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North Carolina Adoption Laws

Adoption is a complicated process. The journey includes several legal obstacles that may make it more difficult. While there are federal statutes that govern, each state has its own statutory requirements that guide adoptions. Adoption is regulated primarily at the state level, and laws tend to vary quite a bit from one state to the next.

Read on for a brief overview of North Carolina adoption laws.

North Carolina Adoption Laws

The following table highlights the main provisions of North Carolina's adoption laws, and an in-depth discussion follows. See FindLaw's Adoption section to learn more.

Code Section §48-1-100, et seq., of the North Carolina General Statutes
Who May Be Adopted Any person; any adult with his consent; spouses may not adopt each other
Age that Child's Consent Needed 12 years and older
Who May Adopt Any adult person over 18 yrs. old or husband and wife jointly or one spouse gives consent, only one unmarried person may file (can be waived in certain circumstances)
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? At least 6 months (waived in certain circumstances)
State Agency/Court Health and Human Services/Superior
Statute of Limitations to Challenge 6 months

Eligibility for Adoption in General

In most states, any single adult or a married couple together is eligible to adopt a child. A stepparent may also be eligible to adopt the birth child of his or her spouse. In some states, married persons are allowed to adopt without their spouse's consent if their spouse is legally incompetent or if they are legally separated from their spouse. Many states have adoption courts, which look to serve the best interests of a child when it comes to adoption decisions.

Related Resources for Adoption Laws

State standards and regulations concerning adoption can be complex and are subject to change. You can visit FindLaw's Adoption Laws section to review some of these laws and get a more general overview in our Adoption section.

Get Legal Help With an Adoption

Adoption can be a complicated process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An attorney will help you navigate these laws. They will help review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.

If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced North Carolina adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.

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