What can I expect when I adopt a child in North Carolina?

Adopting a child in North Carolina can be a daunting experience. The legal paperwork you have to fill out plus the expenses can make you rethink the entire process. However, you may find that it was worth the headache once the adoption is complete. 

The University of North Carolina outlines the process of adoption in layman’s terms. The birth parent may decide to directly choose you as the new parent or go through an adoption service. Only when the final decree of adoption is complete does the birth parent give up all of their rights to the child up for adoption. 

Many adoption centers do have fees, but the law requires them to disclose those fees to all parties. Beyond the adoption agency fees, you may have to pay for pregnancy and six weeks of maternity leave ordinary living expenses, correlating medical expenses, birth parent legal services, birth parent adoptive counseling services and a background report on the birth parent. 

Keep in mind that if you are married, your spouse usually has to adopt the child as well. Since the state does not recognize same-sex marriages, only one of you can adopt the child. It is the same for a single parent wishing to adopt a child, no one else can be on the petition. 

While you may only deal with the birth mother, she must include the birth father’s name and information because he may also have rights. However, the father must have taken steps to secure his right to have a claim on the child. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice. 

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Attorney Mike Lassiter grew up in Statesville, makes his living serving the people of Statesville and published a book capturing the changing landscape of small town life across North Carolina and Iredell County. His keen sense of history, dedication to the area and 30 years of legal experience make him an ideal attorney for your legal needs.

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