
- Records for any pets in your home,
- Driving records,
- Written referral letters,
- Vehicle registration records, and
- A written description of your home and family life.
You will also need to obtain a Consent to Adoption form completed by the child’s biological parents. Finally, you need to obtain a Certified Copy of Background Information from the child’s biological parents. This ensures that the child is not involved in any other legal proceedings that could hold up or prevent the adoption.File a Petition for Adoption
Once you have completed all the necessary paperwork, your Charlotte adoption attorney can submit a Petition for Adoption in the local court. If there was anyone who you needed to notify about the adoption but haven’t done so, you’ll have to ensure they receive notice by this point.The Adoption Hearing
Within 90 days of filing the Petition for Adoption, the court will schedule a hearing, which is usually held within six months. At the hearing, the court will review the Petition and all supporting documents to ensure that you complied with all the legal requirements to adopt in North Carolina, that you are fit to adopt, and that the adoption is in the child’s best interests.
If all goes well, the court will then finalize the adoption. However, in North Carolina, biological parents have seven days to revoke their consent to adopt.Are You Considering a North Carolina Adoption?
If you want to learn more about the requirements to adopt a child or you’ve already started the process and realized it’s more in-depth than you originally thought, reach out to the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, for assistance. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we have decades of combined experience working with parents to ensure a smooth adoption. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte family law attorney, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach one of our Concord family law attorneys at 704-918-4747. We represent clients in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Cabarrus, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.