Before an adoption can take place, there are specific state qualifications concerning adoption consent that must be met. To help you navigate the laws that determine which persons consent is or isn’t considered in an adoption, we’ve provided a list of laws according to each state, courtesy of Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Who Must Consent to an Adoption by State

Alabama
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Alabama:
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-7; 26-10A-8
Consent shall be required of the following:
  • The mother
  • The presumed father, regardless of paternity, if:
    • He and the child’s mother are or have been married to each other and the child was born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage was terminated
    • Before the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother attempted to marry each other
    • After the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother married or attempted to marry each other, and with his knowledge or consent, he was named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate, he is obligated to support the child, or he received the child into his home and openly held out the child as his own child.
  • The agency to which the child has been relinquished or holds permanent custody and has placed the adoptee for adoption
  • The putative father, if made known by the mother or is otherwise made known to the court, provided he complies with § 26‑10C‑1 and responds to notice within 30 days
Prior to a minor parent giving consent, a guardian ad litem must be appointed to represent the interests of a minor parent whose consent is required.
A minor father may give implied consent by his actions. If a court finds by conclusive evidence that a minor father has given implied consent to the adoption, notice and the appointment of a guardian ad litem shall not be necessary.
A petition to adopt an adult may be granted only if written consent to adopt has been executed by the adult seeking to adopt and his or her spouse or by the guardian or conservator of the adult adoptee pursuant to the requirements of §§ 26‑10A‑6 and 26‑10A‑11
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Alabama:
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10A-7
A child age 14 or older must consent to the adoption, except where the court finds that the child does not have the mental capacity to consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Alabama:
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-9; 26-10A-10
A required consent or relinquishment may be implied by any of the following acts of a parent:
  • Abandonment of the child, including, but not limited to, the failure of the father, with reasonable knowledge of the pregnancy, to offer financial and/or emotional support for a period of 6 months prior to the birth
  • Leaving the child without provision for his or her identification for a period of 30 days
  • Knowingly leaving the adoptee with others without provision for support and without communication, or not otherwise maintaining a significant parental relationship with the child for a period of 6 months
  • Receiving notice of the adoption proceedings and failing to answer or otherwise respond to the petition within 30 days
  • Failing to comply with § 26‑10C‑1
The consent or relinquishment of the following persons shall not be required for an adoption:
  • A parent whose rights with reference to the child have been terminated
  • A parent who has been adjudged incompetent or mentally incapable of consenting or relinquishing and whose mental disability is likely to continue for so long a period that it would be detrimental to the child to delay adoption until restoration of the parent’s competency or capacity
  • A parent who has relinquished his or her minor child to the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child‑placing agency for an adoption
  • A deceased parent or one who is presumed to be deceased
  • An alleged father who has signed a written statement denying paternity
  • The natural father when the natural mother indicates the natural father is unknown, unless the natural father is otherwise made known to the court
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Alabama:
Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10A-13
A consent or relinquishment may be taken at any time, except that once signed or confirmed, it may be withdrawn within 5 days after birth or within 5 days after signing of the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Alabama:
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-11; 26-10A-12
A consent or relinquishment shall be in writing, signed by the person consenting or relinquishing, and shall state that the person executing the document is voluntarily and unequivocally consenting to the adoption of the named child.
A consent of the natural mother taken prior to the birth of a child shall be signed or confirmed before a judge of probate. At the time of taking the consent the judge shall explain to the consenting parent the legal effect of signing the document and the time limits and procedures for withdrawal of the consent and shall provide the parent with a form for withdrawing the consent in accordance with the requirements of §§ 26‑10A‑13 and 26‑10A‑14.
All other prebirth or postbirth consents or relinquishments shall be signed or confirmed before:
  • A judge or clerk of any court that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings, or a public officer appointed by that judge for the purpose of taking consents
  • A person appointed to take consents who is appointed by any agency that is authorized to conduct investigations or home studies, or, if the consent is taken out of State, by a person appointed to take consents by any agency that is authorized by that State’s law to conduct investigations and home studies for adoptions
  • A notary public
A form for the consent or relinquishment or the withdrawal of the consent or relinquishment is provided in statute.
The form for the consent or relinquishment or the withdrawal of consent or relinquishment for the adoption of an adult shall be developed by the Administrative Office of Courts.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Alabama:
Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-10A-9; 26-10A-13; 26-10-14
Implied consent due to abandonment may not be withdrawn by any person.
The consent or relinquishment, once signed or confirmed, may not be withdrawn except:
  • If the court finds that the withdrawal is reasonable under the circumstances and consistent with the best interests of the child within 14 days after the birth of the child or within 14 days after signing of the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last
  • At any time until the final decree upon a showing that the consent or relinquishment was obtained by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence on the part of a petitioner or his agent or the agency to whom or for whose benefit it was given
    • After 1 year from the date of final decree of adoption is entered, a consent or relinquishment may not be challenged on any ground, except in cases where the adoptee has been kidnapped
  • Upon dismissal of the adoption after a contested hearing as provided in § 26‑10A‑24
Alaska
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Alaska:
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.040
A petition to adopt a minor may be granted only if written consent to a particular adoption has been executed by:
  • The mother of the minor
  • The father of the minor, if the father was married to the mother at the time the minor was conceived or at any time after conception, the minor is the father’s child by adoption, or the father has otherwise legitimated the minor
  • Any person lawfully entitled to custody of the minor or empowered to consent
  • The court having jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor, if the legal guardian or custodian of the person of the minor is not empowered to consent to the adoption
  • The spouse of the minor to be adopted
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Alaska:
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.040
A child age 10 or older must consent to the adoption, unless, in the child’s best interests, the court dispenses with consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Alaska:
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.050
Consent to adoption is not required of:
  • A parent who has abandoned a child for a period of at least 6 months
  • A parent of a child in the custody of another, if the parent for a period of at least 1 year has failed significantly without justifiable cause, including but not limited to indigency:
    • To communicate meaningfully with the child
    • To provide for the care and support of the child as required by law or judicial decree
  • The father, if the father’s consent is not required by § 25.23.040(a)(2)
  • A parent who has relinquished the right to consent
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by order of the court
  • A parent judicially declared incompetent or mentally defective if the court dispenses with the parent’s consent
  • A parent of the adoptee if the adoptee is age 18 or older
  • A guardian or custodian who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent for a period of 60 days or who, after examination of the guardian’s or custodian’s written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably
  • The spouse of the adoptee, if the requirement of consent to the adoption is waived by the court by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances constituting an unreasonable withholding of consent
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Alaska:
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.060
The required consent to adoption shall be executed at any time after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Alaska:
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.060
The required consent to adoption shall be executed in the presence of the court or a person authorized to take acknowledgments. The consent is not valid unless the consent form states that the person consenting to the adoption has the right to withdraw that consent as provided in § 25.23.070(b) and unless the person consenting to the adoption acknowledges receipt of a copy of the consent form.
The person giving consent shall state in the consent form whether the child is a member of an Indian Tribe or the biological child of a member of an Indian Tribe, so that the court may determine whether the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 apply.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Alaska:
Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.070
A consent to adoption may not be withdrawn after the entry of a decree of adoption.
A consent to adoption may be withdrawn before the entry of a decree of adoption, within 10 days after the consent is given, by delivering written notice to the person obtaining the consent. Consent may be withdrawn after the 10‑day period, if the court finds, after notice and opportunity to be heard is afforded to the petitioner, the person seeking the withdrawal, and the agency placing the child for adoption, that the withdrawal is in the best interests of the person to be adopted, and the court orders the withdrawal.
American Samoa
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in American Samoa:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 45.0412(a); 45.0414(a)
Written consent must be executed by:
  • The parent(s)
  • A guardian appointed by the court
  • The Department of Health or a child‑placing agency
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in American Samoa:
Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0412(b)
Written consent to any proposed adoption shall be obtained from the adoptee if he or she is age 12 or older.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in American Samoa:
Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0401
Consent of the parent is not required when a court has terminated the parents’ rights upon determination that the child has been neglected.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in American Samoa:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in American Samoa:
Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0412(a)
Unless the placement is made by the court or in accordance with the law of another State or territory, written consent of the Department of Health, agency, or individual to the proposed adoption shall be filed with the petition to adopt.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in American Samoa:
Citation: Ann. Code § 45.0431
The final decree of adoption may not be attacked by reason of any jurisdictional or procedural defect after 2 years following the entry of the final decree.
Arizona
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Arizona:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106(A), (C)
The court shall not grant an adoption of a child unless consent to adopt has been obtained and filed with the court from the following:
  • The birth or adoptive mother
  • The father if he:
    • Was married to the mother at the time of conception
    • Is the adoptive father
    • Has otherwise established paternity
  • Any guardian of the child or agency that has been given the child to place for adoption
  • The guardian of an adult parent if one has been appointed
Minority of the parent does not affect competency to consent.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Arizona:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106(A)
A child age 12 or older must consent to the adoption in open court.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Arizona:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106(B), (J)
It is not necessary for a person to obtain consent to adopt from the following:
  • An adult parent for whom a guardian is currently appointed
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by court order
  • A parent who has previously consented to an agency’s or the division’s placement of the child for adoption
A potential father who fails to file a paternity action and who does not comply with all applicable service requirements within 30 days after completion of service of notice waives his right to be notified of any judicial hearing regarding the child’s adoption or the termination of parental rights, and his consent to the adoption or termination is not required.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Arizona:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-107(B)
Any consent given sooner than 72 hours after the birth of the child is invalid.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Arizona:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-107(A), (D), (G)
All consents to adoption shall be in writing and signed by the person giving the consent and witnessed by two or more credible witnesses who are at least age 18 and who subscribe their names in the presence of the person giving the consent or shall be acknowledged by the person giving consent before a notary public.
The consent shall designate either of the following:
  • An agency or the division as authorized by the party giving the consent to place the child for adoption
  • The particular person or persons authorized to adopt the child by the person giving the consent
A consent other than to any agency or the division that does not designate a particular person or persons, or that purports to permit a third person to locate or nominate an adoptive parent, is invalid.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Arizona:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 8-106(D)
Consent is irrevocable unless obtained by fraud, duress, or undue influence.
Arkansas
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Arkansas:
Citation: Ann. Code § 9-9-206
A petition to adopt a minor may be granted only if written consent to a particular adoption has been executed by:
  • The mother
  • The father if he was married to the mother at the time the minor was conceived or at any time thereafter, the minor is his child by adoption, he has custody of the minor at the time the petition is filed, he has a written order granting him legal custody of the minor at the time the petition for adoption is filed, or he proves that a significant custodial, personal, or financial relationship existed with the minor before the petition for adoption is filed
  • Any person lawfully entitled to custody of the minor or empowered to consent
  • The court having jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor, if the legal guardian or custodian of the person of the minor is not empowered to consent to the adoption
  • The spouse of the minor to be adopted
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Arkansas:
Citation: Ann. Code § 9-9-206
A child age 10 or older must consent to the adoption, unless, in the child’s best interests, the court dispenses with Consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Arkansas:
Citation: Ann. Code § 9-9-207
Consent to adoption is not required of:
  • A parent who has deserted a child without affording means of identification or who has abandoned a child
  • A parent of a child in the custody of another, if the parent has failed significantly without justifiable cause to communicate with the child or to provide for the care and support of the child for at least 1 year
  • The father of a minor if the father’s consent is not required by § 9‑9‑206(a)(2)
  • A parent who has relinquished the right to consent or whose rights have been terminated
  • A parent judicially declared incompetent or mentally defective if the court dispenses with the parent’s consent
  • Any parent of the adoptee if the adoptee is an adult
  • Any legal guardian or custodian of the adoptee, other than a parent, who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent for a period of 60 days or who is found by the court to be withholding his or her consent unreasonably
  • The spouse of the adoptee, if the failure of the spouse to consent is excused by the court by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances constituting an unreasonable withholding of consent
  • A putative father of a minor who signed an acknowledgment of paternity or is listed on the Putative Father Registry but who failed to establish a significant custodial, personal, or financial relationship with the juvenile prior to the time the petition for adoption is filed
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Arkansas:
Citation: Ann. Code § 9-9-208
Consent to adoption shall be executed any time after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Arkansas:
Citation: Ann. Code § 9-9-208
The required consent to adoption shall be executed in the following manner:
  • If by the adoptee, in the presence of the court
  • If by an agency, by the executive head or other authorized representative, in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by any other person, in the presence of the court or in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by a court, by appropriate order or certificate
A consent that does not identify the adopting parent is valid if the consent contains a statement by the person giving consent that the person voluntarily executed the consent irrespective of disclosure of the name or other identification of the adopting parent.
If the parent is a minor, the writing shall be signed by a court‑ordered guardian ad litem who has been appointed by a judge of a court of record to appear on behalf of the minor parent for the purpose of executing consent. The signing shall be made in the presence of an authorized representative of the Arkansas licensed placement agency taking custody of the child, in the presence of a notary public, or in the presence and with the approval of a judge of a court of record of this State or any other State in which the minor was present at the time it was signed.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Arkansas:
Citation: Ann. Code § 9-9-209
A consent to adoption cannot be withdrawn after the entry of a decree of adoption.
A consent to adopt may be withdrawn within 10 calendar days after it is signed or the child is born, whichever is later, by filing an affidavit with the probate clerk of the circuit court in the county designated by the consent as the county in which the guardianship petition will be filed, if there is a guardianship, or where the petition for adoption will be filed, if there is no guardianship. If the 10‑day period ends on a weekend or a legal holiday, the person may file the affidavit the next working day. No fee shall be charged for the filing of the affidavit.
The court may waive the 10‑day period for filing a withdrawal of consent for agencies, minors over age 10 who consented to the adoption, or biological parents if a stepparent is adopting.
