Pregnancy, Parenting, and Adoption Services

Catholic Charities North Dakota (CCND) has a proud tradition of placing children into permanent homes since its beginning in 1923 and is dedicated to serving adoptive parents and birthparents. We would love to assist you in building your family through adoption. Catholic Charities North Dakota specializes in five types of adoption.

Types of Adoptions: (Click on a type to find out more)

International adoption is the process in which a North Dakota family legally adopts a child from another country.  Catholic Charities North Dakota offers home study services and post-placement/post-adoption services for international adoptions.  Catholic Charities North Dakota is the only Hague Accredited Agency in the state of North Dakota offering the highest level of knowledge and competence.

Process

This is a general guide for the process of international adoption as it can vary depending on the country’s specifics related to pre and post placement requirements, travel, and finalization.

  1. Contact Catholic Charities North Dakota (CCND) to receive a packet of information regarding international adoption and/or to schedule an inquiry meeting to discuss CCND services and the process of international adoption.
  2. Choose a country you wish to adopt from:
    The Department of State website  can help to provide an overview of each country’s process and specific requirements.
    -It is very important to incorporate the child’s culture into your family. It will be beneficial to keep this in mind when selecting a country from which you would like to adopt.
  3. Chose a primary placing agency that specializes in adoptions from the country from which you would like to adopt from
  4. Contact Catholic Charities North Dakota to request an application to initiate the home study process and start to gather the required documents.  Once all required documents and the application are submitted, CCND will begin the interviews for the home study.
  5. Complete required training
  6. Complete the home study
  7. Submit the I-600A or the I-800 A – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provisional approval
  8. Submit the dossier – country approval
  9. Accept a referral for a child – wait times vary depending on country, age of child, and special needs.
  10. Travel to the country to bring your child home- number of visits and length of visits to the country vary by country requirements.
  11. Participate in post-adoption/post-placement supervision per the country’s requirements
  12. Validate or re-adopt in North Dakota

The North Dakota Domestic Infant Program assists North Dakota families wishing to adopt an infant or child under the age of two born in the state of North Dakota.

Process

  1. Contact Catholic Charities North Dakota (CCND) to receive a packet of information regarding North Dakota Domestic Infant adoption and/or to schedule an inquiry meeting to discuss CCND services and the process of adoption.
  2. Complete an adoption interest sheet to officially be added to the waiting list for an upcoming Infant Adoption training. Trainings are a full day and are scheduled when additional families are needed on the approved waiting families list.  The wait for training can vary but often exceeds one year.
  3. Complete the North Dakota Domestic Infant Adoption Training
  4. Complete the Catholic Charities North Dakota Adoption Application and gather all required documents
  5. Once all required documents and the application are received, CCND will begin the interviews for the home study.
  6. Create a family profile book for birth parents
  7. Once the home study report is completed, usually within 90 days of your first interview, your profile can be shown to birth parents who are wanting to make an adoptive placement for their child. (Birth parents come to CCND to select a family at varying stages of their pregnancy and sometimes even after the baby is born)
  8. Once you have been selected, depending on your desired level of openness, you may likely have some contact with the birth parent(s) prior to the birth of the baby.
  9. Upon the baby’s discharge from the hospital, he or she will be placed directly with your family in a legal risk placement.  Birth parents retain custody during this time, but allow for the placement into your home.
  10. In most cases, within one to three weeks after the baby is born, the birth parents’ parental rights are terminated in court and the baby and adoptive family then enters into adoptive placement.
  11. Post-Placement Supervision and Support – While the baby is in your home in both legal risk and adoptive placement, CCND social workers will visit monthly for a period of at least six months to assist with the transition of a new baby into your home.
  12. Finalization – You will hire an attorney to petition the court for the completion of the adoption. The court date is generally scheduled six months after adoptive placement.  On this date the baby is forever your legal child.

Types of Adoption Openness

Openness refers to the amount of contact and type of relationship between the birth family and the adoptive family. There is a continuum of openness in adoptions.  Your social worker will assist you in deciding the level of openness that is right for you. Catholic Charities North Dakota encourages openness as it is beneficial to the adoptive child and most birth parents request some openness in their adoption.

