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North Dakota

North Dakota

Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here to connect with an adoption professional.

International Adoptions must be completed through an accredited adoption agency or attorney. You can learn more about international adoption here.

Foster Care Adoptions in North Dakota can be completed through the Department of Human Services.

Gallery of children waiting to be adopted.

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The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.


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Can I Adopt in North Dakota?

Applicants can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent your home. While parents don’t need to be rich to foster or adopt a child, they should be financially stable enough to provide consistent care for their children. For more information, visit the Department of Human Services website.


What Adoption Regulations Exist in North Dakota?

Advertising: No facility licensed to provide foster care shall advertise children available for adoption without obtaining a license first. Hospitals may inform unmarried mothers of child placing agencies licenses by the Department of Human services. Parents may not advertise that they know a child to be placed for adoption, are available to receive a child for adoption, or that they know of prospective adoptive parents for the child without being licensed by the Department of Human Services. § 23-16-08; 50-11-06; 50-19-11; 50-12-17


Relinquishment: Consent may be executed at any time after the birth of the child. Consent cannot be revoked after the final adoption decree. Before the final adoption decree courts can revoke consent if they find that withdraw is in the child’s best interest. § 14-15-07; 14-15-08


Birth parent expenses: Adoptive parents may cover the following adoption related expenses: medical, hospital, prenatal care not already covered by insurance; transportation, meals, and lodging in connection with child placement; and living expenses. No payment shall extend past 6 weeks after birth unless approved by the court. § 14-15-10; 14-15.1-06


Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements in ND are not legally enforceable.


Birth father rights: While no paternity registry exists, a mother and unmarried father may sign an acknowledgement of paternity with the intent to establish the man’s paternity. § 14-20-11; 14-20-12; 14-20-50


Finalization: Out of 94 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 13.2 months (acf.hhs.gov)



Review North Dakota adoption laws in detail.


Is Adoption Assistance Available in North Dakota?

Many of the children waiting to be adopted in North Dakota have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In North Dakota, the maximum monthly amount ranges from $752-946. Specialized rates are available for children with exceptional needs. For more information visit NACAC.org.


Can I adopt a Child from another country?

It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.


Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.

Readoption in ND is an option but not a requirement. Parents wishing to receive a State birth certificate must submit to the court a readoption or validation of a foreign adoption.


State Contacts


Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates


State subsidy contact person:

Julie Hoffman

Department of Human Services

Children and Family Services

600 East Boulevard Avenue

Bismarck, ND 58505

Phone: 701-328-4805

Fax: 701-328-3538

Email: sohofj@nd.gov

Website: www.state.nd.us/humanservices/services/childfamily/adoption



Adoptions in North Dakota can be completed through the Department of Human Services. Every adoption agency and every state have different licensing requirements. Generally, applicants can be single, married, or divorced; you can own or rent a home; you must complete a home study when applying to adopt a child.  


In North Dakota, only licensed agencies and individuals can advertise for adoption services. Consent to adoption can be given any time after birth and revoked any time before the final adoption decree. Adoptive parents may help pay adoption related birth, hospital, medical, and living expenses of the birth parents.


Post-adoption contact agreements are not legally enforceable in ND. While no paternity registry exists in North Dakota, unmarried parents may sign an acknowledgement of paternity in order to establish the man’s paternity.

Adoption assistance is available for children with special needs. Hoping to adopt a child abroad? Contact licensed international adoption agencies and attorneys.

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