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Who can adopt?

In North Carolina, a single person or married couple who is at least 18 years of age can be an adoptive family. You do not have to own a home or have a certain amount of income to be an adoptive parent. You do need to consider what it will mean to have a child come into your family and how this will affect your life and the child’s life. With a full commitment and realistic expectations, foster or adoptive parents must be ready to give a child or children opportunities to develop to their full potential physically, academically, socially and emotionally.

Myths about Who can Adopt

Myth Reality
You have to be a saint to be an adoptive parent. You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.
You have to own a home to adopt. You can own or rent a home, trailer or apartment.
You have to be married to adopt. You can be single, married, divorced, or widowed.
It is expensive to adopt a child with special needs. The cost of adopting a foster child with special needs is provided by the child’s agency.

Qualities and Characteristics Agencies look for in an Adoptive Family?

Each child is different. Some children need to be with a single parent, some need a two-parent family; some need other children in their family, while some need to be the only child in their adoptive home. Many different types of families are needed to parent these special children.

All children need stability and a family they can count on for the rest of their lives, through good times and challenging times. Children need to stay in touch with people they have loved such as former foster parents, siblings and teachers, so an adoptive family should be open to continuing these important connections.

It is important to remember that the process is child-driven and that the child’s agency is seeking the best possible family to meet that individual child’s specific needs. However, they are not looking for perfection. Keep in mind “you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent!”

Am I Ready to Adopt?

If you’re considering adopting a child, stop for a moment and ask yourself these important questions:

  • Do I have time to care for a child and provide for his or her physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs?
  • Do I have support from my family, community, church and friends who will be there for me through challenging times?
  • Am I willing to advocate for my child? The child I adopt will have special needs and possible unforeseen educational or mental health challenges.
  • Am I ready to commit to a child forever, even if times get tough? I know this child will be counting on me and adoption is a life-long commitment.

If you want to discuss your ability to adopt, please call our hotline at 888-625-4375 or email us at nc.kids@dhhs.nc.gov.