If you would like to adopt a baby in North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place.
An infant adoption in North Carolina can be a complicated process but, with the guidance of the adoption attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group, you can safely and legally add a new member to your family. Our adoption attorneys are able to provide all of the legal advice you need to complete a baby adoption in North Carolina, whatever your adoption goals and preferences. We offer general adoption consultations in our Raleigh offices to help guide you in all of your adoption choices: international, domestic, adopting from foster care, etc.
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But, how exactly do you adopt a baby in North Carolina? Where do you even start?
As with any domestic adoption process, it’s important that every hopeful adoptive family fully research the private domestic infant adoption process before starting. Our adoption attorneys can answer whatever questions and address whatever concerns you may have when you call our law firm at 919-821-1860 or contact us online.
In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about the basics of adopting a newborn baby in North Carolina today.
1. Decide if Infant Adoption is Right for You.
The first step for any adoptive family, whatever kind of adoption process they are considering, is to make sure that adoption is right for them. Often, hopeful adoptive families start pursuing the adoption process after the heartbreak of infertility treatments, and it’s important that people in this situation have completely grieved the loss of their dreams for a biological child before fully committing to the newborn adoption process in North Carolina. If you are still considering the possibility of an assisted reproductive technology like surrogacy or IVF, adoption may not be the right choice for you at this time. To get support for infertility issues, see if there is a RESOLVE group near you.
It’s also important that you consider the pros and cons of each individual adoption process to determine which one works best for you. Not every adoption process will be ideal for every family, so the adoption attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC can explain each process to aid you in this decision.
Before you decide to adopt an infant in North Carolina, understand that private domestic infant adoption can be expensive, can take time and may require you to maintain a relationship with your child’s birth parents after the adoption. If you’re comfortable with these aspects, you may choose to pursue the process of adopting a baby in North Carolina.
2. Create a Plan for Your Baby Adoption in N.C.
Once you decide on infant adoption in North Carolina, you’ll need to create an adoption plan based on your personal preferences and goals. Every family wants something different out of their personal adoption process, and it’s important to recognize those needs before starting to ensure the most successful adoption journey possible.
First, adoptive families should determine whether they wish to work with an adoption agency or complete an independent adoption. An adoption agency can provide professional guidance every step of the way as you adopt a newborn, while an independent adoption is less expensive, because you only utilize the services you need ( for example: home study, post-placement, counseling, advertising, or legal services). At the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC, our attorneys work with families who take both paths — agency or independent — and we can provide the information you need to determine which is best for you.
When you begin the process of adopting a baby, you will need to meet certain requirements as a prospective adoptive family. These include background checks and a completed North Carolina home study, which will ensure that you can provide a safe, stable home for an adopted child. There are several home study professionals in North Carolina that you can choose from for this step. Your home study provider will speak with you in-depth about your adoption goals and help you prepare for the unique challenges and rewards of the adoption process.
3. Find a Prospective Birth Mother.
After you have created a plan for adopting a newborn, the next step is finding an adoption opportunity.
If you choose to work with an adoption agency, an adoption professional will help you through this process. You will receive guidance in determining which characteristics you are comfortable with in an adopted child, in creating an adoptive family profile and in navigating initial conversations with a prospective birth mother. If you wish for agency assistance in helping you find a local adoption opportunity, our attorneys can provide referrals to a number of local adoption agencies, including A Child’s Hope (which is directed by one of our adoption attorneys). Find a complete list of all North-Carolina-licensed adoption agencies here, provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.
If you choose to find an adoption opportunity independently, you will need to create an adoptive family profile on your own and conduct your own advertising (such as with online listings or through word-of-mouth) to find a prospective birth mother. Note that by law, all independent adoptions are open, because you are required to offer a copy of your home study to the birthmother.
After you have found an adoption opportunity, you will want to get to know this prospective birth mother to ensure that you have the same adoption goals and that this match meets both of your expectations for your adoption.
4. Get to Know the Prospective Birth Mother and Prepare for Her Delivery.
Once you have found a prospective birth mother from which to adopt a baby, you will need to continue building your relationship with her while her pregnancy progresses. How long this step in the adoption process takes will depend upon how far along the prospective birth mother is in her pregnancy when she makes an adoption plan.
Building a genuine, respectful relationship during this time is integral to help a prospective birth mother feel confident in her decision. The more she knows and trusts you as a prospective adoptive family, the more likely she will be to follow through with her adoption decision and place her baby with you after she gives birth. Remember, when you are adopting a baby from a woman, you are also making a commitment to her to not only provide a good home for her child but also uphold her personal open (or closed) adoption preferences.
5. Meet Your New Baby and Complete Your N.C. Infant Adoption.
The prospective birth mother who has chosen you should create a hospital plan prior to her delivery, if she has made her adoption plan before the end of her pregnancy. Therefore, either on your own or with the assistance of your adoption agency, you will work with her to create a hospital experience that you both are comfortable with.
In North Carolina, a birth mother can give consent for her child’s adoption any time after they are born (your adoption attorney will work with her to gain any necessary consents from the baby’s birth father). An adoption attorney will explain her rights and what her consent means before she signs the legal consent paperwork.
Once the baby is ready to be discharged from the hospital, you will be able to take him or her home, and you’ll finally be able to call yourselves parents!
6. Finalize Your Newborn Adoption.
There are a few more legal steps that must be accomplished before your baby adoption in North Carolina is officially complete. Most infant adoptions will require post-placement assessments that can be presented to the court, to ensure that adoptive parents and their new adopted child are adjusting properly to their new family situation. Two postplacement assessments are required under North Carolina law, and then a report to the court is made. The first visit has to occur within two weeks after the child is placed with you and the final within 45 days.
Once any post-placement requirements are met, your attorney at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC will prepare you for the adoption finalization process, which may or may not include a hearing in court. If a court hearing is necessary, you will appear in front of a judge, who will ask a few questions about your adoption and make sure all necessary laws have been followed before issuing a final adoption decree.
After your finalization, your process of adopting a baby in North Carolina will be complete! You will know that your adoption is finalized when the clerk in your county sends you a final decree of adoption in the mail. Make sure that your adoption attorney also receives a copy of the decree.
If you’re considering adopting a baby in North Carolina, know that there are birth mothers seeking adoptive parents like you — and you can successfully add a member to your family through this process. However, because adopting a newborn baby can be complicated, it’s encouraged that you work with an experienced adoption professional from the beginning.
The adoption attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC have helped hundreds of people reach their parenthood dreams through adoption, and they can help you, too. To learn more about the services the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC can provide you while adopting a baby in North Carolina, please contact our law firm today.