When children are not able to return to their parents, adoption gives children in need of a loving family a permanent home. Adoption is the legal and social process by which a child born to one set of parents becomes the child of another parent or set of parents. The adoptive parents then assume all of the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of the birth parents, just as if the child had been born to them.


Guidelines relating to adoptive applicants include:

  • An agency application must be completed and a home study will be conducted and reviewed by an adoption committee
  • The child shall be given the opportunity for religious or spiritual and ethical development
  • A fingerprint check will be completed on each applicant
  • If married, you must have been married for at least one year. Single people are also eligible
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must have sufficient income to provide reasonable economic support
  • Physical and emotional capacities will be considered in determining whether age is a deterrent to placement

Foster / Adopt Inquiry Process

You can print the attached Foster / Adoptive Parent Inquiry Form (PDF) and mail it to:
Attention: Foster / Adoptive Home Licensing Staff
Orange County DSS
113 Mayo Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Inquiry Forms are also available at any Orange County DSS location. You can complete these forms at either Department of Social Services office if that is more convenient and they will be routed to the licensing staff. After your form is received in the Licensing Unit you will be contacted by a licensing social worker to inform you of the next orientation meeting. Thank you for your interest!