Adopting a Child in Foster Care in North Carolina
Adopting a child in foster care refers to the adoption of a child from a private residence of a state licensed care provider often called the foster parent.
WHEN CAN ONE ADOPT A CHILD FROM FOSTER CARE?
Foster care is a temporary arrangement until the child can be reunited with the biological parents. When such a reunification is not possible, children in foster care are candidates for adoption. While adopting a child from foster care, the focus of North Carolina law is to find the right family for the child and not the other way.
THE CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
The state makes attempts to reunite children in foster care with their natural parents. Only when such attempts have failed can these children be adopted. As a result, children adopted from foster care tend to be older (as against new born and infant adoptions possible by other means). Also depending on the reason the children were placed in foster care (due to abuse, neglect etc), they may suffer from varying degrees of physical and/or mental difficulties. Many times, there are sibling groups, requiring that more than one child be adopted at a time.
THE PROCESS OF ADOPTING A CHILD FROM FOSTER CARE
In North Carolina, any adult over the age of 18 can adopt a child from foster care. The foster parent with whom the child is comfortable is often given a preference as are relatives like grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc.
As with other adoptions, the prospective adoptive parents have to participate in a pre-placement assessment. Foster adoptions are usually facilitated through state agencies, though at times, private agencies authorized by the state can also help.
LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOR ADOPTING A CHILD IN FOSTER CARE
The legal formalities for foster adoption are similar to those for other types of adoption in North Carolina. The process begins with filing a petition for adoption, accompanied with the pre-placement assessment and other relevant documentation. We at McIlveen Family Law Firm will be with you every step of the way and ensure that all legal formalities are suitably concluded so that you can focus more on your new child rather than the legal paperwork.