California
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in California:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 8603; 8604; 8605
Consent is required from the following persons:
  • The birth parents, if living
  • The parent having custody if the other parent:
    • Fails to communicate with and support the child
    • Fails to respond to notice of adoption
  • The spouse of the adopting parent, if the adopting parent is married
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in California:
Citation: Fam. Code § 8602
A child age 12 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in California:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 8604; 8606
The consent of a presumed father is not required for the child’s adoption unless he became a presumed father before the mother’s relinquishment, before consent becomes irrevocable, or before the mother’s parental rights have been terminated.
The consent of a noncustodial parent is not required if the parent for a period of 1 year willfully fails to communicate with and to pay for the care, support, and education of the child when able to do so.
The consent of a birth parent is not necessary when the birth parent has:
  • Been judicially deprived of the custody and control of the child
  • Voluntarily surrendered the right to the custody and control of the child
  • Deserted the child without provision for identification of the child
  • Relinquished the child for adoption as provided in § 8700
  • Relinquished the child for adoption to a licensed or authorized child‑placing agency in another jurisdiction
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in California:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 8801.3; 8700
In a direct placement, consent may only take place after the discharge of the birth mother from the hospital. If the mother is required to be hospitalized longer than the child, consent may be given with verification of competency from her physician.
Relinquishment to an agency can take place any time after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in California:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 8801.3; 8814; 8700; 8606.5
In a direct placement, consent must take place in the presence of an Adoption Service Provider or other delegated agent who has advised the parents of their rights.
In an agency adoption, a form is signed before two witnesses and acknowledged before an official of the agency.
Consent to adoption given by an Indian child’s parent is not valid unless both of the following occur:
  • The consent is executed in writing at least 10 days after the child’s birth and recorded before a judge.
  • The judge certifies that the terms and consequences of the consent were fully explained in detail in English and were fully understood by the parent or that they were interpreted into a language that the parent understood.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in California:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 8814.5; 8700; 8606.5
In a direct placement, after consent has been given, the parents have 30 days to submit a signed revocation and request the return of the child or sign a waiver of the right to revoke consent.
In an agency adoption, consent is final and may only be rescinded by mutual consent unless the birth parent has specified an adoptive parent and that placement is not finalized; then the parent has 30 days to rescind.
In an agency adoption, consent is final and may only be rescinded by mutual consent unless the birth parent has specified an adoptive parent and that placement is not finalized; then the parent has 30 days to rescind.
After the entry of a final decree of adoption of an Indian child, the child’s parent may withdraw consent to the adoption upon the grounds that consent was obtained through fraud or duress and may petition the court to vacate such decree.
Upon a finding that such consent was obtained through fraud or duress, the court shall vacate that decree and return the child to the parent; however, no adoption that has been effective for at least 2 years may be invalidated unless otherwise permitted under State law.
Colorado
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Colorado:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-5-207
When a child is placed for adoption by a county department of social services, a licensed child‑placing agency, or an individual, that department, agency, or individual shall file with the petition to adopt its written and verified consent to that adoption.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Colorado:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-103; 19-5-203
Written consent to any proposed adoption shall be obtained from the person to be adopted if that person is age 12 or older. Children must undergo counseling.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Colorado:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-203; 19-3-604
Consent is not required when:
  • The parent’s rights have been terminated due to the parent’s unfitness, as outlined in § 19‑3‑604.
  • The parent has failed to provide support or has abandoned the child for 1 year.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Colorado:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 19-5-104; 19-5-203
Consent may be executed any time after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Colorado:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-5-103
Any parent desiring to relinquish his or her child shall:
  • Obtain counseling for himself or herself and the child from a county department of social services or from a licensed child‑placing agency
  • Petition the juvenile court upon a standardized form providing the name of both natural parents, if known; the name of the child, if named; the ages of all parties concerned; and the reasons relinquishment is desired
The petition shall be accompanied by a standardized affidavit of relinquishment counseling that includes:
  • A statement indicating the nature and extent of counseling furnished to the petitioner, if any, and the recommendations of the counselor
  • A copy of the original birth certificate
  • A statement disclosing any and all payments, gifts, assistance, goods, or services received, promised, or offered to the relinquishing parent in connection with the pregnancy, birth, or proposed relinquishment of the child and the source or sources of such payments, gifts, assistance, goods, or services
The petition for relinquishment also shall include:
  • A statement indicating whether the child is an Indian child
  • The identity of the Indian child’s Tribe, if the child is identified as an Indian child
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Colorado:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-5-104(7)(a)
A relinquishment may be revoked only if, within 90 days after the entry of the relinquishment order, the relinquishing parent establishes by clear and convincing evidence that such relinquishment was obtained by fraud or duress.
Connecticut
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Connecticut:
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 45a-724; 45a-715
The following persons may give a child in adoption:
  • A statutory parent
  • Any parent of a minor child who agrees in writing with his or her spouse that the spouse shall adopt or join in the adoption of the child if that parent is:
    • The surviving parent if the other parent has died
    • The mother of a child born out of wedlock, provided that there is a putative father who has been notified and the rights of the putative father have been terminated
    • A former single person who adopted a child and thereafter married
    • The sole guardian of the child, if the parental rights, if any, of any person other than the parties to that agreement have been terminated
  • Any parent of a minor child who agrees in writing with the other person who shares parental responsibility for the child that the other person shall adopt or join in the adoption of the child, if the parental rights, if any, of any other person other than the parties to that agreement have been terminated
  • For any minor child who is free for adoption, the child’s guardian who agrees in writing with a relative that the relative shall adopt the child
A parent who is a minor shall have the right to consent to termination of parental rights, and that consent shall not be voidable by reason of that minority. A guardian ad litem shall be appointed by the court to assure that the minor parent is giving an informed and voluntary consent.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Connecticut:
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 45a-724
A child age 12 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Connecticut:
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 45a-717(g)
Consent of the parent is not needed if parental rights have been involuntarily terminated because the parent has:
  • Abandoned the child by failing to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern, or responsibility for the welfare of the child
  • Subjected the child to sexual molestation and exploitation, severe physical abuse, or a pattern of abuse
  • Failed to establish an ongoing parent‑child relationship with the child
  • Been found by the court to have neglected the child in a prior proceeding, or whose child has been in the custody of the commissioner for at least 15 months and has failed to achieve such degree of personal rehabilitation as would encourage the belief that, within a reasonable time, considering the age and needs of the child, the parent could assume a responsible position in the life of the child
  • Had his or her parental rights in regard to another child previously terminated
  • Killed through a deliberate, nonaccidental act another child of the parent or has requested, commanded, importuned, attempted, conspired, or solicited such killing or has committed an assault, through a deliberate, nonaccidental act that resulted in serious bodily injury of another child of the parent
  • Been convicted as an adult or a delinquent by a court of competent jurisdiction of sexual assault resulting in the conception of a child
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Connecticut:
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 45a-715(d)
No consent to termination by a mother shall be executed within 48 hours immediately after the birth of her child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Connecticut:
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 45a-715(e)-(f); 45a-717(f)
Consent to adoption is made by a petition for voluntary termination of parental rights. The petition shall be filed in the court of probate for the district in which the petitioner or the child resides or, in the case of a minor who is under the guardianship of any child care facility or child‑placing agency, in the court of probate for the district in which the main office or any local office of the agency is located. If the petition is filed with respect to a child born out of wedlock, the petition shall state whether there is a putative father to whom notice shall be given.
If any petitioner is a minor, the guardian ad litem must approve the petition in writing, before action by the court.
The court may approve a petition for termination of parental rights based on consent filed pursuant to this section terminating the parental rights and may appoint a guardian of the person of the child. If the petitioner requests, the court may appoint a statutory parent, if it finds, upon clear and convincing evidence, that the termination is in the best interests of the child and the parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented to termination of the parent’s parental rights with respect to the child.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Connecticut:
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 45a-719
The court may grant a motion to open or set aside a judgment terminating parental rights or may grant a petition for a new trial on the issue of the termination of parental rights, provided the court shall consider the best interests of the child. No such motion or petition may be granted if a final decree of adoption has been issued prior to the filing of any such motion or petition.
Delaware
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Delaware:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13 §§ 908
The consent to the adoption shall be granted by the department or by the licensed or authorized agency in whom the parental rights are vested.
In the case of an adoption by a stepparent or blood relative, the consent to the adoption shall be granted by the mother of the child and the birth father and any presumed father of the child.
If the individual with the right to consent is under age 18, this fact shall not be a bar to the giving of consent nor render the consent invalid.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Delaware:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13 § 907
A child age 14 or older must provide written consent unless the court finds it in the child’s best interests to waive consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Delaware:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13 § 1103(a)
The parent’s consent is not required when his or her parental rights have been involuntarily terminated, it appears to be in the child’s best interests, and one or more of the following grounds exist:
  • The parent has abandoned the child.
  • The parent is unable to discharge parental duties due to mental incompetence.
  • The parent has been convicted of a felony in which a child has been harmed or endangered.
  • The parent is unable or has failed to plan adequately for the child’s needs.
  • Parental rights over a sibling of the child have been involuntarily terminated.
  • The parent has subjected a child to torture, chronic abuse, sexual abuse, and/or life threatening abuse.
  • A child has suffered unexplained serious physical injury, near death, or death that resulted from the intentional or reckless conduct or willful neglect of the parent.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Delaware:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13 § 1106(c)
A mother whose consent to the termination of parental rights is required may execute a consent only after the child is born. Consent by the father or presumed father may be executed either before or after the child is born.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Delaware:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13 §§ 907; 1106(c)
A petition for adoption shall contain a consent to the proposed adoption. The consent shall be in writing, notarized, and attached to the petition as an exhibit. If consent is obtained or given outside this State, it must be executed in accordance with this section and § 908 of this title.
A consent executed by a parent or guardian must be signed or confirmed in the presence of:
  • A judge of a court of record
  • An individual designated by a judge to take consents
  • An employee designated by an agency to take consents
  • A lawyer other than a lawyer who is representing an adoptive parent or the agency to which parental rights will be transferred
  • A commissioned officer on active duty in the military service of the United States, if the individual executing the consent is in military service
  • An officer of the foreign service or a consular officer of the United States in another country, if the individual executing the consent is in that country
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Delaware:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13 § 909
In any case in which consent has been given in accordance with the provisions of § 907 of this title, and the person, department, licensed agency, authorized agency, or child over age 14 giving the consent desires to withdraw the consent, he or she shall file, within 60 days from the date of the filing of the adoption petition containing the consent, a petition asking the court to revoke his or her consent and dismiss the adoption petition. The family court shall refer the petition to revoke and dismiss to the department or licensed agency, and the department or licensed agency shall, within 30 days, make a formal report to the court. Promptly upon receipt of the report, the court shall rule upon the petition.
District of Colombia
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in District of Colombia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 16-304
Consent to a proposed adoption of a person under age 18 is necessary from:
  • Both parents, if they are both alive
  • The living parent, if one of the parents is dead
  • The court‑appointed guardian of the prospective adoptee
  • A licensed child‑placing agency or the Mayor, if the parental rights of the parent or parents have been terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction or by a release of parental rights to the Mayor or licensed child‑placing agency
  • The Mayor, in any situation not otherwise provided for by this subsection
Minority of a natural parent is not a bar to that parent’s consent to adoption.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in District of Colombia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 16-304
Consent to a proposed adoption is necessary from the prospective adoptee if he or she is age 14 or older.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in District of Colombia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 16-304
When a parent whose consent is required, after such notice as the court directs, cannot be located, or has abandoned the prospective adoptee and voluntarily failed to contribute to his or her support for a period of at least 6 months next preceding the date of the filing of the petition, the consent of that parent is not required.
The court may grant a petition for adoption without any of the consents specified above when the court finds, after a hearing, that the consent or consents are withheld contrary to the best interests of the child.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in District of Colombia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 4-1406(b)
No relinquishment of parental rights shall be made within the first 72 hours after birth. Prior to any relinquishment, the licensed child‑placing agency shall provide counseling, from a professional social worker, to the relinquishing parent regarding the alternative services available in addition to psychological and emotional counseling for both the parent and the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in District of Colombia:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 16-304(a); 4-1406(f)
A petition for adoption may not be granted by the court unless there is filed with the petition a written statement of consent, signed and acknowledged before an officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments, a representative of a licensed child‑placing agency, or the Mayor, or unless a relinquishment of parental rights with respect to the prospective adoptee has been recorded and filed as provided by § 4‑1406.
Except in proceedings for adoption, no parent may voluntarily assign or otherwise transfer to another his or her rights and duties with respect to the permanent care and control of a child under age 16, unless such relinquishment of parental rights is made to a licensed child‑placing agency. Such relinquishment of parental rights shall be a statement in writing signed by the person relinquishing such parental rights who shall subscribe his or her name thereto and acknowledge the same before a representative of the licensed child‑placing agency in the presence of at least one witness.
Each transfer or relinquishment of parental rights and any revocation of said relinquishment shall be recorded and filed by the child‑placing agency in a properly sealed file in the Family Division of the Superior Court within 20 days after the expiration of the revocation period. Any subsequent relinquishment shall be filed by the child‑placing agency in a properly sealed file in the Family Division of the Superior Court within 30 days after the date of relinquishment.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in District of Colombia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 4-1406(c)-(d)
Any relinquishment of parental rights executed by a single natural parent or by both natural parents, other than by court order as provided in this subsection, may be automatically revoked by a verified writing executed by the single parent or both parents, respectively, and submitted to the agency within 10 calendar days of executing a legal relinquishment.
Where both natural parents execute a relinquishment of parental rights, other than by court order, either parent may automatically revoke his or her relinquishment of parental rights by executing a verified writing submitted to the agency within 10 calendar days of executing the relinquishment. The rights of the parent not seeking custody shall be terminated, and the parent shall not have the power to obstruct the revocation. No relinquishment of parental rights shall be considered final until the revocation period has expired with no revocation having been made by the natural parent.
Automatic revocation of relinquishment can be exercised only once.
A waiting period of 30 days from the date of revocation of the first relinquishment shall expire before a second relinquishment can be executed. A relinquishment, if exercised a second time, shall be irrevocable, unless an additional right to revoke is granted by court order upon a finding that the relinquishment was not given voluntarily, e.g., the relinquishment was induced by fraud, coercion, material mistake, or other factors that bear on a determination of voluntariness.
