Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption - North Carolina

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Who May Adopt

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 48-1-103; 48-4-101

Any adult may adopt another individual, except that spouses may not adopt each other.

A stepparent may petition to adopt the minor child of his or her spouse if any of the following apply:

  • The parent who is the spouse has legal and physical custody of the child, and the child has resided primarily with this parent and the stepparent during the 6 months immediately prior to filing the petition.
  • The spouse is deceased or incompetent but, before dying or being adjudicated incompetent, had legal and physical custody of the child, and the child has resided primarily with the stepparent during the 6 months immediately prior to filing the petition.
  • For cause, the court permits a stepparent who does not meet the requirements above to file a petition.

Who May Be Adopted

Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 48-1-104; 48-1-108

Any individual may be adopted.

If the individual is an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. § 1901, et seq., then the provisions of that act shall control the individual's adoption.

Who May Place a Child for Adoption

Citation: Gen. Stat. § 48-3-201

A child may be placed by any of the following:

  • An agency
  • A guardian
  • Both parents if they are married and living together, or one parent has legal custody and the other parent has physical custody
  • A parent with legal and physical custody of the child