Adoption is a long and intricate process involving many steps, and each step of the process raises new questions for both hopeful families and prospective birth parents. If you are considering adoption, looking for adoption professionals in the Durham area, or simply trying to find information, the following list of resources can help you find what you need.
Adoption Agencies and Professionals in Durham
Adoptive families and pregnant mothers alike can benefit from working with an adoption agency. Unlike other types of adoption professionals, agencies are equipped to provide you with comprehensive adoption services. If you are looking for an adoption agency or interested in learning more, follow the links below to find information on adoption agencies in Durham or serving Durham County:
Durham Foster Care Professionals
Like adoptive parents, foster parents must meet the requirements of their state before they can care for a child. If you want to become a foster parent in North Carolina, you must fit the following criteria:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Complete a home study and background check
- Complete required training
- Become licensed to foster in North Carolina
If you would like to learn more about fostering and available children near you, you can find a list of foster care agencies in or near Durham County below:
Home Study Providers
If you are hoping to adopt or become a foster family, you must complete a home study before you can be considered. In the home study, a social worker will conduct a background check, a home inspection, and a series of interviews to determine if your home is safe and ready for a child. If you are ready to begin your home study, read on to find a licensed home study provider near you.
- Nathanson Adoption Services
Nathanson Adoption Services provides home study information and services, along with other adoption-related information, to North Carolina families.
In North Carolina:
- Carolina Adoption Services
Located in Greensboro, Carolina Adoption Services is licensed to provide services to families in North and South Carolina.
- NC Homestudies
NCHS is licensed to complete home studies for families across North Carolina, and they also provide counseling and education to hopeful adoptive families.
Visit 1800HomeStudy.com to learn more about North Carolina home study providers.
Hospitals near Durham
For women considering adoption, the most anticipated event of the process is the hospital trip. If you are creating an adoption plan, you will also want to begin considering your hospital plan as you approach your due date. By working with your adoption specialist and healthcare provider, you can make sure you are in control of your labor and delivery experience.
Below, you can find the contact information for hospitals near you:
- Duke Regional Hospital
3643 North Roxboro Road
Durham, NC 27704
- UNC Hospitals OB/GYN Clinic (N.C. Women’s Hospital)
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
- Duke University Hospital
2301 Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27710
Durham Adoption Law and Eligibility
Because adoption laws are different for every state, you should become familiar with how adoption in North Carolina works before you begin your journey. Expecting mothers and adoptive families in Durham must be sure they comply with North Carolina’s adoption laws and eligibility requirements, which you can read more about below.
In order for an adoption to be legally recognized, both birth parents must terminate their rights upon or prior to placement. In North Carolina, birth mothers can consent to an adoption at any point after the birth of their child, but not before.
The birth father must also have his rights terminated, and he can consent to the adoption at any point in time. If he cannot be located, contacted, or identified, speak with your adoption specialist about how to move forward in your adoption without his consent.
If you would like to learn more about consent laws and your rights as a woman considering adoption, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
If you are pursuing adoption in the Durham area, then you must meet North Carolina’s adoption eligibility criteria as well as the requirements of your adoption professional. In North Carolina, any adult who has completed a home study may adopt, as long as the person being adopted is not their spouse.
Your chosen adoption professional may have additional requirements. Depending on who you choose to work with, these requirements may pertain to factors such as age, marital status, religious affiliation, and more. Before you reach out to an adoption agency or other professional, be sure you understand their eligibility requirements.
County Court Information
All adoptions must be finalized at a court hearing, which will usually take place about six months after placement. Your adoption specialist or attorney will contact you with information regarding where to go and what to do on the day of your finalization. Prior to your court hearing, you can find more information about the court system near you at the Durham County Clerk of Court.
Things to Do in Durham
Families adopting in Durham should expect to remain in North Carolina for 7-10 days after placement. This allows time to wrap up certain legal processes and gain the necessary clearance for you to bring your child home. While you wait, here are some suggestions of places to visit in the Durham area: