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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 (relative), for all purposes, including inheritance and applicability of statutes, documents, and instruments, whether executed (signed) before or after the adoption is decreed by a judge, which don't 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 isn't 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.

Power of Attorney, Guardianship & Adoption Comparison Chart

Guides for Adoption

Adoption forms aren't available through the North Dakota Legal Self Help Center.

If you decide to represent yourself in an adoption and 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.

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.

Other Resources

Following are other resources related to adoption proceedings that may be of interest.

If you don't understand any of this information, or if you have trouble filling out any of the forms located here, consult a lawyer for help.

The information provided on and obtained from this site doesn't 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's being provided "as is". The information provided may be subject to errors or omissions. Visitors to this site agree that the Court isn't 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.