Florida
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Florida:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.062
A petition to terminate parental rights pending adoption may be granted only if written consent has been executed by:
  • The mother of the minor
  • The father of the minor, if:
    • The minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother.
    • The minor is his child by adoption.
    • The minor has been established by court proceeding to be his child.
    • He has filed an affidavit of paternity.
    • In the case of an unmarried biological father, he has acknowledged in writing, signed in the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor, and has filed such acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health within the required timeframes.
  • Any person lawfully entitled to custody of the minor, if required by the court
  • The court having jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor, if the person having physical custody of the minor does not have authority to consent to the adoption.
If parental rights to the minor have previously been terminated, the adoption entity with which the minor has been placed for subsequent adoption may provide consent to the adoption. In that case, no other consent is required.
A petition to adopt an adult may be granted if written consent to adoption has been executed by the adult and the adult’s spouse, if any.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Florida:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.062(1)(c)
A child age 12 or older must consent, unless the court determines it is in the child’s best interests to dispense with consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Florida:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.064
The court may waive the consent of the following individuals to an adoption:
  • A parent who has deserted a child without means of identification or who has abandoned a child
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by order of a court of competent jurisdiction
  • A parent who has been judicially declared incompetent and for whom restoration of competency is medically improbable
  • A legal guardian or lawful custodian of the person to be adopted, other than a parent, who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent for a period of 60 days or who, after examination of his or her written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding his or her consent unreasonably
  • The spouse of the adoptee, if the failure of the spouse to consent to the adoption is excused by reason of prolonged and unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances that are found by the court to constitute unreasonable withholding of consent
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Florida:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.082
An affidavit of nonpaternity may be executed before the birth of the minor; however, the consent to an adoption shall not be executed before the birth of the minor.
A consent to the adoption of a minor shall not be executed by the birth mother sooner than 48 hours after the minor’s birth or the day the birth mother has been notified in writing that she is fit to be released from the hospital or birth center, whichever is earlier.
A consent by a birth father or legal father may be executed at any time after the birth of the child
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Florida:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.082
Consent to an adoption or an affidavit of nonpaternity shall be executed as follows:
  • If by the adoptee, by oral or written statement in the presence of the court or by being acknowledged before a notary public and in the presence of two witnesses
  • If by an agency, by affidavit from its authorized representative
  • If by any other person, in the presence of the court or by affidavit acknowledged before a notary public and in the presence of two witnesses
  • If by a court, by an appropriate order or certificate of the court
A minor parent has the power to consent to the adoption of his or her child and has the power to relinquish his or her control or custody of the child to an adoption entity. Such consent or relinquishment is valid and has the same force and effect as a consent or relinquishment executed by an adult parent. A minor parent, having executed a consent or relinquishment, may not revoke that consent upon reaching the age of majority or otherwise becoming emancipated.
A consent or an affidavit of nonpaternity executed by a minor parent who is age 14 or younger must be witnessed by a parent, legal guardian, or court‑appointed guardian ad litem.
The consent to adoption or the affidavit of nonpaternity must be signed in the presence of two witnesses and be acknowledged before a notary public who is not signing as one of the witnesses.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Florida:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.082
A consent to adoption executed by the mother within 48 hours of the child’s birth is valid upon execution and may be withdrawn only if the court finds that it was obtained by fraud or duress.
When the minor to be adopted is older than age 6 months at the time of the execution of the consent, the consent to adoption is valid upon execution; however, it is subject to a 3‑day revocation period or may be revoked at any time prior to the placement of the minor with the prospective adoptive parents, whichever is later.
If person seeking to withdraw consent claims to be the father of the minor but has not been established to be the father by marriage, court order, or scientific testing, the court may order scientific paternity testing and reserve ruling on removal of the minor until the results of such testing have been filed with the court.
Following the revocation period for withdrawal of consent or the placement of the child with the prospective adoptive parents, whichever occurs later, consent may be withdrawn only when the court finds that the consent was obtained by fraud or duress.
An affidavit of nonpaternity may be withdrawn only if the court finds that the affidavit was obtained by fraud or duress.
Georgia
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Georgia:
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Georgia:
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Georgia:
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Georgia:
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Georgia:
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Georgia:
Guam
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Guam:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19 § 4206
Where a petition is filed by a relative of the child within the second degree either by blood or affinity, no adoption of that child may be ordered unless the written consent to the adoption of the child by the petitioner is given by each parent of the child or, if there is no parent, by the guardian of the child’s person. A minor parent may consent to an adoption, but his or her consent shall be effective only when concurred by his or her parents or guardian.
Where a petition is filed by any other person, no adoption of a child may be ordered unless the written consent to the adoption of that child by the petitioner is given by the child’s guardian.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Guam:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19 § 4206
A child age 12 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Guam:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19 §§ 4206(b); 4207
Where the consent of a guardian of the child’s person is required, the court may dispense with such consent only if it finds that the withholding of that consent is arbitrary and capricious.
A parent’s consent is not required if his or her rights have been previously terminated.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Guam:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Guam:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19 §§ 4206(b); 4207
Consents shall be acknowledged before a notary public and witnessed by a representative of the court.
Written consent shall be attached to the adoption petition. In the case of a consent by a guardian, the guardian shall file directly with the court satisfactory evidence of his or her authority to consent.
Where the parent‑child relationship has been terminated by judicial decree, a certified copy of the termination decree shall be filed directly with the court by the guardian of the child’s person.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Guam:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 19 § 4208
Withdrawal of any consent for adoption shall not be permitted, except when the court finds that withdrawal will be in the best interests of the child. The entry of an order of adoption renders any consent irrevocable.
Hawaii
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Hawaii:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2(a)
Written consent to a proposed adoption must be executed by:
  • The mother of the child
  • A legal father
  • An adjudicated father whose relationship to the child has been determined by a court
  • A presumed father
  • A concerned natural father who is not the legal, adjudicated, or presumed father but who has demonstrated a reasonable degree of interest, concern, or responsibility as to the welfare of a child:
    • During the first 30 days after the childs birth
    • Prior to the execution of a valid consent by the mother of the child
    • Prior to the placement of the child with adoptive parents
  • Any person or agency having legal custody of the child or legally empowered to consent
  • The court having jurisdiction of the custody of the child, if the legal guardian or legal custodian of the person of the child is not empowered to consent to adoption
A petition to adopt an adult may be granted only if written consent to adoption has been executed by the adult and the adult’s spouse, if the adult is married.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Hawaii:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2(a)(8)
A child age 10 older must consent unless the court, in the child’s best interests, dispenses with the need for the child to consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Hawaii:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2
Consent is not required from the following:
  • A parent who has deserted a child for a period of 90 days without affording means of identification
  • A parent who has voluntarily surrendered the care and custody of the child to another for a period of 2 years
  • A parent, whose child is in the custody of another, who has failed for a period of at least 1year to communicate with the child or provide for the care and support of the child when able to do so
  • A natural father who was not married to the child’s mother at the time of the child’s conception or birth and has not established paternity
  • A parent whose parental rights have been judicially terminated
  • A parent judicially declared mentally ill, mentally retarded, or incapacitated from giving consent
  • Any legal guardian or custodian who is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably
  • A parent of a child who has been in the custody of a petitioner for at least 1 year and who entered the United States as a consequence of extraordinary circumstances in the child’s country of origin, by reason of which the existence, identity, or whereabouts of the child’s parents is not reasonably ascertainable or there is no reasonable means of obtaining suitable evidence of the child’s identity or availability for adoption
  • Any parent of the adoptee if the adoptee is an adult eligible for adoption under this section
  • A parent whose parental and custodial duties and rights have been divested by an award of permanent custody pursuant to § 587‑73
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Hawaii:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 571-6
The petition [for relinquishment] may be filed at any time following the mother’s sixth month of pregnancy. No judgment may be entered upon a petition concerning an unborn child until after the birth of the child and the petitioners have filed a written reaffirmation of their desires to relinquish and the petitioners have been given not less than 10 days notice of a proposal for the entry of judgment and an opportunity to be heard in connection with that proposal.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Hawaii:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 571-61
The parents or either parent or the surviving parent who desire to relinquish parental rights to any natural or adopted child and thus make the child available for adoption or readoption may petition the family court of the circuit in which they or he or she resides, or of the circuit in which the child resides or was born, for the entry of a judgment of termination of parental rights.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Hawaii:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2(f)
Consent cannot be withdrawn after the child is placed with prospective adoptive parents, unless the court finds it would be in the child’s best interests.
Idaho
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Idaho:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1504
Consent to adoption is required from:
  • Both parents or the surviving parent of a child who was conceived or born within a marriage, unless the child is age 18 or older
  • The mother of a child born outside of marriage
  • Any birth parent who has been adjudicated to be the child’s birth father by a court of competent jurisdiction prior to the mother’s execution of consent
  • An unmarried birth father who has established paternity of the child
  • Any legally appointed custodian or guardian of the adoptee
  • The guardian or conservator of an incapacitated adult, if one has been appointed
  • The adoptee’s spouse, if any
  • The father of an illegitimate child who has adopted the child by acknowledgment
A minor parent has the power to consent to the adoption of his or her child. That consent is valid and has the same force and effect as consent executed by an adult parent.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Idaho:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1504
A child age 12 or older must consent to the adoption, unless he or she lacks the mental capacity to consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Idaho:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1504
No consent shall be required of, nor notice given to, any person whose parental relationship to that child has been terminated.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Idaho:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Idaho:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1506
Consent must be executed before any authorized officer, district judge, or magistrate, on a form found in the Idaho Code.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Idaho:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1515
If the parent revokes consent and petitions for custody of the child, the parent must reimburse the adoptive parents for expenses paid.
Illinois
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Illinois:
Citation: Cons. Stat. Ch. 750 § 50/8(b)
Consent is required of the following persons:
  • The mother
  • The father if the father:
    • Was married to the mother on the date of birth of the child or within 300 days before the birth of the child
    • Is the father by adoption, an order of parentage, or an acknowledgment of parentage or paternity
    • Openly lived with the child, the child’s birth mother, or both, and held himself out to be the child’s birth father during the first 30 days following the birth of the child
    • Made a good faith effort to pay a reasonable amount of the expenses related to the birth of the child and to provide a reasonable amount for the financial support of the child
    • Has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child
    • Has registered in a timely manner with the Putative Father Registry
  • The legal guardian of the person of the child, if there is no surviving parent
  • An agency, if the child has been surrendered for adoption to such agency
  • Any person or agency
  • Any person or agency having legal custody of a child by court order, if the parental rights of the parents have been terminated
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Illinois:
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750 § 50/12
A child age 14 or older must consent. The court may waive consent if child is in need of mental treatment or is mentally retarded.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Illinois:
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750 § 50/8(a)
Consent is not required when the person whose consent or surrender would otherwise be required shall be found by the court:
  • To be an unfit person
  • Not to be the birth or adoptive father of the child
  • To have waived his or her parental rights to the child
  • To be the parent of an adult sought to be adopted
  • To be the father of the child as a result of criminal sexual abuse or assault
  • To be the father of a child who:
    • Is a family member of the mother of the child, and the mother is under age of 18 at the time of the child’s conception
    • Is at least 5 years older than the child’s mother, and the mother was under age 17 at the time of the child’s conception, unless the mother and father voluntarily acknowledge the father’s paternity of the child by marrying or by establishing the father’s paternity
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Illinois:
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750 § 50/9
The mother’s consent shall not be taken less than 72 hours after the child’s birth. A father may consent before or after the birth of the child.
Consent may be given to a standby adoption by a terminally ill parent, to become effective when the parent dies or requests finalization.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Illinois:
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750 §§ 50/8; 50/10
The execution and verification of the petition by any petitioner who is also a parent of the child sought to be adopted shall be sufficient evidence of that parent’s consent to the adoption.
Consent to an agency may be taken by an agency representative. In a direct placement, consent is acknowledged in court unless the court waives the appearance.
If the person signing a consent is in the military service of the United States, the consent may be acknowledged before a commissioned officer, and the signature of that officer on the certificate shall be verified or acknowledged before a notary public.
Forms to be used are contained in the statute.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Illinois:
Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 750 §§ 50/11; 50/9
A consent to adoption by a parent, including a minor, shall be irrevocable unless it was obtained by fraud or duress. No action to void or revoke a consent, including an action based on fraud or duress, may be commenced after 12 months from the date the consent was executed.
The consent or surrender of a parent who is a minor shall not be voidable because of such minority.
If the father consents before the birth of the child, that consent may be revoked within 72 hours after the birth.
Indiana
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Indiana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 31-19-9-1
Written consent to adoption must be executed by the following:
  • Each living parent of a child born in wedlock
  • The mother of a child born out of wedlock and the father of a child who has established paternity
  • Each person, agency, or county Office of Family and Children having lawful custody of the child
  • The court having jurisdiction of the custody of the child, if the legal guardian or custodian of the person of the child is not empowered to consent to the adoption
  • The spouse of the child to be adopted, if the child is married
A parent who is under age 18 may consent to an adoption without the concurrence of the individual’s parents or guardian unless the court, in the court’s discretion, determines that it is in the best interests of the child to be adopted to require the concurrence.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Indiana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 31-19-9-1
A child age 14 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Indiana:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-19-9-8 to 31-19-9-10
Consent is not required from any of the following:
  • A parent who is adjudged to have abandoned the child for at least 6 months immediately prior to filing of the petition
  • A parent of a child in the custody of another person who fails for a period of at least 1 year to communicate significantly or provide for the care and support of the child when able to do so
  • A birth father of a child born out of wedlock who has not established paternity
  • A birth father of a child born out of wedlock whose child was conceived as a result of rape, child molesting, sexual misconduct with a minor, or incest
  • A putative father whose consent to adoption is irrevocably implied, who established paternity after an adoption petition was filed, or who failed to register with the putative father registry
  • A parent who has relinquished the right to consent or whose rights have been terminated
  • A parent judicially declared incompetent or mentally defective
  • A legal guardian who has unreasonably failed to consent to the adoption
  • A parent who has been found to be unfit
  • A birth father who had denied paternity before or after the birth of the child
Consent to adoption is not required from a parent if the parent is convicted of committing any of the crimes listed below and the victim is the child’s other parent:
  • Murder, causing suicide, or voluntary manslaughter
  • An attempt to commit a crime described above
  • A crime in another State that is substantially similar to a crime described above
Consent to adoption is not required from a parent if the parent is convicted of any of the following and the victim is another child of the parent:
  • Murder, causing suicide, or voluntary manslaughter
  • Rape, criminal deviate conduct, child molesting, or incest
  • Neglect of a dependent or battery
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Indiana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 31-19-9-2
The consent to adoption may be executed at any time after the birth of the child. The child’s mother may not execute a consent to adoption before the birth of the child.
