North Dakota Adoption Laws

State adoption laws establish the rules and procedures for adoption, including requirements for prospective parents. These laws set the rules for who may be adopted, who may adopt, reasons for prohibiting an adoption, the age a child's consent is needed, and more.

In addition, most states require the completion of a so-called "home residency" before the adoption is finalized, which is intended to ease the transition for all parties involved. The home residency, which usually takes about six months, also gives the adoption agency and state officials an opportunity to make sure the adoption is a good fit for all parties involved.

North Dakota Adoption Laws at a Glance

Anyone who needs a home may be adopted in North Dakota, which is standard in most states, but prospective parents must have the consent of children 10 and older in order for the adoption to go through. Most adults are eligible for adoption in the state. North Dakota also requires a six-month home residency prior to finalizing the adoption.

The following table lists additional details of adoption laws in North Dakota. See FindLaw's Adoption section for more articles and resources.

Code Section 14-15-01, et seq. Revised Uniform Adoption Act
Who May Be Adopted Any person
Age that Child's Consent Needed 10 years and older
Who May Adopt

The following individuals may adopt:

  1. A husband and wife together although one or both are minors.
  2. An unmarried adult.
  3. The unmarried father or mother of the individual to be adopted.
  4. A married individual without the other spouse joining as a petitioner, if the individual to be adopted is not the adopting person's spouse, and if:
  • The petitioner is a stepparent of the individual to be adopted and the biological or legal parent of the individual to be adopted consents;
  • The petitioner and the other spouse are legally separated; or
  • The failure of the other spouse to join in the petition or to consent to the adoption is excused by the court by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances constituting an unreasonable withholding of consent.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? 6 months
State Agency/Court Human Services/District
Statute of Limitations to Challenge 1 year

Note: State laws are subject to change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, enactment of new legislation, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a North Dakota adoption law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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