Adoption: Where to Start?

Written by Jonathan Breeden

February 28, 2018

Deciding to adopt a child can be an incredibly rewarding and momentous occasion on your life. While you may be planning for the day your child comes home, you need to learn how to start the actual process. The information below provides an introductory look at adoption, but if you’re in need of more information, it may be time to contact an experienced adoption lawyer.

Attorney Jonathan Breeden has been helping families in many parts of North Carolina make their dreams of adoption a reality. If you are looking for a lawyer to handle your adoption case with skill and compassion, call Breeden Law Office at (919) 661-4970.

Getting Started With Adoption

Anyone over the age of 18 may apply to adopt a child. North Carolina does not require you to be married or have previous parenting experience. As long as you can pass a criminal background check, you are permitted to apply.

Before you do submit an application, there are some factors you will need to consider, including:

  • Do you want an open or closed adoption?
    In the past, most adoptions were closed, meaning that the birth parents and the adoptive parents did not learn any identifying information about each other. Adoption records were kept sealed, and the child was not permitted to gather information about their birth parents until they turned 18. At this point, they were generally given non-identifying facts.

    In recent years, people have warmed up to open adoptions. In an open adoption, you are able to communicate directly with the birth parents. You will get to decide together how much interaction you have with each other, and your child can speak to their birth parents as well. Having this line of communication can often provide comfort to the adopted child, as they can learn directly from their birth parents why they were placed up for adoption.

  • Do you want to adopt from a state agency or an independent agency?
    State agencies work with the state of North Carolina to house children in foster care. While many foster children will eventually return to their homes, many more will need to be adopted. Children in state agencies are rarely very young. In fact, many are school-aged siblings who will need to be adopted together so they may continue to live with each other. Adoptions from state agencies can often be quicker and less expensive.

    A private agency often works with pregnant women to place their babies with an adoptive family once they are born. Adoptive parents who want an infant or baby tend to work with a private agency. Because their process is so specialized, these agencies may have a longer waiting period and will likely cost more.

  • Do you want to become a foster parent first?
    Becoming a licensed foster parent means you are willing to provide a safe, loving environment for a child who has been temporarily displaced from their home. Many children will return home, but those that cannot will be placed for adoption. As a foster parent, you could apply to adopt a child who has already been living with you.

Talk to a North Carolina Adoption Lawyer

Simply getting started with adoption is a difficult process. You will likely have many questions to ask yourself before you even meet a child. While these decisions are difficult, you do not have to make them on your own. Discussing your options with North Carolina adoption lawyer Jonathan Breeden can make the decision procession mush easier. Attorney Breeden can explain the entire process and help you determine what type of adoption you want to choose.

To speak to an adoption lawyer at Breeden Law Office, contact us at (919) 661-4970 to schedule a consultation.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden