What is the Single Parent Adoption Process in North Carolina?

single parent adoption

Choosing to adopt a child is a big decision. It’s taking on financial, legal, and personal responsibility for someone else’s well being – however, there is nothing more exciting than raising a child. If you’re a single adult who wants to adopt a child, maybe you’re wondering what your options look like from a legal standpoint.

There are a lot of misconceptions about single parent adoption around the country. Many individuals are concerned that their marital status will affect their chances of getting a child. However, it’s highly common for single women and single men to file for adoption. Many adoption agencies will still consider men and women who meet the right criteria, as prospective parents.

If you’re wondering how to file for adoption as a single parent in North Carolina, and what legal measures you need to take, we’d like to help. We’re going to take a closer look at the process, and hopefully, ease your fears as you navigate through this exciting but nerve-wracking time.

A Closer Look at the Single Parent Adoption Process

If you’ve decided to adopt a child as a single parent, this is an exciting first step! But maybe you are wondering if this affects your ability to adopt a child. Contrary to popular belief, single mothers and fathers have the same eligibility as a two-unit household.

Single men and women still experience the same legal proceedings, and undergo the same adoption process, as a married couple. However, there might be other challenges you experience throughout the process. Certain adoption agencies might have bias or preference towards two-parent households, so it’s important to know your legal rights going into the process.

In the state of North Carolina, there are a few requirements that must be met prior to filing for adoption. The applicant must:

  • Be over eighteen years of age
  • Have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing
  • Have domiciled in the state, and is adopting a child who was born in-state, or has lived in the state for at least six straight months before filing

Outside of that, there are no other mandatory requirements regarding your eligibility. However, before you decide to adopt, there are a few things to take into consideration such as:

  • Personal Affairs
    • Besides a strong support system, it’s important to make sure your personal affairs are in order. If you want to take proper precautions before adopting, draw up a living will, and taking other legal measures to prep for the future. These might seem like minor details, but the reality is being personally prepared is going to be very helpful when adoption agencies are viewing your application.
  • Financial Standing
    • Outside of changing your personal life, having a child is financial responsibility, so it’s important to think about getting your financial affairs set, and drawing up any trusts or significant documents that can help you moving forward.

What Legal Measures Should be Taken When Adopting as a Single Parent?

If you are adopting a child as a single parent, you are going to need legal counsel to help you throughout the process. While all adoption applicants should be treated the same way, some agencies might hold preferences for two-parent families, over a single man or woman. Having an adoption lawyer by your side will help simplify the process. Your lawyer will help you find a fair adoption agency, gather the appropriate paperwork, and appear with you in court for all appropriate occasions. For more specifics, read about the role of adoption lawyers, and how they can help you throughout this process.

There are many types of adoptions you can explore, including domestic and international adoptions, private adoptions, interstate adoptions, and adopting a child in foster care. Every adoption agency has different placement procedures they follow – some require a pre-home placement, known as a PPA, with the prospective adoptive parents, while others don’t. When it comes to adopting a child in North Carolina, there are a variety of requirements you’ll have to meet, and these requirements will vary depending on which type of adoption you choose.

As a single adoptive parent, it’s important to explore all your options, so you can find an agency that fits your needs and will give you fair treatment. Having an adoption lawyer by your side throughout the process will give you the legal counsel, and peace of mind you need to get through this exciting time. If you’ve been looking for an adoption attorney in North Carolina, Apple Payne Law would be happy to assist you.

Author Bio

Ronald D. Payne II
Ronald D. Payne II is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Apple Payne Law, a North Carolina law firm he founded in 2018. With more than 11 years of experience practicing law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including business law, estate planning, family law, probate, and traffic law.

Ronald received his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded the 2020 Client’s Choice Award by Avvo and multiple Rising Star awards from Super Lawyers.

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