Part 4. Notice of Pendency of Proceedings.
§ 48‑2‑401. Notice by petitioner.
(a) No later than 30 days after a petition for adoption is filed pursuant to Part 3 of this Article, the petitioner shall serve notice of the filing on the persons required to receive notice under subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this section.
(b) In all adoptions, the petitioner shall serve notice of the filing on each of the following:
(1) Any individual whose consent to the adoption is required but has not been obtained, has been revoked in accord with this Chapter, or has become void as provided in this Chapter.
(2) The spouse of the petitioner if that spouse is required to join in the petition and petitioner is requesting that the joinder requirement be waived, provided the court for cause may waive this notice requirement.
(3) Any individual who has executed a consent or relinquishment, but who the petitioner has actually been informed has filed an action to set it aside for fraud or duress.
(4) Any other person designated by the court who can provide information relevant to the proposed adoption.
(c) In the adoption of a minor, the petitioner shall also serve notice of the filing on each of the following:
(1) A minor whose consent is dispensed with under G.S. 48‑3‑603(b)(2).
(2) Any agency that placed the adoptee.
(3) A man who to the actual knowledge of the petitioner claims to be or is named as the biological or possible biological father of the minor, and any biological or possible biological fathers who are unknown or whose whereabouts are unknown, but notice need not be served upon a man who has executed a consent, a relinquishment, or a notarized statement denying paternity or disclaiming any interest in the minor, a man whose parental rights have been legally terminated or who has been judicially determined not to be the minor's parent, or, provided the petition is filed within three months of the birth of the minor, a man whose consent to the adoption has been determined not to be required under G.S. 48‑2‑206.
(4) Any individual who the petitioner has been actually informed has legal or physical custody of the minor or who has a right of visitation or communication with the minor under an existing court order issued by a court in this State or another state.
(d) In the adoption of an adult, the petitioner shall also serve notice of the filing on any adult children of the prospective adoptive parent and any parent, spouse, or adult child of the adoptee who are listed in the petition to adopt; provided the court for cause may waive the requirement of notice to a parent of an adult adoptee.
(e) Only those persons identified in subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this section are entitled to notice of the proceeding.
(f) A notice required under this section must state that the person served must file a response to the petition within 30 days after service in order to participate in and to receive further notice of the proceeding, including notice of the time and place of any hearing. (1949, c. 300; 1957, c. 778, s. 5; 1969, c. 911, s. 6; 1971, c. 1093, s. 13; 1973, c. 1354, s. 5; 1983, c. 30; c. 454, ss. 2, 6; 1995, c. 457, s. 2; 1997‑215, s. 2; 2001‑208, s. 12; 2001‑487, s. 101; 2005‑166, s. 5.)
§ 48‑2‑402. Manner of service.
(a) Service of the notice required under G.S. 48‑2‑401 must be made as provided by G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 4, for service of process.
(b) In the event that the identity of a biological or possible biological parent cannot be ascertained and notice is required, the parent or possible parent shall be served by publication pursuant to G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 4 (j1). The time for response shall be the time provided in the rule. The words "In re Doe" may be substituted for the title of the action in the notice as long as the notice contains the correct docket number. The notice shall be directed to "the unknown father [or mother] of" the adoptee, and the adoptee shall be described by sex, date of birth, and place of birth. The notice shall contain any information known to the petitioner that would allow an unknown parent or possible parent to identify himself or herself as the individual being addressed, such as the approximate date and place of conception, any name by which the other biological parent was known to the unknown parent or possible parent, and any fact about the unknown parent or possible parent known to or believed by the other biological parent. The notice shall also state that any parental rights the unknown parent or possible parent may have will be terminated upon entry of the order of adoption.
(c) In an agency placement under Article 3 of this Chapter, the agency or other proper person shall file a petition to terminate the parental rights of an unknown parent or possible parent instead of serving notice under subsection (b) of this section, and the court shall stay any adoption proceeding already filed, except that nothing in this subsection shall require that the agency or other proper person file a petition to terminate the parental rights of any known or possible parent who has been served notice as provided under G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 4(j)(1) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. (1949, c. 300; 1957, c. 778, s. 5; 1969, c. 911, s. 6; 1971, c. 1093, s. 13; 1973, c. 1354, s. 5; 1983, c. 30; c. 454, ss. 2, 6; 1995, c. 457, s. 2; 2001‑150, s. 4.)