Vol. 7, No. 2• May 2003

Steps to Adoption in North Carolina

1. Choose an Adoption Agency
There are typically no fees to adopt a waiting child through any DSS or licensed child-placing agency contracted through the State of North Carolina.

2. Submit an Application
To begin the process, you will first complete an application for adoption at the agency you select. The agency will ask about your family and the types of children that you would like to parent.

3. Complete the Preplacement Assessment
You will participate in a series of family consultations with a social worker to help you understand both the adoption process and your responsibilities as an adoptive parent. Your agency may require you to take special preparation and selection classes to become an adoptive parent. (Most licensed North Carolina foster parents already meet this requirement.)

4. Work with Your Social Worker to Find the Right Child
Once your preplacement assessment is completed, your social worker will work with you to locate a child whose needs can be met in your family.

5. Visit with Your Child
Once a child has been identified for you, a visiting plan is set up so that the child and family can get to know each other before a placement is made.

6. Bring Your Child Home
All children, even young children, will have some adjustment problems when they join a new family. Your social worker should be there to support you.

7. Supervisory Period
North Carolina law requires your child to be in your home at least three to six months before the adoption process can be legally completed.

8. Legalize the Adoption in Court
It is recommended that you use an attorney for filing the legal proceedings. The legal fees can be reimbursed for waiting children.

To learn more about this process, visit http://www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dss/adopt/steps.html

Copyright 2003 Jordan Institute for Families