Adoption is the legal process, where the adopting parents are awarded by the Court of Adoptions all the rights and responsibilities of the birth parent, therefore providing a permanent home for children who cannot return to their family of origin after all efforts have been tired.
Being a foster parent does not automatically mean you must adopt. For adoption to be possible, the child must be legally cleared for adoption.
The process for adoption in Mecklenburg County is similar to the foster home licensing process with the addition of obtaining a favorable Pre-Placement Assessment.
What is a Pre-Placement Assessment
A Pre-Placement Assessment consists of minimally two interviews with the prospective adoptive parent. Couples must complete separate and joint interviews to provide background information, discuss desires, expectations, and work on any concerns or barriers to providing long-term care for a child.
Prospective adoptive parents must also complete new finger prints even if they were previously finger printed as a foster parent.
The agency conducts Agency Placement Adoptions and Private and Step-Parent Adoptions.
Agency Placement Adoptions
In Mecklenburg County, Adoption Specialists
- recruit for children in foster care cleared for adoption that do not have an identified adoptive family by hosting matching events
- prepare the prospective adoptive parents and children for adoption, and
- prepare the documents necessary to complete the adoption process for children in all adoptive placements.
The children waiting for adoptions are typically:
- part of a sibling group
- school aged
- minority and male
The birth parents of children waiting for adoption have voluntarily relinquished the child to the agency or parental rights of the birth parents have been terminated by the court. The majority of the children are in the custody of DSS or private agency. Many children adopted from DSS are eligible for adoption assistance.
Other Adoption Resources
Families who wish to adopt and cannot be served through our agency can contact other adoption agencies in the community or throughout the state. For a list of these agencies contact our office at 704-336-5437 or visit the state website for adoption agencies.
Private and Step-Parent Adoptions
In Mecklenburg County, Private, Step-Parent, Independent Adoption and Custody Evaluations are completed by the Interstate Unit.
- Relative Adoptions are when a child is legally adopted by someone who is related either by blood (grandparents, uncle, aunt, etc) or
- marriage (step-parent).
There is a fee for this service that is on a sliding scale and based on the families’ income. The reports are required by the Clerk of Courts Office before a decree of adoption can be issued.