Agency Adoption

In an agency adoption, the birth parent or parents relinquish their rights and surrender the child to a licensed child-placing agency or to the local DSS. The agency then places the child with the adoptive parents who must file a petition to adopt. Sometimes the adoptive parents have already been chosen at the time of the relinquishment; sometimes that happens later.

The birth parents still have seven days to revoke their relinquishment after they sign the paperwork.

I’m working with an adoption agency now. Will the agency take care of all the necessary paperwork?

Ask your adoption agency what services their contract will cover. Typically, you will need:

  • Preparation of relinquishment paperwork
  • Preparation and completion of background health history paperwork
  • Preparation and completion of birth mother affidavits as to parentage
  • A home study and report to court
  • Possible termination of parental rights of the father
  • Filing the adoption petition and all necessary attachments

Call: (919) 883-4900

What is an adoption agency?

In North Carolina, a child-placing agency is an agency that has been given a license by the NC Division of Social Services.

Can you work with my adoption agency?

Absolutely. The attorneys at NicholsonPham work with many adoption agencies, both in North Carolina and outside the state.

How can I tell if my adoption agency is a good one?

We recommend that the potential adoptive parent(s) meet with the agency to make sure it’s a good fit. For example, some agencies will not work with gay parents or with parents who don’t practice the Christian religion. Yes, that’s legal.

A full list of NC licensed adoption agencies can be found here: