Part 3. Preplacement Assessment.

§ 48‑3‑301.  Preplacement assessment required.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, placement of a minor may occur only if a written preplacement assessment:

(1) Has been completed or updated within the 18 months immediately preceding the placement; and

(2) Contains a finding that the individual who is the subject of the assessment is suitable to be an adoptive parent, either in general or for a specific minor.

(b) A preplacement assessment is not required in an independent adoption when a prospective adoptive parent is a grandparent, full or half sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great‑aunt, great‑uncle, or great‑grandparent of the minor.

(c) If a direct placement is made in violation of this section:

(1) The prospective adoptive parent shall request any preplacement assessment already commenced to be expedited, and if none has been commenced, shall obtain a preplacement assessment from an agency as authorized by G.S. 48‑1‑109; in either case, the assessment shall include the fact and date of placement;

(2) The court may not enter a decree of adoption until both a favorable preplacement assessment and a report to the court have been completed and filed, and the court may not order a report to the court for at least 30 days after the preplacement assessment has been completed; and

(3) If the person who placed the minor executes a consent before receiving a copy of the preplacement assessment, G.S. 48‑3‑608 shall determine the time within which that person may revoke. (1949, c. 300; 1957, c. 778, s. 2; 1967, c. 880, s. 2; 1987, c. 716, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 410; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 457, s. 2; 1997‑215, s. 19(a); 2015‑54, s. 7.)