Adoption FAQ

What are the different types of adoptions
  • Agency Assisted (Adoption agency identifies a potential child for adoption by adoptive parents)
  • Independent (Prospective Adoptive Parents locate the child for adoption)
  • Stepparent (Child is adopted by his or her stepparent with the consent of birth father or the termination of parental rights of the birth father)
  • Adult (An adult is adopted by another adult(s)
How much does it cost?

In North Carolina, the filing fee for an adoption is $120.00. Attorney’s fees depend upon on the type of adoption you require, the state (or country) of origination of the child and the finalization of the adoption, and whether or not the adoption is contested by the birth parents. Attorney’s fees may be quoted hourly or on a flat fee basis depending on your individual case. Other fees will include pre-placement assessments, post-placement visits by social workers, and preparation of reports to the court through third party providers.

Can we give money to our adoptive mother?

There are strict statutory requirements that limit the type of expenses that may be covered for birth mothers and to whom the money is paid. An attorney or placement agency should be consulted prior to paying any fees to the birth mother.

Do I need an attorney to finalize the adoption?

It is highly recommended that you retain an attorney for filing the legal proceedings for the adoption so that all of the required paperwork may be filed correctly and meet the time requirements.

How long does it take to finalize an adoption?

It depends upon a number of factors, including your preference and the type of adoption you choose. There is a statutory requirement that hearings all petitions for adoption must be heard no later than 6 months after the petition for adoption is filed if the adoption is contested. If it is not contested, the court must wait at least 90 days to rule on the petition for adoption.

How long do I have to file the Petition of Adoption?

A petition for adoption must be filed within 30 days of the child’s placement for adoption. This requirement may be waived by the court for good cause.

Can I change my child's name as a part of the adoption?

Yes, a child’s name may be changed at the time of adoption. If you choose to wait to change the child’s name, it will require a separate legal proceeding, filing fees, and legal paperwork.

In an international adoption, do I need to re-finalize in North Carolina?

If you have adopted a child from a foreign country, you can receive a North Carolina Certificate of Identification from the North Carolina Department of Vital Statistics that shows the child’s legally adopted name in lieu of a foreign birth certificate that may be in a foreign language.

What if the putative birth father will not consent to the adoption?

North Carolina has strict requirements that a putative father must meet in order to contest the adoption of a child. If he does not meet most of the requirements, a court may find that his consent is not required for the adoption.

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