State Laws and Legislation

North Dakota Adoption Law

Permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt? Yes.
North Dakota law allows for unmarried adults and a husband and wife together to petition to adopt. N.D. CENT. CODE § 14-15-03.

Permits a same-sex couple to jointly petition to adopt partner’s child or child of the relationship? No explicit prohibition.
There is no explicit prohibition, but no state court has heard the issue of whether same-sex couples can or can not jointly petition to adopt.
There is at least one documented case of a same-sex couple successfully jointly petitioning for the adoption of a child not related to them. Megan Boldt, Adoption Licensing Debated, Bismarck Trib., Jan. 22, 2003, at 2c.

Permits a same-sex partner to petition to adopt partner’s adopted child? No explicit prohibition.
There is no explicit prohibition, but no state court has heard the issue of whether a same-sex partner can or can not petition to adopt a partner’s child or child of the relationship.

Details: In 2003 the state Legislature passed a law that states: “A child-placing agency is not required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, facilitate, refer or participate in a placement that violates the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies.” This law might be used by some child-placing agencies to deny placement of a child with a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individual or same-sex couple. N.D. CENT. CODE §50-12-03.


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Updated: Mon, December 14, 2009 - 12:00:42