Adoption is a civil court process in North Dakota state district court that creates the relationship of parent and child between the individual petitioning to adopt and the adopted individual.
The adopted individual is considered a legitimate blood descendant, for all purposes, including inheritance and applicability of statutes, documents, and instruments, whether executed before or after the adoption is decreed, which do not expressly exclude an adopted individual from their operation or effect.
Any individual may be adopted. This includes both adults and minors.
- Adults are 18 years of age and older.
- Minors are under 18 years of age.
The following individuals may adopt:
- A husband and wife together, even when one or both are minors.
- An unmarried adult.
- The unmarried father or mother of the individual to be adopted.
- A married individual without the other spouse joining as a petitioner, if the individual to be adopted is not the adopting person's spouse, and if:
- The petitioner is a step-parent of the individual to be adopted and the biological or legal parent of the individual to be adopted consents;
- The petitioner and the other spouse are legally separated; or
- The failure of the other spouse to join in the petition or to consent to the adoption is excused by the court.
Guides for Adoption
Forms are not available for every legal issue or circumstance. If you do not find the form on this website, the form is not available through the North Dakota Legal Self Help Center.
You may need to create legal documents yourself. The General-Use forms in the District Court Civil Action Section of this website may be used as a starting point for creating your own legal documents.
Adoption Research Guide:
Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules
Following are legal research starting points related to adoption. You may need to conduct additional legal research into your legal issue. See the Legal Research Section of this website.
- Chapter 14-13 of the North Dakota Century Code
- Chapter 14-15 of the North Dakota Century Code
- Chapter 14-15.1 of the North Dakota Century Code
- The North Dakota Rules of Civil Procedure
- The North Dakota Rules of Court
- The North Dakota Rules of Evidence
Following are other resources related to adoption proceedings that may be of interest.
- Service Instructions and Forms
- Filing Fee Waiver Request
- North Dakota Department of Human Service Adoption Program
- North Dakota Department of Health Report of Adoption Form
If you do not understand any of this information, or if you have trouble filling out any of the forms located here, please see an attorney for help.
The information provided on and obtained from this site does not constitute the official record of the Court. This information is provided as a service to the general public. Any user of this information is hereby advised that it is being provided "as is". The information provided may be subject to errors or omissions. Visitors to this site agree that the Court is not liable for errors or omissions of any of the information provided.
If you have a question relating to a case that is already filed please contact the clerk of court for the county.