Adoption is a two-way gift that brings fulfillment to both the adoptive parents and the adoptee. But before a successful adoption comes to fruition, prospective adoptive parents have to go through a multilevel procedure, which can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if they are first-timers.
With adoption, it is important to take things slow and understand first the basics of the process. This way, adoptive parents can focus on establishing their application instead of stressing about how complex the process is.
Meeting the adoption requirements
In North Carolina, single or married individuals can adopt if they meet the following requirements:
- Legal capacity: The applicant is at least 18 years old.
- Residency: The prospective adoptive parent must reside in the state for at least six months before filing the adoption petition. Moreover, they must live in their home for at least three months before the court finalizes the adoption.
- Consent: In stepchild adoptions, the child’s parent must consent to the adoption. Similarly, adult adoptees must also give their consent.
The state allows any person to be adopted, even adults. However, spouses cannot adopt each other.
Adoption methods: agency versus private adoption
How can one initiate an adoption? Interested individuals can either work with an adoption agency or adopt independently. With the first method, the agency will handle the placement procedure, usually for a fee. On the other hand, private or independent adoptions involve a direct agreement and placement between the prospective adoptive parent and the birth mother. Typically, the latter method gives adoptive parents flexibility and the opportunity to connect with the birth parents.
The duration and costs
Approximately, the duration of North Carolina adoptions can range from six months to 18 months. However, note that there is really no set time frame for an adoption to reach finalization. The same goes for costs. Adoption expenses will depend on the method, among others.
You are not alone
If you find the adoption process complex and confusing, remember that you are not alone. It is understandable, given that adoption heavily involves legal concepts. If you are initiating your journey to adoption, do not hesitate to seek guidance to ensure you are on the right path.