(a) An agency that prepares a report to the court may charge the petitioner a reasonable fee for preparing and writing the report. No fee may be charged except pursuant to a written fee agreement which must be signed by the parties to be charged prior to the beginning of the preparation. The fee agreement may not be based on the outcome of the report or the adoption proceeding.
(b) A fee for a report is subject to review by the court pursuant to G.S. 48-2-602 and G.S. 48-2-603.
(c) The Department shall set the maximum fees, based on ability to pay and other factors, which may be charged by county departments of social services. The Department shall require waiver of fees for those unable to pay. Fees collected under this section shall be applied to the costs of preparing and writing reports and shall be used by the county department of social services to supplement and not to supplant appropriated funds. (1995, c. 457, s. 2.)