The child’s father may execute a consent to adoption before the birth of the child if the consent to adoption:
  • Is in writing
  • Is signed by the child’s father in the presence of a notary public
  • Contains an acknowledgment that the consent to adoption is irrevocable and the child’s father will not receive notice of the adoption proceedings
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Indiana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 31-19-9-2
The consent to adoption may be executed either in the presence of:
  • The court
  • A notary public or other person authorized to take acknowledgments
  • An authorized agent of the department, a county office of family and children, or a licensed child‑placing agency
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Indiana:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-19-9-2(d); 31-19-10-3; 31-19-10-4
A child’s father who consents to the adoption of the child prior to the child’s birth may not challenge or contest the child’s adoption.
A consent to adoption may be withdrawn no later than 30 days after consent to adoption is signed, if the court finds that the person seeking the withdrawal is acting in the best interests of the adoptee.
A consent to adoption may not be withdrawn after the entry of the adoption decree.
Iowa
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Iowa:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.7
The following persons must consent to an adoption:
  • Any guardian
  • The spouse of a petitioner who is a stepparent
  • The spouse of a petitioner who is separately petitioning to adopt an adult person
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Iowa:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.7
A child age 14 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Iowa:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 600.7; 600A.8
Consent may be unnecessary if:
  • Any person required to consent refuses to or cannot be located.
  • A parent has signed a release of custody and the release has not been revoked.
  • A parent has petitioned for termination of parental rights.
  • The parent has abandoned the child.
  • A parent has been ordered to contribute to the support of the child or financially aid in the child’s birth and has failed to do so without good cause.
  • A parent does not object to the termination, although every reasonable effort has been made to identify, locate, and give notice to that parent.
  • An adoptive parent requests termination of parental rights and the parent‑child relationship based upon a showing that the adoption was fraudulently induced.
  • The parent has been determined to be a chronic substance abuser and the parent has committed a second or subsequent domestic abuse assault.
  • The parent has abducted the child, has improperly removed the child from the physical custody of the person entitled to custody without the consent of that person, or has improperly retained the child after a visit or other temporary relinquishment of physical custody.
  • The parent has been imprisoned for a crime against the child, the child’s sibling, or another child in the household, or the parent has been imprisoned and it is unlikely that the parent will be released from prison for a period of 5 or more years.
  • The parent has been convicted of a felony offense that is a criminal offense against a minor, the parent is divorced from or was never married to the minor’s other parent, and the parent is serving a minimum sentence of confinement of at least 5 years for that offense.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Iowa:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600A.4(2)(g)
Parental release of custody may not be executed until at least 72 hours after the child’s birth.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Iowa:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 600.7; 600A.4
A consent to the adoption shall be in writing, shall name the adoptee and the petitioner, shall be signed by the person consenting, and shall be made in the following manner:
  • Any minor adoptee who is age 14 or older, in the presence of the juvenile court or court in which the adoption petition is filed
  • By any other person, either in the presence of the court or before a notary public
A release of custody shall:
  • Be accepted only by an agency or a person making an independent placement
  • Not be accepted by a person who in any way intends to adopt the child
  • Be in writing
  • Contain the written acknowledgment from the birth parents that 3 hours of counseling have been offered to the birth parents to take place after the birth of the child
  • Be witnessed by two persons familiar with the parent‑child relationship
  • Name the person accepting the release
  • Be followed, within a reasonable time, by the filing of a petition for termination of parental rights under § 600A.5
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Iowa:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 600.7; 600A.4
A consent to the adoption may be withdrawn prior to the issuance of an adoption decree by the filing of an affidavit of consent withdrawal with the court.
Either a parent who has signed a release of custody or a nonsigning parent may, at any time prior to the entry of an order terminating parental rights, request the court to order the revocation of any release of custody previously executed by either parent.
If such request is by a signing parent, and is within 96 hours of the time such parent signed a release of custody, the court shall order the release revoked. Otherwise, the juvenile court shall order the release or releases revoked only upon clear and convincing evidence that good cause exists for revocation.
Good cause for revocation includes but is not limited to a showing that the release was obtained by fraud, coercion, or misrepresentation of law or fact that was material to its execution. In determining whether good cause exists for revocation, the juvenile court shall give paramount consideration to the best interests of the child, including avoidance of a disruption of an existing relationship between a parent and child.
Kansas
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Kansas:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 59-2129; 59-2136(d)
Consent to an independent adoption shall be given by:
  • The living parents of the child
  • One of the parents of the child, if the other’s consent is found unnecessary under § 59‑2136
  • The legal guardian of the child, if both parents are dead or if their consent is found to be unnecessary
  • The court entering an order under § 65
  • The judge of any court having jurisdiction over the child pursuant to the code for care of children, if parental rights have not been terminated
Consent to an agency adoption shall be given by the authorized representative of the agency having authority to consent to the adoption of the child.
In a stepparent adoption, if a mother consents to the adoption of a child who has a presumed father or a father for whom the child is a legitimate child, the consent of such father must be given to the adoption unless such father has failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent for 2 consecutive years immediately pror to the filing of the adoption petition or is incapable of giving such consent.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Kansas:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2129
Consent to adoption shall be given by the child sought to be adopted if the child is over age 14 and of sound intellect.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Kansas:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2136(d), (h)
If a mother desires to consent to the adoption of her child, a petition shall be filed in the district court to terminate the parental rights of the father, unless the father’s relationship to the child has been previously terminated or determined not to exist by a court.
The court may terminate the father’s parental rights upon a finding, by clear and convincing evidence, of any of the following:
  • The father abandoned or neglected the child after having knowledge of the child’s birth.
  • The father is unfit as a parent or incapable of giving consent.
  • The father has made no reasonable efforts to support or communicate with the child.
  • The father, after having knowledge of the pregnancy, failed without reasonable cause to provide support for the mother during the 6 months prior to the child’s birth.
  • The father abandoned the mother after having knowledge of the pregnancy.
  • The birth of the child was the result of rape of the mother.
  • The father has failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent for 2 consecutive years immediately prior to the filing of the petition.
In making a finding whether parental rights shall be terminated, the court may:
  • Consider and weigh the best interests of the child
  • Disregard incidental visitations, contacts, communications, or contributions
As far as is applicable, the provisions also apply to the mother.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Kansas:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 59-2114; 59-2116
A consent or relinquishment may not be given by the mother or accepted until 12 hours after the birth of a child. Any consent or relinquishment given by the mother before 12 hours after the birth of a child is voidable, prior to the final decree of adoption.
Consent in all cases shall have been executed not more than 6 months prior to the date the petition for adoption is filed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Kansas:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 59-2114; 59-2115
Consent shall be in writing and shall be acknowledged before a judge of a court of record or before an officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments. If consent is acknowledged before a judge of a court of record, it shall be the duty of the court to advise the consenting person of the consequences of the consent.
Minority of a parent shall not invalidate a parent’s consent, except that a minor parent shall have the advice of independent legal counsel as to the consequences of the consent prior to its execution. The attorney providing independent legal advice to the minor parent shall be present at the execution of the consent. Unless the minor parent is otherwise represented by independent legal counsel, the petitioner or child‑placing agency shall provide independent legal counsel to the minor parent at such petitioner’s or child‑placing agency’s sole expense.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Kansas:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2114
A consent is final when executed, unless the consenting party, prior to final decree of adoption, alleges and proves by clear and convincing evidence that the consent was not freely and voluntarily given. The burden of proving the consent was not freely and voluntarily given shall rest with the consenting party.
Kentucky
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Kentucky:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.500
An adoption shall not be granted without the voluntary and informed consent of:
  • The living parent or parents of a child born in lawful wedlock
  • The mother of the child born out of wedlock
  • The father of the child born out of wedlock, if paternity is established in a legal action or in an affidavit acknowledging paternity of the child
A minor parent may consent to an adoption, but a guardian ad litem for the parent shall be appointed.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Kentucky:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.500
In the case of a child age 12 or older, the consent of the child shall be given in court. The court in its discretion may waive this requirement.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Kentucky:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 199.500; 199.502
The consent of a parent shall not be required if the parent:
  • Has been adjudged mentally disabled
  • Has had his or her parental rights terminated
  • Is divorced from the other parent, his or her rights have been terminated, and consent has been given by the parent having custody and control of the child
  • Is a birth parent who has not established parental rights
  • Has abandoned the child for a period of not less than 90 days
  • Has inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, serious physical injury
  • Has continuously or repeatedly inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, physical injury or emotional harm
  • Has been convicted of a felony that involved the infliction of serious physical injury to the child
  • For a period of not less than 6 months has continuously or repeatedly failed, refused to provide, or been substantially incapable of providing essential parental care and protection for the child, and there is no reasonable expectation of improvement in parental care and protection
  • Has caused or allowed the child to be sexually abused or exploited
  • For reasons other than poverty alone, has continuously or repeatedly failed to provide or is incapable of providing essential food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or education reasonably necessary and available for the child’s well‑being, and there is no reasonable expectation of significant improvement in the parent’s conduct in the immediately foreseeable future
  • Has had his or her rights to another child involuntarily terminated and the condition or factor that was the basis for the previous termination finding has not been corrected
  • Has been convicted of having caused or contributed to the death of another child as a result of physical or sexual abuse or neglect
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Kentucky:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.500
An adoption shall not be granted or a consent for adoption be held valid if the consent for adoption is given prior to 72 hours after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Kentucky:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 625.040
A petition for voluntary termination of parental rights shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where petitioner resides.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Kentucky:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.500
If placement approval by the secretary is required, the voluntary and informed consent shall become final and irrevocable 20 days after the placement approval or the execution of the voluntary and informed consent, whichever is later.
If placement approval by the secretary is not required, the voluntary and informed consent shall become final and irrevocable 20 days after the execution of the voluntary and informed consent.
Louisiana
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Louisiana:
Citation: Ch. Code Art. 1193; 1113
Consent to the adoption of a child shall be required of the following:
  • The mother of the child
  • The father of the child, regardless of the child’s actual paternity, if any of the following apply:
    • The child is a child born of the marriage.
    • The father is presumed to be the father of the child in accordance with law.
  • The alleged father of the child who has established his parental rights in accordance with law
  • The biological father of the child whose paternity has been determined by a judgment of filiation and who has established his parental rights
  • The custodial agency that has placed the child for adoption
If a parent executing a surrender in a private adoption is a minor, the parents or tutor of the minor must join in the surrender unless the minor parent has been judicially emancipated or emancipated by marriage.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Louisiana:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Louisiana:
Citation: Ch. Code Art. 1193; 1245
The consent of the parent is not required if his or her rights have been terminated in accordance with Title X or XI.
The court may grant an adoption without the consent of the agency, if the adoption is in the best interests of the child, and there is a finding that the agency has unreasonably withheld its consent.
Parental consent is not necessary when a petitioner in an intrafamily adoption has been granted custody of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction, and the parent has failed to support, visit, or communicate with the child without just cause for at least 6 months.
Parental consent is not necessary when the spouse of a stepparent petitioner has been granted sole or joint custody of the child or is otherwise exercising lawful custody of the child, and the other parent has refused to support, visit, or communicate with the child without just cause for at least 6 months.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Louisiana:
Citation: Ch. Code Art. 1122(b)(1); 1130; 1195
The act of surrender shall not be executed earlier than the third day following the birth of the child if it is an agency adoption, or the fifth day following the birth of the child if the adoption is a private adoption.
A father may execute an act of surrender prior to the birth of the child or at any time after the birth. However, any surrender executed by a father earlier than the 5th day following the birth of the child shall not be irrevocable until the 5th day following the birth of the child.
An alleged or adjudicated father may execute an act of surrender prior to the birth of the child or at any time after the birth. His surrender shall be irrevocable upon execution.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Louisiana:
Citation: Ch. Code Art. 1120; 1122
Prior to the execution of any surrender, the parent shall participate in a minimum of two counseling sessions with a licensed social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or a counselor employed by a licensed child‑placing agency.
The act of surrender shall make the following declarations:
  • The parent has no mental incapacity.
  • The parent who is a minor is joined in the act of surrender by the parents or tutor or has written consent of the court, except in acts of surrender to an agency.
  • The parent has been informed and understands that upon its execution, the act of surrender is irrevocable.
  • The parent freely and voluntarily surrenders custody of the child for the purpose of adoption.
  • The parent has been informed of the provisions of the voluntary registration law whereby contact can be established between the parent and the surrendered child upon the child’s reaching majority.
  • A surrendering parent, the agency accepting the surrender, or a prospective adoptive parent are domiciled in the State, or the child is in the custody of the Department of Social Services.
  • The surrendering mother does or does not wish to be notified of the hearing of any opposition to the adoption filed pursuant to article 1137
  • The surrendering parent does or does not wish the future release of identifying information in the event of a medical necessity for which information is needed in order to treat the child.
  • The parent has been informed that the Statement of Family History will be given to the adoptive parents at the time of placement and made available, upon request, to the adoptee at the age of 18.
  • The parent has received the required counseling sessions or that, in the case of the father, he has waived such counseling.
