If you're getting ready to expand your family through adoption, sorting through the information and options online can feel overwhelming. Although this is an exciting time, adoption can also seem scary because of the legal requirements. But it doesn't have to be if you have guidance along the way.
In North Carolina, adoption can happen through several routes, including a private adoption or one through foster care, a domestic or international adoption, an open, semi-open, or closed adoption, and adopting younger or older children. If you're adopting multiple children, whether they are multiple age siblings, twins, or just multiple unrelated adoptions, the process can seem even more complex.
Foster Care Versus Private Adoption
Foster care adoption in North Carolina happens through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. When the state can't reunite children with their biological family, it explores other permanent options like adoption. Whenever possible, the DHHS prefers to keep siblings together, so adopting multiple children through the foster care system is possible. Because the state exhausts all possibility of reuniting children in foster care with their biological family, these adoptions can take up to five years on average.
Private adoptions generally happen through a private agency and often happen much more quickly, averaging one to 12 months. Most of these parents have already made an affirmative decision to terminate their parental rights, making the process faster. However, private adoption can be more expensive because of the fees charged by the agency involved.
Domestic or International Adoption
Domestic adoptions are those that happen within the United States. These adoptions take less time and involve fewer legal issues once the child is available. However, private infant adoptions in the U.S. often involve long wait times for a child to become available. It is rare to have two infants become available simultaneously, although siblings may be possible through domestic private adoption or foster care.
International adoption involves adopting from a foreign county. If you're interested in adopting a sibling group through foreign adoption, you may choose the country based on that possibility. Every foreign country has different adoption requirements, so that can be a consideration as well. Each country has its own wait times as well.
Hire an Adoption and Family Law Firm You Trust
If you're contemplating adoption or multiple adoptions, this can be an exciting time, but the details and legal requirements can also feel overwhelming. You don't have to go through this alone. The attorneys at Caulder & Valentine can help. If you live near the Shelby or Gastonia areas of North Carolina, give us a call at 704-470-2440 or contact us online. We can discuss your options and help you plan for your growing family.