What You Need to Know About Adoption in North Carolina
Adopting a child is both exciting and rewarding. From choosing to add to your loving family to fulfilling dreams of raising a child, there are many benefits of adoption. However, there are a number of adoption laws in North Carolina that you should be familiar with before beginning the adoption process.
First, adoption is regulated primarily at the state level, therefore laws tend to vary state to state. Here in North Carolina, if you’re considering adoption an older child, it’s important to note that once a child reaches the age of twelve you must have consent from the child to adopt them. Any adult over the age of eighteen is able to adopt the consenting child. This can either be through husband and wife jointly or one spouse giving consent. Only one unmarried person may file for adoption. It’s also important to know the many steps involved in adopting a child in NC. For instance, there is a home residency period of ninety days required prior to adoption where, during this supervisory period, a social worker will visit with you in your home to provide support and assistance.
If you are thinking about adopting a child with special needs there are subsidies and adoption assistance available in North Carolina. There are maximum basic monthly adoption assistance payments based on the age of the child in addition to specialized rates based on extraordinary needs of the child. About 77.5% of North Carolina children adopted from foster care in 2012 were receiving Title IV-E federal adoption assistance. These adoption assistance payments can begin as early as adoption finalization. The adoption process, along with life post-adoption, can come with its own set of challenges which is why many services including support groups, respite care, referrals and advocacy groups are offered.
Though the process can be lengthy, in the end you are providing a child the love and support all children need and deserve. By opening up your home and growing your family, you will make a difference in not only the child’s life but yours as well.
To learn more about the adoption process and the laws associated with it, contact our team of family law professionals today.