  • The parent has consulted with and been fully advised by an attorney, other than the attorney or associate of the prospective adoptive parent.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Louisiana:
Citation: Ch. Code Art. 1123; 1147; 1195
Consent is irrevocable upon execution and acceptance by the court.
Except as noted in article 1130 above, no act of surrender shall be subject to annulment except upon proof of duress or fraud.
Maine
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Maine:
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-302
Written consent to the adoption must be given by:
  • Each living parent
  • The person or agency having legal custody or guardianship of the child
  • A guardian appointed by the court when the child has no living parent, guardian, or legal custodian who may consent
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Maine:
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-302
Written consent to the adoption must be given by the adoptee if he or she is age 14 or older.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Maine:
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-302
Consent to adoption is not required of:
  • A putative father or a legal father who is not the birth father if he:
    • Received notice and failed to respond to the notice within the prescribed time period
    • Waived his right to notice under § 9‑201(c)
    • Failed to meet the standards of § 9‑201(i)
    • Holds no parental rights regarding the child under the laws of the foreign jurisdiction in which the child was born
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated
  • A parent who has executed a surrender and release pursuant to § 9‑202
  • A parent whose parental rights have been voluntarily or judicially terminated and transferred to a public agency or a duly licensed private agency pursuant to the laws of another State or country
  • The parent of an adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • The agency to whom the child has been surrendered and released if that person’s or agency’s lack of consent is found to be unreasonable by a judge of probate
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Maine:
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, §§ 9-202; 9-302
Consent can be executed any time after the child’s birth.
A petition for adoption must be pending before consent is executed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Maine:
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-202
The parents or the surviving parent must execute the consent in the presence of the judge. The adoptee, if age 14 or older, must execute the consent in the presence of the judge.
The court may approve a consent only when the following conditions are met:
  • A licensed child‑placing agency or the Department of Health and Human Services certifies that counseling was provided or was offered and refused.
  • The court has explained the individual’s parental rights and responsibilities, the effects of the consent or the surrender and release, that in all but specific situations the individual has the right to revoke the consent within 3 days, and the existence of the adoption registry and the services available under Title 22, § 2706‑A.
  • The court determines that the consent has been duly executed and was given freely after the parent was informed of the parent’s rights.
  • At least 3 days have elapsed since the parents or parent executed the consent and the parents or parent did not withdraw or revoke the consent.
Consent may be acknowledged before a notary public who is not an attorney for the adopting parents or a partner, associate, or employee of an attorney for the adopting parents when consent is given by:
  • The department or a licensed child‑placing agency
  • A public agency or a duly licensed private agency to which parental rights have been transferred under the law of another State or country
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Maine:
Citation: Rev. Stat. Tit. 18-A, § 9-202
A consent or release will not be valid until 3 days after it has been executed. Except as noted below, a consent or a surrender and release is then final and irrevocable when duly executed.
A consent is final only for the adoption consented to, and if that adoption petition is withdrawn or dismissed or if the adoption is not finalized within 18 months of the execution of the consent, a review must be held pursuant to § 9‑205.
Maryland
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Maryland:
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-338
Consent to an adoption is required from the following persons:
  • The birth mother and father
  • If parental rights have been terminated, the head of the agency that has been awarded guardianship
  • The director of the local department of social services with custody of the child
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Maryland:
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-338(3)
The court may grant an adoption only if the child is represented by an attorney and he or she:
  • Consents to the adoption, if at least age 10
  • Does not object to the adoption, if under age 10
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Maryland:
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-3B-22
A court may allow adoption without parental consent if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that:
  • The parent has not had custody of the prospective adoptee for at least 1 year.
  • The child to be adopted has significant emotional ties to and feelings for the petitioner.
  • The parent has not maintained meaningful contact with the child while the petitioner had custody, notwithstanding an opportunity to do so.
  • The parent has failed to contribute to the child’s physical care and support, notwithstanding the ability to do so.
  • The parent has subjected the child to chronic abuse, chronic and life‑threatening neglect, sexual abuse, or torture.
  • The parent has been convicted of abuse of any offspring.
  • The parent has been convicted, in any State or any court of the United States, of:
    • A crime of violence against a minor offspring of the parent, the child, or another parent of the child
    • Aiding or abetting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit a crime described above
  • The parent has, other than by consent, lost parental rights to a sibling of the child.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Maryland:
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-3B-21(2)
Consent to adoption is not valid unless the consent is given after the prospective adoptee is born.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Maryland:
Citation: Fam. Law § 5-339
Consent to an adoption is not valid unless:
  • The consent is given in a language that the party understands.
  • If given in a language other than English, the consent:
    • Is given before a judge on the record
    • Is accompanied by the affidavit of a translator stating that the translation of the document of consent is accurate
  • The consent names the child.
  • The consent contains enough information to identify the prospective adoptive parent.
  • The party has received written notice or on‑the‑record notice of:
    • Provisions for revocation of consent
    • The search rights of adoptees and parents under § 5‑359 and the search rights of adoptees, parents, and siblings under subtitle 4B
    • The right to file a disclosure veto under § 5‑359
  • The consent is accompanied by an affidavit of counsel stating that a parent who is a minor or has a disability consents knowingly and voluntarily.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Maryland:
Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-339; 5-351
A parent may revoke consent to adoption at any time within the later of:
  • 30 days after the parent signs the consent
  • 30 days after the adoption petition is filed, after which consent is irrevocable
A local department, a guardian, or the child may revoke consent to an adoption at any time before a juvenile court enters an order of adoption.
Massachusetts
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Massachusetts:
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 2
Written consent to the adoption is required from:
  • The lawful parents, who may be previous adoptive parents
  • A surviving parent
  • The mother only, if the child has been born out of wedlock
  • The child’s spouse, if any
If an agency or person receiving a child born out of wedlock for purposes of a subsequent adoption receives from the child’s mother an executed consent, and no person has acknowledged paternity of the child or has been adjudicated the father of the child by any court of competent jurisdiction, then the person or agency shall request that the mother voluntarily provide a sworn written statement, executed before a notary and in the presence of two competent witnesses, one of whom shall be selected by the mother, that identifies the child’s father and his current or last known address. Any such statement shall be used solely for the purpose of notifying the person named as the father of the status of the child.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Massachusetts:
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 2
A child who is age 12 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Massachusetts:
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 3
The consent of the persons named above shall not be required if:
  • The person to be adopted is age 18 or older.
  • The court finds that the adoption is in the best interests of the child due to parental unfitness.
A finding of unfitness may be based on the following:
  • The child has been abandoned.
  • The child or another child has been abused or neglected.
  • The child has been in out‑of‑home placement for at least 6 months and the parents have not maintained significant and meaningful contact with the child.
  • The child is age 4 or older and has been in the custody of the department for at least 12 of the past 15 months and cannot be returned home.
  • The child is younger than age 4 and has been in the custody of the department for at least 6 of the past 12 months and cannot be returned home.
  • The parent, without excuse, fails to provide proper care or custody for the child.
  • Because of the lengthy absence of the parent or the parent’s inability to meet the needs of the child, the child has formed a strong, positive bond with a substitute caregiver.
  • The parent has made no effort to remedy conditions that create a risk of harm to the child.
  • The child or another child has been subjected to severe or repetitive conduct of a physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive or neglectful nature.
  • The parent has willfully failed to visit and support a child who is not in the custody of the parent.
  • The parent suffers from a condition, such as alcohol or drug addiction, mental deficiency, or mental illness, that makes the parent unlikely to provide minimally acceptable care of the child.
  • The parent’s conviction of a felony will deprive the child of a stable home for a period of years.
  • There exists a prior pattern of parental neglect or misconduct or a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child and a likelihood of future harm to the child based on such prior pattern or assault.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Massachusetts:
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 2
Written consent shall be executed no sooner than the fourth day after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Massachusetts:
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 2
The written consent shall be attested and subscribed before a notary public in the presence of two competent witnesses, one of whom shall be selected by the consenting person. The agency or person receiving custody shall act as guardian of the child until such time as a court of competent jurisdiction appoints a guardian or grants a petition for adoption. A copy of the consent shall be filed with the Department of Children and Families.
The form of the consent is provided in statute.
If an agency or person receiving a child born out of wedlock for purposes of a subsequent adoption receives from the child’s mother an executed consent form, and no person has acknowledged paternity of the child or has been adjudicated the father of the child by any court of competent jurisdiction, then the person or agency shall request that the mother voluntarily provide a sworn written statement, executed before a notary and in the presence of two competent witnesses, one of whom shall be selected by the mother, that identifies the child’s father and his current or last known address. Any such statement shall be used solely for the purpose of notifying the person named as the father of the status of the child.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Massachusetts:
Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 210, § 2
A consent executed in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be final and irrevocable from the date of execution.
Michigan
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Michigan:
Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.43
Consent to adoption shall be executed by:
  • Each parent or the surviving parent
  • The authorized representative of the department or of a child‑placing agency to whom the child has been permanently committed by an order of the court or to whom the child has been released
  • The court or a Tribal court having permanent custody of the child
  • The guardian of the child, if a guardian has been appointed
  • The guardian of a parent, if a guardian has been appointed
  • The authorized representative of a court or child‑placing agency of another State or country that has authority to consent to adoption
If the parent of the child to be adopted is an unemancipated minor, that parent’s consent is not valid unless a parent, guardian, or guardian ad litem of that minor parent has also executed the consent.
The guardian of the child to be adopted or a parent shall not execute a consent to that child’s adoption unless the guardian has first obtained authority to execute the consent from the court that appointed the guardian.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Michigan:
Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.43
A child who is age 14 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Michigan:
Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.37; 710.43; 710.51(6)
The court may permanently terminate the rights of the putative father when he:
  • Submits a verified affirmation of his paternity and a denial of his interest in custody of the child
  • Files a disclaimer of paternity
  • Was served with a notice of intent to release or consent at least 30 days before the expected date of birth but failed to file an intent to claim paternity either before the expected date of birth or before the birth of the child
  • Is given proper notice of hearing but either fails to appear at the hearing or appears and denies his interest in custody of the child
  • Has not made provision for the child’s care and did not provide support for the mother during her pregnancy
  • Has not provided support for the mother, has not shown any interest in the child, and has not made provision for the child’s care, for at least 90 days preceding the hearing required under § 36
Consent to adoption of a child shall be executed by each parent or the surviving parent, except under the following circumstances:
  • The rights of the parent have been terminated.
  • The child has been released for the purpose of adoption to a child‑placing agency or the department.
  • A guardian of the child has been appointed.
  • A guardian of a parent has been appointed.
  • A parent having legal custody of the child is married to the petitioner.
If the spouse of a custodial parent wants to adopt the child, the court may terminate the rights of the other parent if both of the following occur:
  • The other parent, having the ability to support the child, has failed or neglected to provide regular and substantial support for the child for a period of 2 years or more.
  • The other parent, having the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the child, has regularly and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of 2 years or more.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Michigan:
Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.31; 710.44
If a child is born out of wedlock and the release or consent of the birth father cannot be obtained, the child shall not be placed for adoption until the parental rights of the father are terminated by the court.
Pending the termination of the rights of the father, the mother may execute a release terminating her rights to the child.
At the request of the mother, her formal execution of a release or consent shall be delayed until after court determination of the status of the putative father’s request for custody of the child.
If the consent of a parent or guardian is required, the consent shall not be executed until after the judge, referee, or other authorized individual has fully explained to the parent or guardian the legal rights of the parent or guardian and the fact that the parent or guardian by virtue of the consent voluntarily relinquishes permanently his or her rights to the child.
If the adoptee’s consent to adoption is required, the consent shall not be executed until after the judge or referee has fully explained to the adoptee the fact that he or she is consenting to acquire permanently the adopting parent or parents as his or her legal parent or parents as though he or she had been born to the adopting parent or parents.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Michigan:
Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.44
Consent shall be by a separate instrument executed before the judge having jurisdiction or before another judge of the family division of circuit court in this State. If the individual whose consent is required is in any of the armed services or is in prison, the consent may be executed before any individual authorized to administer oaths.
If the child to be adopted is legally a ward of the department or a child‑placing agency, the consent by the authorized representative of the department or agency may be executed and acknowledged before an individual authorized to administer oaths.
In a direct placement, a consent by a parent or guardian shall be accompanied by a verified statement signed by the parent or guardian that contains all of the following:
  • That he or she has received a list of support groups
  • That he or she has received counseling related to the adoption of his or her child or waives the counseling with the signing of a verified statement
  • That he or she has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the consent to adoption of the child, except for lawful payments that are itemized on a schedule filed with the consent
  • That the validity and finality of the consent is not affected by any collateral or separate agreement between the parent or guardian and the adoptive parent
  • That he or she understands that it serves the welfare of the child for the parent to keep the child‑placing agency, court, or department informed of any health problems that the parent develops that could affect the child
  • That he or she understands that it serves the welfare of the child for the parent or guardian to keep his or her address current with the child‑placing agency, court, or department in order to permit a response to any inquiry concerning medical or social history from an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee or from an adoptee who is age 18 or older
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Michigan:
Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.29
The person who granted consent may petition the court for a hearing on whether to grant revocation.
A release may not be revoked if the child has been placed for adoption, unless the child was placed as provided by § 710.41(2) [while an appeal of a termination of parental rights is pending], and a petition has been filed for a rehearing within the time required.
Minnesota
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Minnesota:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.24, Subd. 1, 2
No child shall be adopted without the consent of the child’s parents and the child’s guardian, if there be one.
If there is no parent or guardian qualified to consent to the adoption, the consent shall be given by the commissioner.
