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A single parent’s guide to adoption

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Adoption

It’s commonly believed that only married couples are allowed to adopt. However, even if you are a single parent, you can qualify to adopt as long as you provide a safe and comfortable space for the child. Adoption is a big step for any hopeful parent, and it can be overwhelming to start.

Who can adopt in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, you may qualify to adopt a child, if you are a legal adult and are approved after a home study is conducted. Because North Carolina has no marital requirements, married couples and single parents can qualify. Unlike other states, North Carolina does not allow second-parent adoptions. If you are an unmarried couple, you must be married for at least six months before beginning the adoption process.

Can someone with a criminal record adopt?

An adoption agency will give all aspiring parents a background check. Any criminal record you have will be considered, but ultimately, it depends on the severity. However, you will likely be disqualified if you were previously convicted of a violent crime involving a child. The best course of action is to consult an adoption lawyer for guidance on how your history will impact your chances for adoption.

Finding an adoption agency

Multiple agencies across North Carolina exist, but finding the one that meets your needs and preferences is crucial. An adoption agency will be a big part of your process, so choose wisely. They are responsible for screening birth parents, matching children with adoptive parents, providing hopeful parents with counseling, and making recommendations.  Talk to a few agencies first before making your decision. Make sure to check what services they offer and that they are regulated and licensed by the State of North Carolina. To start, here is a list of adoption agencies in North Carolina.

How will you know if you qualify?

Each adoption agency will have a unique set of requirements. One prerequisite is a home study. During a home study, the social worker will interview and run background checks on you and other adults living in the home. This includes going through your educational, employment, and marital history. Your financial capacity and any legal violations will also be among the considerations. You can also expect a social worker to visit your home at least two times.

The adoption process can be time-consuming and overwhelming. But, having the assistance of an experienced professional can help you navigate complicated adoption proceedings. Having an attorney by your side also lessens your chances of making legal mistakes throughout the entire process.