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Who can legally petition for adoption in North Dakota?

| Nov 6, 2019 | Adoption |

The state of North Dakota is very adoption friendly, for the most part. However, to ensure that an adoption goes as smoothly as possible, there are a few eligibility rules to know about.

The first group of people who may petition a court for adoption are a husband and wife, together. Even if one or both spouses are minors, the court will allow the petition to be filed as long as they are legally married. The second group are unmarried adults. In other words, the state of North Dakota will recognize a single parent home as a viable option for a child who needs a permanent home. Third, an unmarried father or mother of a person to be adopted. For example, where two parties live together but are not married, one may file to adopt a child without the consent of the other.

Finally, a fourth scenario is recognized, but has its own set of stipulations. Where two individuals are married, and one of them would like to file a petition for adoption without the spouse joining the petition, one or several statements must be true: the person to be adopted is not the adopter’s spouse; the adopter is a step-parent of the adoptee and the biological or legal parents have given full consent to the adoption; the adopter and spouse are legally separated; or the refusal of the spouse to be a joining petitioner for any other reason is recognized as valid and excused by the court.

Adoption is a complex matter in any state, best guided by someone with experience in family court and extensive knowledge of adoption laws. Consult an adoption attorney to learn about your options and what can be expected to complete the process.

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