If an unmarried parent who consents to the adoption of a child is under age 18, the consent of the minor parent’s parents or guardian, if any, also shall be required. If either or both the parents are disqualified for any reason, the consent of such parent shall be waived, and the consent of the guardian only shall be sufficient. If there is neither a parent nor guardian qualified to give such consent, the consent may be given by the commissioner.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Minnesota:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.24, Subd. 3
When the child to be adopted is age 14 or older, the child’s written consent also shall be necessary.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Minnesota:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.24, Subd. 1
Consent shall not be required of a parent:
  • Who is not entitled to notice of the proceedings
  • Who has abandoned the child
  • Who has lost custody of the child through a divorce decree or a decree of dissolution, and upon whom notice has been served as required by § 259.49
  • Whose parental rights to the child have been terminated or who has lost custody of a child through a final commitment of the juvenile court or through a decree in a prior adoption proceeding
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Minnesota:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.24, Subd. 2a
No sooner than 72 hours after the birth of a child and no later than 60 days after the child’s placement in a prospective adoptive home, a person whose consent is required under this section shall execute a consent.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Minnesota:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.24, Subd. 2, 5
The agency overseeing the adoption proceedings shall ensure that the minor parent is offered the opportunity to consult with an attorney, a member of the clergy, or a physician before consenting to adoption of the child.
All consents to an adoption shall be in writing, executed before two competent witnesses, and acknowledged by the consenting party. In addition, all consents to an adoption, except those by the commissioner, the commissioner’s agent, a licensed child‑placing agency, an adult adoptee, or the child’s parent in a petition for adoption by a stepparent, shall be executed before a representative of the commissioner, the commissioner’s agent, or a licensed child‑placing agency.
All consents by a parent shall contain written notice:
  • Of the right to withdraw consent under specific conditions
  • That the consent itself does not terminate parental rights
  • That parental rights to a child may be terminated only by an adoption decree or by a court order terminating parental rights
  • That if the child is not adopted, the parent may be asked to support the child
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Minnesota:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.24 Subd.6a
A parent’s consent to adoption may be withdrawn for any reason within 10 working days after the consent is executed and acknowledged. Written notification of withdrawal of consent must be received by the agency to which the child was surrendered no later than the 10th working day after the consent is executed and acknowledged. On the day following the 10th working day after execution and acknowledgment, the consent shall become irrevocable, except upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction after written findings that consent was obtained by fraud
Mississippi
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Mississippi:
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-5
Consent shall be executed by the following persons:
  • The parents, or parent if only one parent, even if either one is under age 21
  • If both parents are dead, then any two adult kin of the child within the third degree
  • The guardian ad litem of an abandoned child
  • Those persons having physical custody of the child, except persons having the child as foster parents as a result of placement by the Department of Human Services of the State of Mississippi
  • Any person to whom custody of the child may have been awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi
  • The agent of the county department of human services that has placed a child in foster care, either by agreement or by court order
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Mississippi:
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-5
If the child is age 14 or older, a consent to the adoption, sworn to or acknowledged by the child, is required.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Mississippi:
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-5; 93-17-7
In the case of a child born out of wedlock, the father shall not have a right to object to an adoption unless he has demonstrated, within the period ending 30 days after the birth of the child, a full commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood.
An adoption may be allowed over the objection of a parent when the parent:
  • Has abused the child
  • Has not consistently offered to provide reasonably necessary food, clothing, appropriate shelter, and treatment for the child
  • Suffers from a medical or emotional illness, mental deficiency, behavior, or conduct disorder, severe physical disability, substance abuse, or chemical dependency that makes him or her unable or unwilling to provide an adequate permanent home for the child at the present time or in the reasonably near future based upon expert opinion or based upon an established pattern of behavior
  • Has a history of past or present conduct, including criminal convictions, that viewed in its entirety, would pose a risk of substantial harm to the physical, mental, or emotional health of the child
  • Has engaged in acts or omissions permitting termination of parental rights
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Mississippi:
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-5
Consent shall not be executed before 72 hours after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Mississippi:
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-5
Consenting parents shall be made parties to the adoption proceeding by process or by the filing consent to the proposed adoption in the petition. Consent may also be executed and filed by the duly authorized officer or representative of a home to whose care the child has been delivered. The child shall join the petition.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Mississippi:
Citation: Ann. Code § 93-17-15
No action shall be brought to set aside any final decree of adoption, whether granted upon consent or personal process or on process by publication, except within 6 months of the entry thereof.
Missouri
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Missouri:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.030
The written consent of the following persons shall be required:
  • The mother
  • The man who is presumed to be the father only if he has acted to establish paternity no later than 15 days after the birth of the child, or has filed with the putative father registry
  • The child’s current adoptive parents or other legally recognized parent
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Missouri:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.030
A child who is age 14 or older must consent to the adoption, except when the court finds that the child lacks sufficient mental capacity.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Missouri:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.040
The consent to the adoption of a child is not required of:
  • A parent whose rights to the child have been terminated
  • A parent of a child who has legally consented to a future adoption of the child
  • A parent whose identity is unknown and cannot be ascertained at the time of the filing of the petition
  • A man who has not been established to be the father and who is not presumed by law to be the father and who, after the conception of the child, executes a verified statement denying paternity and disclaiming any interest in the child
  • A parent or other person who has not executed a consent and fails to respond to notice
  • A parent who has a mental condition that is shown by competent evidence either to be permanent or such that there is no reasonable likelihood that the condition can be reversed and that renders the parent unable to knowingly provide the child the necessary care, custody, and control
  • A parent who has for a period of at least 6 months for a child age 1 or older, or at least 60 days for a child under age 1, immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption, willfully abandoned the child or, for a period of at least 6 months immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption, willfully, substantially, and continuously neglected to provide the child with necessary care and protection
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Missouri:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.030
The written consent of the birth mother shall not be executed anytime before the child is 48 hours old.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Missouri:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.030
The written consent of the father or other parents may be executed before or after the commencement of the adoption proceedings and shall be acknowledged before a notary public. In lieu of such acknowledgment, the signature of the person giving such written consent shall be witnessed by the signatures of at least two adult persons. The two adult witnesses shall not be the prospective adoptive parents or any attorney representing a party to the adoption proceeding.
The written consent of the birth mother shall be executed in front of a judge or a notary public. In lieu of such acknowledgment, the signature of the person giving such written consent shall be witnessed by the signatures of at least two adult persons who are present at the execution and who determine and certify that the consent is knowingly and freely given. The two adult witnesses shall not be the prospective adoptive parents or any attorney representing a party to the adoption proceeding.
The written consents shall be reviewed and, if found to be in compliance with this section, approved by the court within 3 business days of such consents being presented to the court.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Missouri:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 453.030
Written consent may be withdrawn anytime until it has been reviewed and accepted by a judge.
Montana
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Montana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 42-2-301
Written consents to an adoption must be executed by:
  • The birth mother
  • The husband of the birth mother, if the husband is the presumed father of the child
  • Any other person whose parental rights have been established by a court
  • The department or an agency that has custody of the child and the authority to place the child for adoption
  • The legal guardian of the child, if both parents are dead or their rights have been judicially terminated, and the guardian has authority by order of the court appointing the guardian to consent to the adoption
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Montana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 42-2-301
A child who is age 12 or older must consent, either in writing or in court, unless he or she lacks the mental capacity to consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Montana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 42-2-302
Consent to adoption of a child is not required from:
  • An individual whose parental relationship to the child has been judicially terminated for unfitness, has been determined not to exist, or has been waived
  • A parent who has been judicially declared incompetence
  • An individual who has not been married to the mother of the child and who, after the conception of the child, executes a notarized statement denying paternity or a notarized statement acknowledging paternity and denying any interest in the child
  • The personal representative of a deceased parent’s estate
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Montana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 42-2-408
A parent, whose consent to the adoption of a child is required, may execute a relinquishment and consent to adoption only after the following criteria have been met:
  • No less than 72 hours have elapsed since the birth of the child.
  • The parent has received counseling in accordance with § 42‑2‑409.
A guardian may execute a relinquishment and consent to adopt at any time after being authorized by a court.
The department or a licensed child‑placing agency may execute a consent for the adoption at any time before or during the hearing on the petition for adoption.
A child whose consent is required may execute consent at any time before or during the hearing on the petition to adopt.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Montana:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 42-2-303; 42-2-405; 42-2-408
The required consents must be acknowledged before an officer who is authorized to take acknowledgments or must be witnessed by a representative of the department, an agency, or the court.
A parent who is a minor has the right to relinquish all rights to the child and to consent to the child’s adoption.
The relinquishment is not subject to revocation by reason of minority. In a direct parental placement adoption, a relinquishment and consent to adopt executed by a parent who is a minor is not valid unless the minor parent has been advised by an attorney who does not represent the prospective adoptive parent.
A parent whose consent to the adoption of a child is required may execute a relinquishment and consent to adoption only after the parent:
  • Has been informed that fees for any required counseling and legal fees are allowable expenses that may be paid by a prospective adoptive parent
  • Has been represented by separate legal counsel if the parent is a minor
  • Has been provided a copy of the preplacement evaluation pertaining to the prospective adoptive parent prior to the execution of the relinquishment
If the person from whom a relinquishment and consent to adopt are required is a member of the armed services or is in prison, the relinquishment may be executed and acknowledged before any person authorized by law to administer oaths.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Montana:
Citation: Ann. Code § 42-2-410
The parent who executed the relinquishment and consent to adopt and the department, agency, or prospective adoptive parent named or described in the relinquishment and consent to adopt may mutually agree to revocation of consent prior to the issuance of an order terminating parental rights.
A relinquishment may not be revoked if an order has been issued terminating parental rights.
Nebraska
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Nebraska:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-104; 43-105
Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, no adoption shall be decreed unless written consents are executed by:
  • Any district court, county court, or separate juvenile court having jurisdiction of the custody of a minor child by virtue of proceedings that occurred in any court in Nebraska or by virtue of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
  • Both parents of a child born in lawful wedlock, if living
  • The surviving parent of a child born in lawful wedlock
  • The mother of a child born out of wedlock
  • Both the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock as determined pursuant to §§ 43‑104.08 to 43‑104.24
If consent is not required of both parents for the reasons listed below, substitute consents shall be filed as follows:
  • Consent to the adoption of a minor child who has been committed to the Department of Health and Human Services may be given by the department or its duly authorized agent.
  • When a parent has relinquished a minor child for adoption to any child‑placing agency licensed or approved by
the department, consent to the adoption of such child may be given by such agency.
  • In all other cases, consent shall be given by the guardian or guardian ad litem of the minor child.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Nebraska:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-104
A written consent must be executed by the minor child, if over age 14, or the adult child.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Nebraska:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-104; 43-105
Consent shall not be required of any parent who:
  • Has relinquished the child for adoption by a written instrument
  • Has abandoned the child for at least 6 months immediately prior to the filing of the adoption petition
  • Has been deprived of his or her parental rights to the child by the order of any court of competent jurisdiction
  • Is incapable of consenting
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Nebraska:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-104
A written consent or relinquishment for adoption shall not be valid unless signed at least 48 hours after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Nebraska:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-106
Consents must be acknowledged before an officer authorized to acknowledge deeds and signed in the presence of at least one witness as well as the officer.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Nebraska:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Nevada
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Nevada:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.040
Written consent to the specific adoption proposed by the petition or for relinquishment to an agency authorized to accept relinquishments is required from:
  • Both parents if both are living
  • One parent if the other is deceased
  • The guardian of the child appointed by the court
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Nevada:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.020
The consent of the child, if age 14 or older, is required.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Nevada:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.090; 127.040
Consent is not required of a parent who has been adjudged insane for 2 years if the court is satisfied by proof that such insanity is incurable.
Consent of a parent to an adoption shall not be necessary when parental rights have been terminated by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Nevada:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.070
All releases for and consents to adoption executed by the mother before the birth of a child or within 72 hours after the birth of a child are invalid.
Release for or consent to adoption may be executed by the father before the birth of the child if the father is not married to the mother
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Nevada:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.053; 127.043; 127.057
No consent to a specific adoption is valid unless it:
  • Identifies the child to be adopted by name (if any), sex, and date of birth
  • Is in writing and signed by the person consenting to the adoption
  • Is acknowledged by the person signing the consent to adoption in the manner and form required for conveyances of real property
  • Contains, at the time of execution, the name of the person or persons to whom consent to adopt the child is given
  • Is attested by at least two competent, disinterested witnesses who sign their names to the consent in the presence of the person consenting
If neither the petitioner nor the spouse of a petitioner is related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity, then one of the witnesses must be a social worker employed by:
  • An agency that provides child welfare services
  • An agency licensed in this State to place children for adoption
  • A comparable State or county agency of another State
  • An agency authorized under the laws of another State to place children for adoption, if the natural parent resides in that State
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Nevada:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.070; 127.080
A release executed by the father who is not married to the mother becomes invalid if:
  • The father of the child marries the mother of the child before the child is born.
  • The mother of the child does not execute a release for or consent to adoption of the child within 6 months after the birth of the child.
  • No petition for adoption of the child has been filed within 2 years after the birth of the child.
Consent by the mother to a specific adoptive placement cannot be revoked except when the adoptive family is found to be unsuitable or the placement is in violation of the law.
A minor parent may execute a relinquishment for adoption and cannot revoke it upon coming of age.
New Hampshire
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in New Hampshire:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:5
A surrender of parental rights shall be obtained from:
  • The birth mother, provided that if she is under age 18, the court may require the assent of her parents or legal guardian
  • The legal father, provided that if he is under age 18, the court may require the assent of his parents or legal guardian
  • The birth father, provided that he was found to be entitled to notice and that if he is under age 18, the court may require the assent of his parents or legal guardian
  • The legal guardian of the child, if both birth parents are deceased or have surrendered their rights
  • The department or any licensed child‑placing agency that may been given the care, custody, and control of the child
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in New Hampshire:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:3
If the child is age 14 or older, he or she must assent to the adoption unless the court determines that it is not in the best interests of the child to require assent. Such an assent shall be executed by the child in writing and signed in the presence of the court in which the petition for adoption has been filed.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in New Hampshire:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:7
Surrender of parental rights is not required of:
  • The alleged father who has not met the requirements of § 170‑B:5(I) or § 170‑B:6
  • A parent whose parental rights have been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated by a court in another State
  • An alleged father who is found not to be the father
  • Any parent of the adoptee if the adoptee is an adult
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated
  • An alleged father who is convicted of an offense under §§ 632‑A:2, 632‑A:3, 632‑A:4, or 639:2 that resulted in the conception of the child
  • Parents whose parental rights have been determined to be voluntarily or involuntarily terminated by the proper authorities in another country, such determination to be evidenced by documentation issued by the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. Department of State and deemed acceptable by probate court rule
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in New Hampshire:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:8
No surrender shall be taken until a passage of a minimum of 72 hours after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in New Hampshire:
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170-B:9; 170-B:10
A surrender by a parent shall be executed in writing and signed by the parent in the presence of the court of the county in which the parent resides. If the parent is under age 18, the court may require the assent of the minor’s parents or legal guardian. If the parent is a nonresident, the surrender may be taken in the State in which the parent resides.
