November 11, 2017
The adoption process in North Carolina can be long and difficult, but adoptive parents who are able to successfully fulfill the legal requirements are rewarded with the priceless gift of a new child in their home.
However, failing to carefully follow all North Carolina adoption laws can prevent your adoption from being completed. The following are some common reasons that adoptions are denied in North Carolina.
Criminal History Can Prevent an Adoption
North Carolina law requires criminal background checks for prospective adoptive parents and any individual age 18 or over who lives in the home where the adoptive child is to be placed. If you have a criminal history, you may receive an unfavorable pre-placement assessment that prevents you from adopting a child.
Some criminal convictions for any member of the household result in a mandatory unfavorable assessment under § 48-3-309. These convictions include:
- a prior conviction or pending indictment of spousal abuse, child abuse or neglect
- a crime against a child including child pornography
- a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault or homicide
- a felony or a pending felony indictment for physical assault, battery or a drug-related offense committed in the past five years
Even misdemeanors could result in an unfavorable assessment if the home study provider determines that you are unfit to be a prospective parent or someone living in your home is unfit to reside in the same home as the prospective adopted child. However, these crimes will not result in a mandatory unfavorable assessment, so you may be able to explain your behavior and explain why you are fit to be an adoptive parent.
Failure to Get Proper Consent
The adoptee’s parents or guardians must give consent to the adoption at the right time and in the proper format. Even if you think consent has been given, it may not necessarily meet the legal requirements and will not take legal effect.
For example, consent to an adoption by the mother before the baby is born is not legally enforceable. You also need to make sure that any man who fits into one of the categories listed in § 48-3-601 has either given consent or has been notified of the adoption proceeding.
King Law handles family law matters in North and South Carolina, including divorce, alimony, and child support cases. Follow us on Facebook for more information and updates on family law issues.