North Dakota Adoption Laws
What to Know Before Moving Forward
If you’re just beginning to research adoption for your family, it can seem daunting. The adoption laws in each state vary, so knowing exactly what you’re up against is easier said than done. With this in mind, we’ve compiled the following guide of some of the most important adoption laws in North Dakota. From who can adopt to how prospective birth parent expenses are handled, we hope this helps you to understand North Dakota adoption laws.
Please note, however, that this article does not serve as legal advice, nor does it take the place of a licensed attorney.
Who can adopt a child in North Dakota?
If any of the following describes you, North Dakota adoption laws may allow you to adopt a child:
- A husband and wife jointly, even if one or both are minors
- A single adult
- A single parent of the person being adopted
- A married individual by themselves if the person being adopted is not the married person’s spouse, as long as the petitioner is the stepparent, the petitioner and his or her spouse are legally separated, or the court excuses the spouse from joining in the petition
There is no adoption age limit in North Dakota. As long as a person is financially, physically and mentally capable of providing a child with a safe and loving home, they will most likely be allowed to pursue an adoption in North Dakota.
The Consent Process in North Dakota
Before a child is adopted in the state of North Dakota, adoption laws dictate that the following people give consent:
- The minor’s mother
- The minor’s father if the father has legitimated the minor or the person is presumed to be the biological father
- Any individual lawfully entitled to custody of the minor
- The court that has jurisdiction of the minor if a minor’s legal guardian is not empowered to consent
- The spouse of the minor
- The minor being adopted, if he or she is 10 or more years old
North Dakota adoption laws state that consent to adoption can be given at any point after a child’s birth.
North Dakota Adoption Laws about Prospective Birth Parent Expenses
In North Dakota, hopeful adoptive parents can pay for the following expenses:
- Medical expenses relating to pregnancy and the child’s birth
- Living expenses for the prospective birth mother to maintain an “adequate standard of living.” This may include utilities, maternity clothing, rent, groceries and more.
- Counseling expenses for the prospective birth mother
- Legal expenses for the prospective birth mother
- Transportation, meals and lodging relating to either counseling, legal or medical services
After six weeks following delivery, adoptive parents may no longer pay for the birth parent’s expenses unless the court makes an exception. It is also important to note that it is illegal to either offer or accept money or anything of value in exchange for the decision to place a child for adoption.
North Dakota Adoption Home Study Requirements
In the case of the adoption home study, North Dakota adoption laws do not vary from those in other states. No matter where a hopeful adoptive family lives, they must undergo an adoption home study before they are eligible to adopt. Essentially, an adoption home study is an assessment of a family’s readiness to provide a safe, stable and loving home for a child. It includes three phases: a documentation stage, a home inspection, and interviews with each family member living in the home.
The adoption home study process can seem stressful, but we promise it’ll be painless with the right home study provider. Because the documentation stage is easily the lengthiest part, it can be helpful to begin gathering documents such as:
- Your marriage certificate
- Your driver’s licenses
- Your birth certificates
- Physical and mental health statements
- Background checks for every adult living in the home
- Financial statements such as income statements or tax returns
- Contact information for three to five references
- Autobiographical statements that explain why you chose to grow your family through adoption
North Dakota Adoption Agencies
As a national, full-service adoption agency, American Adoptions is more than qualified to complete an adoption in North Dakota. From offering counseling to pregnant women considering their unplanned pregnancy options to helping birth mothers and adoptive families maintain contact after a child has been placed in their adoptive home, we truly do it all. To learn more about North Dakota adoption with our agency or to get started on the adoption process today, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.