A surrender executed by the department or an agency shall be in writing and signed by the executive head or other authorized representative in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments.
A surrender shall state that the person executing the surrender document acknowledges that the person’s parental rights over the child will cease upon the court’s approval of the surrender. A surrender shall further state:
  • An acknowledgment that after the surrender is executed, it is final and, except as noted below, may not be revoked for any reason, including the failure of an adoptive parent to comply with an arrangement with the birth parent for postsurrender contact
  • An acknowledgment that the surrender will extinguish all parental obligations, except the obligation to pay any accrued unpaid child support
  • That the parent has been informed of counseling services and been provided legal counsel
  • That the parent has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the surrender, except for permissible payments
  • Whether the parent has been informed of the identity of the adoptive parents
  • Whether the child is an Indian child
  • Whether the parent wishes to be notified that a final decree of adoption has been entered
  • That the parent has read and understands the content of the document and wishes the surrender to take effect
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in New Hampshire:
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:12
A parent wishing to withdraw a surrender shall notify in writing the court where the surrender was taken. Notification shall be prior to the entry of the final decree. A surrender may not be withdrawn unless the court finds that:
  • The parent seeking to withdraw his or her surrender has proven by a preponderance of evidence that the surrender was obtained by fraud or duress.
  • The withdrawal of the surrender is in the best interests of the adoptee. In making this determination, the court may consider every facet of each parent’s life.
The court shall notify any other party that has surrendered rights to the child of the issuance of its order granting the withdrawal of such surrender. The party shall have 30 days from the date of the register’s notice of decision to request in writing to the court that his or her surrender be withdrawn as well. The 30‑day time period to file such a request shall not be extended by the court absent a showing of good cause.
A surrender may not be withdrawn after the entry of the final decree of adoption for any reason.
New Jersey
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in New Jersey:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 9:3-41; 9:3-45
The child may be surrendered for adoption by:
  • The parent or guardian of the child
  • Any agency that has obtained the authority to place the child for adoption
For purposes of this section, ‘parent’ means:
  • The husband of the mother of a child born or conceived during the marriage
  • A putative or alleged biological mother or father of a child
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in New Jersey:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-49
If the child sought to be adopted is age 10 or older, the appearance of the child shall be required at the final adoption hearing unless waived by the court for good cause shown, and the child’s wishes concerning the adoption shall be solicited by the court and given consideration if the child is of sufficient capacity to form an intelligent preference regarding the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in New Jersey:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-45; 9:3-46
Notice of an adoption proceeding shall not be served on a parent:
  • Who has executed a valid surrender to an approved agency
  • Whose parental rights have been terminated in a separate judicial proceeding
  • Who has, prior to the placement of the child for adoption, received notice of the intention to place the child and who has either failed to file written objections or denied paternity or maternity of the child
  • Who has given the child for adoption to the adopting parent, and the court has determined that the surrender was voluntary and proper
  • Whose child has been made available for adoption in a foreign state or country if the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has determined that the child has been approved for adoptive placement
  • Who is presumed to be the biological father of the child but who, within 120 days of the birth of the child or prior to the date of the preliminary hearing, whichever occurs first, has not acknowledged paternity
A judgment of adoption shall be entered over an objection of a person who is entitled to notice if the court finds, during the 6‑month period prior to the placement of the child for adoption or within 120 days after the birth of a child or prior to the date of the preliminary hearing, whichever occurs first, in the case of a child placed for adoption as a newborn infant:
  • That the parent has substantially failed to perform the regular and expected parental functions of care and support of the child, although able to do so
  • That the parent is unable to perform the regular and expected parental functions of care and support of the child and that the parent’s inability to perform those functions is unlikely to change in the immediate future
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in New Jersey:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-41(e)
A surrender by the birth parent of a child shall not be valid if taken within 72 hours of the birth of the child. The denial of paternity by an alleged father, at any time including prior to the birth of the child, shall be deemed a surrender for purposes of allowing the child to be adopted.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in New Jersey:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 9:3-41(a); 9:3-45(b)(4)
Surrender of a child to an approved agency for the purpose of adoption shall be by a signed instrument acknowledged by the person executing the instrument before an officer authorized to take acknowledgments or proofs in the State in which the instrument is executed. Prior to the execution of the surrender, the approved agency shall, directly or through its agent, inform the person executing the surrender that the instrument is a surrender of parental rights by the signatory and means the permanent end of the relationship and all contact between the parent and child.
Any approved agency may accept custody of a child by a duly executed instrument of surrender from a parent or guardian of the child or from another approved agency or any agency for the care and protection of children approved by any other State, the United States, or any foreign country that has duly obtained the authority to place the child for adoption. A surrender executed in another State or foreign country by a resident of that State or country and valid where executed shall be deemed a valid surrender in this State if taken more than 72 hours after the birth of the child.
At the request of a parent of the child, an approved agency may receive that parent’s surrender of his of her child for purposes of having the child adopted by a person specified by the surrendering parent. A hearing may be held to determine whether the surrender was voluntary and proper.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in New Jersey:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-41(a)
The surrender shall be valid and binding without regard to the age of the person executing the surrender and shall be irrevocable except at the discretion of the approved agency taking such surrender or upon order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction setting aside such surrender upon proof of fraud, duress, or misrepresentation by the approved agency.
New Mexico
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in New Mexico:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-17
Consent to adoption or relinquishment of parental rights to the department or an agency licensed by the State of New Mexico shall be required of the following:
  • The mother
  • The proposed adoptive parent
  • The presumed father
  • The acknowledged father
  • The Children, Youth and Families Department or the agency to whom the child has been relinquished that has placed the child for adoption
  • The guardian of the child’s parent, when that guardian has express authority to consent to adoption
In any adoption involving an Indian child, consent to adoption by the petitioner, or relinquishment of parental rights, shall be obtained from an Indian custodian, as required by the provisions of the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. § 1901, et seq.).
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in New Mexico:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-17
Consent to adoption shall be required of the child if age 14 or older, except when the court finds that the child does not have the mental capacity to give consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in New Mexico:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 32A-5-18; 32A-5-19
A consent to adoption shall be implied by the court if the parent, without justifiable cause, has:
  • Left the child without provision for the child’s identification for a period of 14 days
  • Left the child with others, including the other parent or an agency, without provisions for support and without communication for a period of:
    • 3 months, if the child was under age 6 at the commencement of the 3‑month period
    • 6 months, if the child was over age 6 at the commencement of the 6‑month period
The consent to adoption shall not be required from:
  • A parent whose rights with reference to the child have been terminated
  • A parent who has relinquished the child to an agency for adoption
  • A biological father of a child conceived as a result of rape or incest
  • A person who has failed to respond when given notice pursuant to the provisions of § 32A‑5‑27
  • An alleged father who has failed to register with the putative father registry within 10 days of the child’s birth and is not otherwise the acknowledged father
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in New Mexico:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-21(G)
No consent to adoption or relinquishment of parental rights shall be valid if executed within 48 hours after the child’s birth.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in New Mexico:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 32A-5-21; 32A-5-23
A consent by a parent shall be in writing and state the following:
  • The date, place, and time of execution
  • The date and place of birth of the child and any names by which the child has been known
  • The identity of the adoptive parent, if known
  • That the person executing the consent has been counseled by a certified counselor of the person’s choice and with this knowledge the person is voluntarily and unequivocally consenting
  • That the consenting party has been advised of the legal consequences of the consent either by independent legal counsel or a judge
  • That the consent to or relinquishment for adoption cannot be withdrawn
  • That the person executing the consent waives further notice of the adoption proceedings
In cases when the consent is in English and English is not the first language of the consenting person, the person taking the consent shall certify in writing that the document has been read and explained to the person whose consent is being taken in that person’s first language. That certification will include the name of the person who read and explained the document, and that the meaning and implications of the document are fully understood by the person giving the consent.
A consent taken by an individual appointed to take consents by an agency shall be notarized. When a consent is signed in the presence of a judge it need not be notarized.
The requirements of a consent to adoption or relinquishment of parental rights involving an Indian child and the rights of a parent of an Indian child to withdraw the consent or relinquishment shall be governed by the relevant provisions of the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act.
A consent to adoption or relinquishment of parental rights shall be signed before, and approved on the record by, a judge who has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings within or without this State, and who is in the jurisdiction in which the child is present or in which the parent resides at the time it is
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in New Mexico:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-21(I)
A consent or relinquishment executed by a parent who is a minor shall not be subject to revocation solely by reason of the parent’s minority.
A consent to or relinquishment for adoption shall not be withdrawn prior to the entry of a decree of adoption unless the court finds that the consent or relinquishment was obtained by fraud.
In no event shall a consent or relinquishment be withdrawn after the entry of a decree of adoption.
New York
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in New York:
Citation: Dom. Rel. Law §§ 111; 113
Consent to adoption shall be required from the following persons or entities:
  • The parents or surviving parent, whether adult or minor, of a child conceived or born in wedlock
  • The mother, whether adult or minor, of a child born out of wedlock
  • The father, whether adult or minor, of a child born out‑of‑wedlock and placed with the adoptive parents more than 6 months after birth, but only if that father has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child
  • The father, whether adult or minor, of a child born out‑of‑wedlock and placed with the adoptive parents less than 6 months after birth, but only if the father:
    • Openly lived with the child or the child’s mother for a continuous period of 6 months immediately preceding the placement of the child for adoption
    • Openly held himself out to be the father of such child during such period
    • Paid a fair and reasonable sum, in accordance with his means, for the medical, hospital, and nursing expenses incurred in connection with the mother’s pregnancy or with the birth of the child
  • Any person or authorized agency having lawful custody of the adoptive child
An authorized agency may consent to the adoption of a minor whose custody and guardianship has been transferred to that agency.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in New York:
Citation: Dom. Rel. Law § 111
Consent to adoption shall be required of the adoptive child who is age 14 or older, unless the judge or surrogate in his discretion dispenses with that consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in New York:
Citation: Dom. Rel. Law § 111
Consent shall not be required of a parent or of any other person having custody of the child:
  • Who evinces an intent to forego his or her parental or custodial rights and obligations as manifested by his or her failure for a period of 6 months to visit the child and communicate with the child or person having legal custody of the child, although able to do so
  • Who has surrendered the child to an authorized agency
  • For whose child a guardian has been appointed
  • Who, by reason of mental illness or mental retardation, is presently and for the foreseeable future unable to provide proper care for the child
  • Who has executed an instrument, which shall be irrevocable, denying the paternity of the child
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in New York:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in New York:
Citation: Dom. Rel. § 115-b; Soc. Serv. Law. § 384
A consent to adoption executed by a person who is in foster care shall only be executed before a judge of the family court.
A consent to a private placement adoption may be executed or acknowledged before any judge or surrogate in this State having jurisdiction over adoption proceedings. Such consent shall state that it is irrevocable upon such execution or acknowledgment.
At the time that a parent appears before a judge or surrogate to execute or acknowledge a consent to adoption, the judge or surrogate shall inform the parent of the consequences of that act, including informing the parent of the right to be represented by legal counsel of the parent’s own choosing and of the right to obtain supportive counseling. The judge or surrogate shall give the parent a copy of such consent upon the execution thereof.
In any case in which a consent is not executed or acknowledged before a judge or surrogate, that consent shall be executed or acknowledged before a notary public or other officer authorized to take proof of deeds. A copy of the consent shall be given to the parent upon the execution thereof.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in New York:
Citation: Dom. Rel. § 115-b
A judicial consent shall state that it is irrevocable upon such execution or acknowledgment.
An extrajudicial consent shall become irrevocable 45 days after the execution of the consent unless written notice of revocation thereof is received by the court in which the adoption proceeding is to begin within the 45 days. The notice of revocation shall go into effect only if the adoptive parents fail to oppose such revocation, or, if they oppose such revocation and the court has determined that the best interests of the child will be served by giving force and effect to such revocation.
Nothing contained in this section shall bar actions or proceedings brought on the ground of fraud, duress, or coercion in the execution of an adoption consent.
North Carolina
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in North Carolina:
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 48-3-601; 48-3-602
Consent to an adoption in a direct placement must be executed by:
  • The mother of the minor
  • Any man who may or may not be the biological father of the minor but who:
    • Is or was married to the mother
    • Attempted to marry the mother of the minor before the minor’s birth
    • Has legitimated the minor under the law of any State
    • Has acknowledged his paternity of the minor
    • Has received the minor into his home and openly held out the minor as his biological child
    • Is the adoptive father of the minor
  • A guardian of the minor
  • The guardian ad litem of an incompetent parent
In an agency placement, consent must be provided by:
  • The agency that placed the minor for adoption
  • Each individual described above who has not relinquished the minor
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in North Carolina:
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 48-3-601; 48-3-603
Consent to an adoption must be executed by the minor to be adopted if he or she is age 12 or older unless the court finds that it is not in the best interests of the minor for the court to require consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in North Carolina:
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 48-3-603
Consent to an adoption of a minor is not required of:
  • An individual whose parental rights and duties have been terminated
  • A man, other than an adoptive father, who has been judicially determined not to be the father of the minor adoptee, or another man has been judicially determined to be the father of the minor
  • An individual who has relinquished parental rights or guardianship powers, including the right to consent to adoption
  • A man who is not married to the minor’s birth mother and who, after the conception of the minor, has executed a notarized statement denying paternity or disclaiming any interest in the minor
  • A deceased parent or the personal representative of a deceased parent’s estate
  • An individual listed in § 48‑3‑601 who has not executed a consent or a relinquishment and who fails to respond to a notice of the adoption proceeding within 30 days after the service of the notice
  • An individual who does not respond to notice of the adoption proceedings in a timely manner or whose consent is not required as determined by the court
  • An individual whose actions resulted in a conviction under § 14‑27.2 or § 14‑27.3 and the conception of the minor to be adopted
The court may issue an order dispensing with the consent of a guardian or an agency that placed the minor upon a finding that the consent is being withheld contrary to the best interests of the minor.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in North Carolina:
Citation: Gen. Stat. § 48-3-604
A man whose consent is required under § 48‑3‑601 may execute a consent to adoption either before or after the child is born.
