Who Is Eligible to Adopt a Child?


Whether you are unable to have children or simply want to add non-biological children to your family, adoption is an avenue many couples and singles pursue. If you are seriously considering adoption to grow your family, you probably have many questions and concerns. One common question that potential adopters might have for their attorney is about adoption eligibility. 

Understanding Adoption

Adoption is a process that allows children to become permanent legal members of a non-biological family. Since it is a legal process, there are several legal requirements, and adopters must meet specific criteria and take certain steps. Many future adoptive parents choose to use the services of a  attorney to ensure they are meeting the requirements and that their interests are represented in the process. 

Adoption Eligibility

Many protections are in place to provide for the safety and welfare of adopted children no matter their age. Generally, a single adult or a married couple can be eligible to adopt. In North Carolina, stepparents can adopt children of their spouse if:

  • The parent has legal and physical custody of the child, and the child has lived with this parent and the stepparent during the six months immediately before filing the petition for adoption.
  • The parent is deceased or incompetent but, before their death or being deemed incompetent, had legal and physical custody of the child, and the child lived with the stepparent during the six months immediately before filing the petition for adoption
  • For cause, the court permits a stepparent who does not meet the requirements above to file a petition for adoption.

You must be at least 18 years of age to adopt in North Carolina. Parents wanting to adopt are not required to receive training, although it is available if they want it. 

Background Checks Required

All potential adoptive parents and any person age 18 or older who lives in the potential adoptive home must submit to a background check under North Carolina law. Individuals with a criminal history are prohibited from adopting. Crimes that will prevent an individual from being able to legally adopt a child include any county, state or federal conviction of a felony or a pending felony indictment of the following:

  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Spousal abuse
  • A crime against a child, including child pornography
  • A crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, other than physical assault or battery
  • Physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, if the offense was committed within the past five years
  •  Similar crimes under federal law or the laws of other states

Considering Adoption? Contact An Experienced Charlotte Adoption Law Firm 

To find out more information about the adoption process and legal requirements, reach out to an attorney. Our attorneys are well-versed in the North Carolina adoption requirements and process and look forward to helping you on your journey.

For your no-obligation consultation from an experienced attorney, call Blood Law today at (704) 286-0570 or use our convenient online contact form

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