Step 1. Contact your county’s Department of Social Services who provides and arranges for adoptions services at no cost for children in the foster care system.
Step 2. Department of Social Services will ask about your family background and composition. You will also be asked for a description of the child you seek to adopt. You must complete an application for adoption to begin the process.
Step 3. You must complete the Pre-Placement Assessment. The assessment requires you to participate in a series of meetings with the social worker who will help you understand both the adoption process and your responsibilities as an adoptive parent. You may be required special classes known as Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting-Group Preparation and Selection to prepare you to become an adoptive parent of a child from foster care. These parenting classes will provide you with important information about the skills needed to parent a child who has experienced loss and trauma. They will also help you determine your ability to provide a home for such a child.
Step 4. Once your Pre-Placement Assessment is completed, your social worker will work with you to locate a child or sibling group whose needs can be met in your family. This may take some time so it is important to be patient during this time.
Step 5. Once the child has been identified, a visitation plan is established so the child and your family can get to know each other before a placement is made.
Step 6. You bring the child home. All children, even infants, will have a period of adjustment following placement which requires must patience, tolerance, and love during that time.
Step 7. The supervisory period in North Carolina generally requires the child be in your home for six months before the adoption process can be complete. The social worker will visit your home to provide support and assistance during this period of time.
Step 8. Legalize your adoption in court. It is highly recommended that an attorney be retained for filing the legal documents. However, adoptive parents can chose to file their own legal documents. If you chose to hire an attorney the legal fees are arranged between the adoptive parents and the attorney. The laws relating to adopting in North Carolina can be found in Chapter 48 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
*For more information visit https://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/adopt/
Adkins Law has offices in Huntersville and Ballantyne. Contact Adkins Law to arrange a consultation.