Semi-Closed Adoption – This is when the birth family and the adoptive family do not know each other and do not have on-going communication. Even in these situations, generally the birth parents choose the family and adoptive families know the last name of the baby at birth.

Semi-Open Adoption – This is when limited identifying information is shared between the birth family and the adoptive family and letters and updates regarding the child are shared indirectly; generally, through the adoption agency.

Open Adoption – This is when the birth parents and adoptive parents have direct contact with one another and share updates and pictures of the child directly. This can also include on-going face to face contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents.

Identified Adoption refers to the adoption process where birth parents and prospective adoptive parents connect with each other outside of an agency and wish to transfer custody of the child from the birth family to the adoptive family.  Families can begin the process of identified adoption either prior to a baby’s birth or for a child of any age.  Catholic Charities North Dakota is able to assist the prospective adoptive family with the home study process and is able to assist the birth parents with the required birth parent counseling services.

Process 

  1. Contact Catholic Charities North Dakota (CCND) to receive a packet of information regarding identified adoption and/or to schedule an inquiry meeting to discuss CCND services and the process of adoption.
  2. Complete the Catholic Charities North Dakota Adoption Application and gather all required documents
  3. Hire an attorney who is knowledgeable about identified adoptions.
  4. Once all needed documents and the application are submitted, CCND will begin the interviews for the home study. It is important to note that in an identified adoption all information, including the home study, is shared between parties.
  5. If the birth parents live in the state of North Dakota, they will need to participate in birth parent counseling. Catholic Charities North Dakota can provide birth parenting counseling services for them.
  6. Catholic Charities North Dakota can assist with the hospital experience when adopting a new baby or with the transition of a child into your home when adopting an older child.
  7. When a new baby is born, they are able to leave the hospital directly with your family with a guardianship order or temporary custody order, completed by the birth family’s attorney.
  8. In most cases, within one to three weeks after the baby is born, the birth parents’ parental rights are terminated in court and the baby and adoptive family then enters into adoptive placement.
  9. Post-Placement Supervision and Support – Following the child’s placement in your home, CCND social workers will visit monthly for a period of at least 6 months to assist with the transition of a new baby into your home.
  10. Finalization – You will hire an attorney to petition the court for the completion of the adoption. The court date is generally scheduled six months after adoptive placement. On this date the baby is forever your legal child.  (The post-placement period may vary if your child was born in another state)

Types of Adoption Openness

Openness refers to the amount of contact and type of relationship between the birth family and the adoptive family. There is a continuum of openness in adoptions.  Your social worker will assist you in deciding the level of openness that is right for you.  Catholic Charities North Dakota encourages openness as it is beneficial to the adoptive child and most birth parents request some openness in their adoption. Remember that all information is shared during the home study process in an identified adoption.

Semi-Closed Adoption – This is when the birth family and the adoptive family do not know each other and do not have ongoing communication. Even in these situations, generally the birth parents choose the family and adoptive families know the last name of the baby at birth.

Semi-Open Adoption – This is when limited identifying information is shared between the birth family and the adoptive family and letters and updates regarding the child are shared indirectly; generally, through the adoption agency.

Open Adoption – This is when the birth parents and adoptive parents have direct contact with one another and share updates and pictures of the child directly. This can also include on-going face to face contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents.

Out of State adoption is the process in which a North Dakota family legally adopts a baby who is born in another state.  Catholic Charities North Dakota offers home study services and post-placement services for out of state adoptions.

Process

This is a general guide for the process of out of state adoption. The process can vary depending on the primary placing agency or the state in which the baby is born.

  1. Contact Catholic Charities North Dakota (CCND) to receive a packet of information regarding Out of State adoption and/or to schedule an inquiry meeting to discuss CCND services and the process of out of state adoption.
  2. Chose a licensed child placing agency that specializes in out of state adoptions.  This agency will match you with prospective birth parents.  CCND does not work with adoption facilitators.
  3. Contact Catholic Charities to request an application to initiate the home study process and start to gather the required documents.  Once all required documents and the Catholic Charities North Dakota Out of State Adoption Application are submitted, CCND will begin the interviews for the home study.
  4. Complete required training.
  5. Accept a match with a prospective birth parent(s).
  6. Travel to the state to bring your child home – Families will need to wait for ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) prior to returning home to North Dakota.  This process can take up to two weeks.
  7. Participate in post-adoption supervision per the requirements of the state in which the adoption will be finalized.
  8. Hire an attorney to finalize the adoption per state law.

