(a)  The agency shall complete a preplacement assessment within 90 days after the application for adoption has been approved and the request for the assessment has been received. In a case involving a single adoptive applicant, there shall be two separate face-to-face interviews occurring on two different dates. In a case involving joint applicants, there shall be a separate face-to-face interview with each applicant and an additional two face-to-face interviews with both applicants. At least one interview shall be conducted in the applicants' home. There shall be separate face-to-face interviews with each member of the household ten years of age or older. The assessment process shall be a joint effort of the adoption agency and the applicants to determine the kind of child the applicants can best parent. Any assessment that was completed 18 months or more before placement of a child occurs shall be updated to include current information about the family. Any agency updating a preplacement assessment not originally completed by that agency assumes responsibility for the entire assessment, and the new assessment shall reflect that it is the responsibility of the agency conducting the update. Physical examinations of family members shall be current to within 18 months of the assessment.

(b)  The agency shall assess the following areas and shall record the information in the adoptive applicants' record:

(1)           the applicants' reasons for wanting to adopt;

(2)           the strengths and needs of each member of the household;

(3)           the attitudes and feelings of the family, extended family, and other individuals involved with the family toward accepting adoptive children, and parenting children not born to them;

(4)           the attitudes of the applicants toward the birth parents and in regard to the reasons the child is in need of adoption;

(5)           the applicants' attitudes toward child behavior and discipline;

(6)           the applicants' plan for discussing adoption with the child;

(7)           the emotional stability and maturity of applicants;

(8)           the applicants' ability to cope with problems, stress, frustrations, crises, and loss;

(9)           the applicants' ability to give and receive affection;

(10)         the applicants' child-caring skills and willingness to acquire additional skills needed for the child's development;

(11)         the applicants' ability to provide for the child's physical and emotional needs;

(12)         whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation;

(13)         the strengths and needs of birth children or previously adopted children,

(14)         the applicant's physical and mental health, including any addiction to alcohol or drugs;

(15)         financial information provided by the applicant, including property and income;

(16)         the applicants' personal character references;

(17)         the applicant's religious orientation, if any;

(18)         the location and physical environment of the home;

(19)         the plan for child care if parents work;

(20)         recommendations for adoption in regard to the number, age, sex, characteristics, and special needs of children who could be best served by the family;

(21)         any previous request for an assessment or involvement in an adoptive placement and the outcome of the assessment or placement;

(22)         whether the individual has ever been a respondent in a domestic violence proceeding or a proceeding concerning a minor who was allegedly abused, neglected, dependent, undisciplined or delinquent, and the outcome of the proceeding or whether the individual has been found to have abused or neglected a child or has been a respondent in a juvenile court proceeding that resulted in the removal of a child or has had child protective services involvement that resulted in the removal of a child;

(23)         documentation of the results of the search of the Responsible Individual's List as defined in 10A NCAC 70A .0102 for all adult members of the household that indicates they have not had child protective services involvement resulting in a substantiation of child abuse or serious neglect;

(24)         documentation of the results of Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry Checks of states where the applicant has resided the past five years;

(25)         whether the applicant has located a parent interested in placing a child for adoption with the applicant, and a brief, non identifying description of the parent and the child;

(26)         the applicants' age, date of birth, nationality, race or ethnicity;

(27)         the applicant's marital and family status and history, including the presence of any children born to or adopted by the applicant, and any other children in the household;

(28)         the applicant's educational and employment history and any special skills; and

(29)         any additional fact or circumstance that may be relevant to a determination of the applicant's suitability to be an adoptive parent, including the quality of the home environment and the level of functioning of any children in the household.

When any of the information listed in this Paragraph is not reasonably available, the preplacement assessment shall state why the information is unavailable.

(c)  The assessment shall be prepared and typed by the agency and shall be reviewed by the agency's adoption review committee, signed and dated by an authorized agency representative when complete and final, and shall become part of the applicants' permanent record. The agency's adoption review committee shall be composed of a minimum of three members, including an agency representative in a management position in children's services, the child's social worker(s) responsible for the placement and adoption functions of the child's case, and an at-large member selected by the agency.

(d)  Once the agency has made a decision regarding the suitability of the applicant as an adoptive placement, the preplacement assessment shall include documentation of the factors which support that determination. If the agency determines that the applicant is not suitable to be an adoptive parent, the assessment shall state the specific concerns that support the determination. A specific concern is one that reasonably indicates the placement of any minor, or a particular minor, in the home of the applicant would pose a significant risk of harm to the well-being of the minor.

(e)  The agency preparing the preplacement assessment may redact from the assessment provided to the placing parent or guardian information reflecting the prospective adoptive parent's financial account balances and information about the prospective adoptive parent's extended family members, including surnames, names of employers, names of schools attended, social security numbers, telephone numbers and addresses.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 48-2-502; 48-3-303; 131D-10.5; 143B-153;

Eff. October 1, 2008;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2011; November 1, 2009;

Pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A, rule is necessary without substantive public interest Eff. October 3, 2017.