Adoption Legislation U.S./North Carolina


To gather an overview of US and North Carolina legislation related to adoption as well as a list of key policy issues being debated and their descriptions. The information will be used to assist a client in positioning himself.

Early Findings

U.S. Adoption Legislation

  • Adoption is mostly regulated by states in the U.S., with laws varying depending on the state.
  • However, federal laws regulating adoption in the United States do exist and states have to pass their own laws to comply with them and to qualify for federal funds.
  • These federal laws related to adoption mostly provide overarching standards to the states.
  • An example is the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 which includes a provision awarding incentive payments for special needs adoptions and older child adoptions.
  • Most federal laws related to adoption are concerned with protecting the child's welfare, and providing funding for various assistance programs.

North Carolina Adoption Legislation

  • In North Carolina, any minor or even adult can be adopted by an adult, as long as the adult is over 18 years of age.
  • If the minor or adult is over 12, his/her consent is needed.
  • Another condition required by the state is 90 days of home residency in the state.
  • One of the exceptions is that spouses are barred from adopting each other.
  • The whole legislation concerning adoption (§§ 48-1 through 48-38: Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 457, s. 1.) is available through this link.

Key Policy Issues Being Debated

  • One of the main issues being debated in terms of adoption laws is the requirement of a specific religion to be able to adopt from certain child placement agencies.
  • Another debate raging is about giving additional rights to birth parents.
  • Other adoption policy discussions concern the adoption of Native children.

In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

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