Types of Adoption Openness

Openness refers to the amount of contact and type of relationship between the birth family and the adoptive family. There is a continuum of openness in adoptions.  Your social worker will assist you in deciding the level of openness that is right for you. Catholic Charities North Dakota encourages openness as it is beneficial to the adoptive child and most birth parents request some openness in their adoption.

Semi-Closed Adoption – This is when the birth family and the adoptive family do not know each other and do not have ongoing communication. Even in these situations, generally the birth parents choose the family and adoptive families know the last name of the baby at birth.

Semi-Open Adoption – This is when limited identifying information is shared between the birth family and the adoptive family and letters and updates regarding the child are shared indirectly; generally, through the adoption agency.

Open Adoption – This is when the birth parents and adoptive parents have direct contact with one another and share updates and pictures of the child directly. This can also include on-going face to face contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents.

Relative adoption is a form of identified adoption where the child and the prospective adoptive parent are related.  Per North Dakota Law, family seeking to adopt their niece, nephew, brother, sister, or grandchild do not need to utilize a Licensed Child Placing Agency.  All other family relationships would need to work with a licensed child placing agency to complete an identified adoption.

Process 

  1. Contact Catholic Charities North Dakota (CCND) to receive a packet of information regarding Identified adoption and/or to schedule an inquiry meeting to discuss CCND services and the process of adoption.
  2. Complete the Catholic Charities North Dakota Adoption Application and gather all required documents.
  3. Hire an attorney who is knowledgeable about adoptions.
  4. Once all needed documents and the application are submitted, CCND will begin the interviews for the home study. It is important to note that in an identified adoption all information, including the home study, is shared between parties.
  5. If the birth parents  live in the state of North Dakota, they will need to participate in birth parent counseling. Catholic Charities North Dakota will provide birth parenting counseling services for them.
  6. Catholic Charities North Dakota can assist with the hospital experience when adopting a new baby or with the transition of a child into your home when adopting an older child.
  7. When a new baby is born, they are able to leave the hospital directly with your family with a guardianship order or temporary custody order, completed by the family’s attorney.
  8. In most cases, within one to three weeks after the baby is born, the birth parents’ parental rights are terminated in court and the baby and adoptive family then enters into adoptive placement.
  9. Post-Placement Supervision and Support – Following the child’s placement in your home, CCND social workers will visit monthly for a period of at least 6 months to assist with the transition of a new baby into your home.
  10. Finalization – You will hire an attorney to petition the court for the completion of the adoption.  The court date is generally scheduled six months after adoptive placement. On this date the baby is forever your legal child.  (The post-placement period may vary if your child was born in another state)

Types of Adoption Openness

Openness refers to the amount of contact and type of relationship between the birth family and the adoptive family. There is a continuum of openness in adoptions.  Your social worker will assist you in deciding the level of openness that is right for you.  Catholic Charities North Dakota encourages openness as it is beneficial to the adoptive child and most birth parents request some openness in their adoption. Remember that all information is shared during the home study process in an identified adoption.

Semi-Closed Adoption – This is when the birth family and the adoptive family do not know each other and do not have ongoing communication. Even in these situations, generally the birth parents choose the family and adoptive families know the last name of the baby at birth.

Semi-Open Adoption – This is when limited identifying information is shared between the birth family and the adoptive family and letters and updates regarding the child are shared indirectly; generally, through the adoption agency.

Open Adoption – This is when the birth parents and adoptive parents have direct contact with one another and share updates and pictures of the child directly. This can also include on-going face to face contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents.

Post Adoption Resources

Whether you’ve adopted from foster care, infant, domestic, or international adoption, or provide guardianship for a youth in your home, we invite you to join the ND Post Adopt Network to connect with others who are also experiencing life after adoption!

To Find Out More About Adoption

Visit with one of our friendly Social Workers to learn more about the process. To find a dedicated and professional Social Worker in your area.