What to Expect When You’re Adopting: How the NC Infant Adoption Process Works

Experience Matters. Mills Adoption Law has helped our community for over 35 years with adoptions and family law. Put our experience to work for you.
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interstate adoption in north carolina

Growing your family through adoption is exciting. If you are considering adoption, you may have questions about how to prepare, how the process works, and what to expect. Here, we discuss the basics of how to adopt a baby in North Carolina.

What is Infant Adoption?

Most birth mothers who elect to place a child for adoption personally select an adoptive family. The mother and adoptive family often communicate directly with each other. The adoptive parents engage an attorney to assist them with the legal process. Often, the birth mother is also represented.

Who Can Adopt a Baby?

In North Carolina, adoptive parents must be at least eighteen years of age. Petitioners may be single or married. Married petitioners must adopt jointly. The converse is also true. To adopt jointly, the petitioners must be married. All adoptions require a petition to be filed with the district court. The petitioner must live or be domiciled in North Carolina for at least six consecutive months before filing the petition or child to be adopted must have lived in North Carolina or for six months before filing the petition or from birth if the child is less than six months old.

The First Step

Get a home study. Except for the adoption of an infant that is very close related to the prospective adoptive parent, every adoptive parent must complete a home study, sometimes called a preplacement assessment, which includes backround checks, home visits and references. Except for adoptions of children from foster care, there are no state mandated training requirements to adopt an infant. However, most private agencies provide training for prospective adoptive parents.

How the Adoption Process Works:

  1. Choose an option – public agency, private agency, or independent.
  2. Complete your home study.
  3. Build a profile.
  4. Marketing & Advertising
  5. Screening opportunities
  6. Match
  7. Building a Relationship
  8. Address the rights of the birth father now or later?
  9. Birth
  10. Placement
  11. Finalization
  12. Follow through – new birth certificate, SSN, etc.

What to Expect

Adoption is not an event. It is a process. It requires patience and endurance. The approval process can be tedious. The matching process can be an emotional roller coaster. It is also a team effort. It is vital to engage skilled partners for your team from the outset. An experienced adoption attorney is an important part of your team. You attorney can guide you through each of the steps in the process.

With more than 30 years of experience helping North Carolina families realize their dream of growing their families through adoption, Bobby Mills can help you navigate the process of adopting a baby. from planning to finalization and following through to obtain a new birth certificate for your child.

“If we had only known.” “If I knew then, what I know now.”

Experience – The ability to anticipate life’s challenges, so they never become problems.



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