Independent Adoptions

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___ Copy of Adoptee’s Birth Certificate (Does NOT need to be a certified copy)

___ Petition for Adoption of Minor Child (DSS-1800) G.S. 48-2-301 to 48-2-306.

NOTE: The spouse of the petitioner must join in the petition unless the spouse has been declared incompetent or the requirement is waived for cause. This waiver needs to be in writing.

NOTE: The petition must be filed within 30 days of the child’s placement for adoption, but this time may be extended.

NOTE: If the petitioner is unmarried, no other person may join in the petition.

___ Attachments to Petition. G.S. 48-2-305 (omitted information may be filed before the final decree. G.S. 48-2-306).

___ Affidavit of Parentage (DSS-1809) G.S. 48-3-206.

NOTE: This may be prepared by someone with knowledge of the child’s parentage, if the parents are not available.

___ Consent to Adoption by Parent, Guardian Ad Litem or Guardian (DSS-1802).

NOTE: Only father may execute pre-birth relinquishments. G.S. 48-3-604.

NOTE: Where the child has already been adopted in a foreign country, that adoption order is accepted in lieu of parental consents when adoptive parents wish to readopt in North Carolina. G.S. 48-2-205.

___ Certified copy of any court order terminating the rights of a parent or guardian of adoptee.

___ Denial of Paternity (DSS-5118).

NOTE: Only unwed father may deny paternity. G.S. 48-3-603(a) (5).

___ Consent of Child for Adoption (DSS-1803) 12 years or older unless dispensed with in writing by clerk of court under G.S. 48-3-603(b) (1).

___ Certified copy of any court order or pleading in a pending proceeding concerning custody of or visitation with the adoptee.

___ Copy of the Preplacement Assessment certified by the agency that prepared it or affidavit stating why preplacement assessment is not available. Preplacement Assessment must have been completed or updated within 18 months of adoptive placement.

___ Certificate of Delivery of Preplacement Assessment (DSS-5219) to placing parent or guardian, if child’s placement preceded completion of preplacement assessment. Placing parent may revoke consent at any time until five business days after receipt of completed assessment. G.S. 48-3-307(c).

___ Non-Identifying Background Information (DSS-5102) and Adoption Health History, (Part I and II) (DSS-5103) – Certified copies of documents or affidavits stating why documents are not available. G.S. 48-3-205.

___ Any signed copy of 100A (DSS-1837) required by Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) authorizing minor to come into North Carolina or affidavit stating why authorization is not available.

___ A writing that states the names of any individual whose consent may be required, but who has not executed a consent or whose parental rights have not been terminated.

___ Proof of Service Notice by petitioner(s) to appropriate persons or certified copies of any written waivers of that notice by those persons. G.S. 48-2-401; G.S. 48-2-407.

NOTE: This includes any possible father who has not executed a consent or denial of paternity, had his rights terminated or been judicially determined not to be the father. It also includes notice to (1) the spouse of the petitioner if the joinder requirement may be waived, but effective for petitions filed on or after 10/01/05, this notice may be waived and (2) a minor whose consent has not been required by the clerk.

When notice is given and a possible father does not respond within 30 days, 40 days to notice by publication, G.S. 48-3-603(a) (7) provides that his consent to the adoption is not required. Effective with petitions filed on or after 10/01/05, the clerk must enter an order finding his consent is not necessary because he did not respond under G.S. 48-2-207. If publication is used, the petitioner must file an affidavit showing due diligence in trying to find the father. Rule 4 (j1) and Rule 4 (j2) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

If a father or possible father does respond the clerk must hold a hearing to determine whether his consent is required under G.S. 48-3-601, which establishes the steps fathers must take to preserve their rights in an adoption. This hearing may be transferred to a district court judge pursuant to GS 48-2-601(a1).

___ Notice of adoption proceeding mailed or otherwise delivered by Clerk no later than five (5) days after petition filed to any agency that has undertaken but not yet completed a Preplacement Assessment and any agency ordered to make a report to the court. G.S. 48-2-403.

___ Order for Report on Proposed Adoption (DSS-1807).

  • If the preplacement assessment filed with the petition and the child was placed with petitioner(s) after the completion of that assessment, then the order for report on proposed adoption is to be mailed or delivered within five (5) days after the petition filed to agency that prepared assessment or another agency. G.S. 48-2-403; 48-2-501
  • If preplacement assessment filed with petition but child was places with petitioners(s) before completion of that assessment, order for report on proposed adoption is not sent for at least 30 days after completion of preplacement assessment. G.S. 48-3-301(c) (2).
  • If no preplacement assessment filed with petition, then order for report on proposed adoption is not sent for at least 30 days after completion of preplacement assessment. G.S. 48-3-301(c) (2).

___ Report on Proposed Adoption (DSS-1808) including any supplemental reports filed if the initial report indicated a concern with the adoption and the time for final decree was extended to allow resolution of those concerns. The supplemental report must indicate whether and how the concerns have been satisfied. G.S.48-2-502 and 503.

___ Affidavit-Disclosure of Fees & Expenses (DSS-5191) accounting for any payments or disbursements made or agreed to be made by petitioner in connection with adoption. Must include amount of each payment or disbursement and name and address of each recipient. Must be filed at least 10 days before entry of decree of adoption in order to give clerk time to review. G.S. 48-2-602; 48-2-603(9); 48-10-103.

___ Decree of Adoption (DSS-1814)

Time and date of hearing (if contested) or disposition of petition is to be set no later than 90 days after petition filed. The 90 day requirement may be waived for cause. Hearing or disposition must take place no later than six month after petition filed unless extended. G.S> 48-2-601; 48-2-603.

___ Report to Vital Records (DSS-1815).

State Law prohibits the Clerk’s Office staff from; providing any legal advice, providing instructions for completing forms, referring an attorney, or recommending specific ways to pursue legal action.

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