48-3-304. Fees for preplacement assessment.

(a) An agency that prepares a preplacement assessment may charge a reasonable fee for doing so, even if the individual being assessed requests that it not be completed. No fee may be charged except pursuant to a written agreement which must be signed by the individual to be charged prior to the beginning of the assessment. The fee agreement may not be based on the outcome of the assessment or any adoption.

(b) An assessment fee is subject to review by the court pursuant to G.S. 48-2-602 and G.S. 48-2-603 if the person who is assessed files a petition to adopt.

(c) The Department shall set the maximum fees, based on the individual's 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 preplacement assessments and shall be used by the county department of social services to supplement and not to supplant appropriated funds. (1995, c. 457, s. 2.)