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Who can adopt a child in North Carolina?

Many residents in North Carolina may understand how exciting it can be to add a new member to the family. Adoption is one way that some people choose to add another child to their care. However, the adoption process can be complicated, and there are a number of requirements that a potential adoptive parent might need to meet before the proceedings can be finalized.

For example, some jurisdictions have age requirements that a prospective parent must meet before a child can be passed into that person's care. A number of places require the person to be at least 18 years old, and some other areas set the bar at 25 years old. In a number of jurisdictions the prospective parent may need to be a certain number of years older than the child that is up for adoption. Special circumstances might result in a waiver of these age requirements.

Some states also require that a parent be a resident of the area for a specific amount of time before he or she is able to adopt. These residency requirements vary from periods such as 60 days to 1 year between jurisdictions. Furthermore, some states do not require the parent to be a resident if the adoption is completed through an agency.

Meeting the requirements for eligibility is only one of the many steps in the adoption process. Other issues, such as the ability to provide a stable environment for the child, may be taken into consideration by the state government before the adoption is granted. In order to better navigate the proceedings, some prospective parents might consider working with an attorney.

Source: Findlaw, "Who May Adopt: Overview", January 07, 2015

Source: Child Adoption Laws, "Child Adoption Laws," (visited 1/7/2015)

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