The mother of a minor child may execute a consent to adoption at any time after the child is born but not before.
A guardian of a minor to be adopted may execute a consent to adoption at any time.
An agency licensed by the Department Health and Human Services or a county department of social services that places a minor for adoption shall execute its consent no later than 30 days after being served with notice of the proceeding for adoption.
A minor to be adopted who is age 12 or older may execute a consent at any time.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in North Carolina:
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 48-3-605; 48-3-606
Consent executed by a parent or guardian or by an adoptee who is age 12 or older must be signed and acknowledged under oath. A parent who is younger than age 18 shall have legal capacity to give consent to adoption as if he or she were age 18.
A consent by an agency must be executed by the executive head or another authorized employee and must be signed and acknowledged under oath.
A consent to the adoption of an Indian child must meet the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. § 1901, et seq.).
A consent must state:
  • The date and place of its execution
  • The name, date of birth, and permanent address of the person executing consent
  • The date of birth or the expected delivery date, and the sex and name of the adoptee, if known
  • That the person executing consent is voluntarily consenting to the transfer of legal and physical custody to, and the adoption of the child by, the identified prospective adoptive parent
  • The name of a person and an address where any notice of revocation may be sent
  • That the person executing the document understands that after the consent is signed and acknowledged, it is final and irrevocable except under a circumstance set forth in § 48‑3‑609
  • That the consent is not affected by any separate agreement between the person executing the consent and the adoptive parent
  • That the person executing consent has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the consent except for lawful payments that are itemized on a schedule attached to the consent
  • That the person executing consent waives notice of any proceeding for adoption
  • That the person executing consent has:
    • Received or been offered an unsigned copy of the consent
    • Been advised that counseling services may be available through county departments of social services or licensed child‑placing agencies
    • Been advised of the right to employ independent legal counsel
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in North Carolina:
Citation: Gen. Stat. §§ 48-3-607; 48-3- 608; 48-3-609
A consent is final and irrevocable except under a circumstance set forth below.
A consent to the adoption of any infant who is in utero or any minor may be revoked within 7 days following the day on which it is executed. The individual who gave the consent may revoke it by giving written notice to the person specified in the consent.
In a direct placement, if a preplacement assessment is required, and if placement occurs before the preplacement assessment is given to the parent or guardian who is placing the minor, then that individual’s time to revoke any consent previously given shall be either 5 business days after the date the individual receives the preplacement assessment or the remainder of the 7 days, whichever is longer.
If a person revokes consent, the prospective adoptive parent shall, immediately upon request, return the minor to that person.
If a person revokes consent, the adoption cannot proceed until another consent is obtained or the person’s parental rights are terminated. A second consent to adoption by the same adoptive parents is irrevocable.
A consent shall be void if:
  • Before the entry of the adoption decree, the individual who executed the consent establishes by clear and convincing evidence that it was obtained by fraud or duress.
  • The prospective adoptive parent and the individual who executed the consent mutually agree in writing to set it aside.
  • The petition to adopt is voluntarily dismissed with prejudice.
  • The court dismisses the petition to adopt and no appeal has been taken, or the dismissal has been affirmed on appeal and all appeals have been exhausted.
North Dakota
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in North Dakota:
Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-05
A petition to adopt a minor may be granted only if written consent to a particular adoption has been executed by:
  • The mother of the minor, whether by birth or adoption
  • The father of the minor if:
    • The minor is the father’s child by adoption, or the father has otherwise legitimated the minor according to the laws of the place in which the adoption proceeding is brought.
    • The person is presumed to be the biological father of the minor, provided the nonexistence of the father and child relationship between them has not been judicially determined.
  • Any individual lawfully entitled to custody of the minor or empowered to consent
  • The court having jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor, if the legal guardian or custodian of the minor is not empowered to consent to the adoption
  • The spouse of the minor adoptee
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in North Dakota:
Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-05
A child who is age 10 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in North Dakota:
Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-06
Consent to adoption is not required of:
  • A parent who has deserted a child without affording means of identification or who has abandoned a child
  • A parent of a child in the custody of another, if the parent for a period of at least 1 year has failed significantly without justifiable cause to communicate with the child or to provide for the care and support of the child
  • The father of a minor if the father’s consent is not required by § 14‑15‑05(1)
  • A parent who has relinquished the right to consent
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated
  • A parent judicially declared incompetent or mentally defective if the court dispenses with the parent’s consent
  • Any parent of the adoptee if the adoptee is an adult
  • Any legal guardian or lawful custodian of the adoptee, other than a parent, who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent for a period of 60 days or who, after examination of the guardian’s or custodian’s written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably
  • The spouse of the adoptee if the failure of the spouse to consent to the adoption is excused by the court by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances constituting an unreasonable withholding of consent
  • A parent of the minor, if the failure of the parent to consent is excused by the court in the best interests of the child by reason of the parent’s prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or significant failure, without justifiable cause, to establish a substantial relationship with the minor or to manifest a significant parental interest in the minor, or by reason of inability of the court to identify the parent
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in North Dakota:
Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-07
The required consent to adoption may be executed at any time after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in North Dakota:
Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-07
The required consent to adoption must be executed in the following manner:
  • If by the individual to be adopted, in the presence of the court
  • If by an agency, by the executive head or other authorized representative in the presence of an individual authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by any other individual, in the presence of the court or in the presence of an individual authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by a court, by appropriate order or certificate
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in North Dakota:
Citation: Cent. Code § 14-15-08
A consent to adoption cannot be withdrawn after the entry of a decree of adoption.
A consent to adoption may be withdrawn before the entry of a decree of adoption if the court finds, after notice and opportunity to be heard is afforded to petitioner, the individual seeking the withdrawal, and the agency placing a child for adoption, that the withdrawal is in the best interests of the individual to be adopted and the court orders the withdrawal.
Northern Mariana Islands
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Northern Mariana Islands:
Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1404
Written consent to the adoption must be executed by:
  • The mother
  • The legal father of a legitimate child
  • An adjudicated or presumed father
  • A concerned natural father who has shown a reasonable degree of interest
  • Any person or agency having custody
  • The court having jurisdiction
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Northern Mariana Islands:
Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1404(8)
A child who is age 10 or older must consent unless the court, in the child’s best interests, dispenses with consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Northern Mariana Islands:
Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1405(a)
Consent to adoption is not required of:
  • The parent who has:
    • Abandoned the child
    • Failed to communicate with or support the child
    • Relinquished his or her rights or had them terminated
    • Been declared incompetent or mentally defective
  • Any legal guardian who:
    • Fails to respond to a request for consent
    • Is found to be withholding consent unreasonably
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Northern Mariana Islands:
Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1406(a)
Consent to the adoption shall be executed at any time after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Northern Mariana Islands:
Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1406(a)
Consent to the adoption shall be executed in the following manner:
  • If by the individual to be adopted, in the presence of the court
  • If by an agency, by the executive head or authorized representative, in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by any other person in the presence of the court or in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by a court, by appropriate order or certificate
A consent that does not name or otherwise identify an adopting parent is valid if the consent contains a statement that the consenting person voluntarily executed the consent irrespective of the disclosure of the name or other identification of the adopting parent.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Northern Mariana Islands:
Citation: Commonwealth Code Tit. 8, § 1407
A consent to adoption cannot be withdrawn after the entry of a decree of adoption.
A consent to adoption may be withdrawn prior to the entry of the adoption decree if the court finds, after notice and opportunity to be heard to the petitioner, the person seeking withdrawal, and the agency placing the child, that the withdrawal is in the child’s best interests.
Ohio
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Ohio:
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.06
For a child born after 1‑1‑1997, an adoption petition may be granted only when written consent has been executed by all of the following unless consent is otherwise not required:
  • The mother
  • The father if:
    • The minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother.
    • The minor is his child by adoption.
    • Prior to the date the petition was filed, a court determined that he has a parent‑child relationship with the minor.
    • He acknowledged paternity of the child, and the acknowledgement of paternity has become final.
  • The putative father
  • Any person or agency having permanent custody of the minor or authorized to consent
For a child born before 1‑1‑1997, an adoption petition may be granted only if written consent to the adoption has been executed by:
  • The mother
  • The father if the minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother, the minor is his child by adoption, or paternity has been established by a court proceeding
  • A person or agency having permanent custody of the minor or authorized by court order to consent
  • The juvenile court that has jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor
  • The putative father if:
    • He is alleged to be the father in a parentage proceeding at any time before an adoptive placement.
    • He has acknowledged the child in a writing sworn before a notary public at any time before an adoptive placement.
    • He has signed the birth certificate of the child as an informant.
    • He has filed an objection to the adoption with the agency having custody of the minor or the Department of Human Services at any time before the adoptive placement of the minor, or with the probate court or the department within 30 days of the filing of a petition to adopt the minor or the minor’s placement, whichever occurs first.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Ohio:
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.06
A child who is age 12 or older must consent, unless the court finds that it is in the child’s best interests to waive the requirement.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Ohio:
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.07
For a child born after 1‑1‑1997, consent is not required of:
  • A parent who has failed to communicate or support the minor for at least 1 year
  • The putative father if:
    • He failed to register with the putative father registry within 30 days of the minor’s birth.
    • The court finds that he is not the father or he abandoned the minor or the minor’s mother.
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated
  • A parent who is married to the petitioner
  • A guardian of an incompetent parent or the adoptee who is found to be withholding consent unreasonably
  • The adoptee’s spouse if the failure to consent is due to prolonged absence, unavailability, or incapacity
  • Any parent or guardian in a foreign country, if the adoptee has been released for adoption pursuant to the laws of that country in a form that satisfies the requirements in the United States
  • The father or putative father of a minor conceived as the result of rape
  • A court, agency, or person that fails to object within 14 days to a notice of a petition
  • Any guardian or other party who has temporary custody of the child
For a child born before 1‑1‑1997, consent is not required of:
  • A parent who has failed to communicate or support the minor for at least 1 year
  • The putative father if he fails to file an objection to the adoption, or the court finds that he is not the father, or he has abandoned or failed to support the minor or the minor’s mother
  • A parent who has had parental rights terminated
  • A guardian of an incompetent parent or adoptee, other than a parent, or who is found to be withholding consent unreasonably
  • The adoptee’s spouse, if the court finds the failure to consent is due to prolonged absence, unavailability, or incapacity
  • Any parent or guardian in a foreign country, if the adoptee has been released for adoption pursuant to the laws of that country in a form that satisfies requirements in the United States
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Ohio:
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.08(A)
The required consent to adoption may be executed at any time after 72 hours after the birth of a minor.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Ohio:
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 3107.08; 3107.081
The required consent to adoption shall be executed in the following manner:
  • If by the person to be adopted, in the presence of the court
  • If by an agency, by the executive head or other authorized representative in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by any other person, in the presence of the court or in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments
  • If by a juvenile court, by appropriate order
A parent shall do all of the following as a condition of a court accepting the parent’s consent to the minor’s adoption:
  • Appear personally before the court
  • Sign the form prescribed in § 3107.083(A)(1)(a)
  • If the parent is the mother, complete and sign the form prescribed in § 3107.03(A)(1)(c)
The parents of a minor who is less than 6 months old may consent to the minor’s adoption without personally appearing before a court if both parents do all of the following
  • Execute a notarized statement of consent to the minor’s adoption before the attorney arranging the adoption
  • Sign the form prescribed by § 3107.083
The court shall question the parent to determine that the parent understands the adoption process, the ramifications of consenting to the adoption, and that the parent’s consent to the adoption is made voluntarily.
If a minor is to be adopted by a stepparent, the parent who is not married to the stepparent may consent to the minor’s adoption without appearing personally before a court if the parent executes consent in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments.
If a parent of a minor to be adopted resides in another State, the parent may consent to the minor’s adoption without appearing personally before a court if the parent executes consent in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Ohio:
Citation: Rev. Code § 3107.084
A consent to adoption is irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn after the entry of an interlocutory order or after the entry of a final decree of adoption when no interlocutory order has been entered. The consent of a minor is not voidable by reason of the minor’s age.
A consent to adoption may be withdrawn prior to the entry of an interlocutory order or prior to the entry of a final decree of adoption when no interlocutory order has been entered if the court finds after hearing that the withdrawal is in the best interests of the person to be adopted, and the court by order authorizes the withdrawal of consent. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the petitioner, the person seeking the withdrawal of consent, and the agency placing the minor for adoption.
Oklahoma
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Oklahoma:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7503-2.1
Written consent to adoption or a permanent relinquishment for adoption must be executed by:
  • Both parents
  • One parent alone if:
    • The other parent is dead.
    • The parental rights of the other parent have been terminated.
    • The consent of the other parent is otherwise not required pursuant to § 7505‑4.2.
  • The legal guardian or the guardian ad litem of the minor if both parents are dead or if the rights of the parents have been terminated by judicial proceedings
  • The executive head of a licensed child‑placing agency, if the minor has been permanently relinquished to such agency or the rights of both parents have been judicially terminated and custody of the minor has been legally vested in such agency
  • Any person having legal custody of a minor by court order
A parent of a minor born in wedlock or a parent who is age 16 or older shall be deemed capable of giving consent to the adoption of a minor
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Oklahoma:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7503-2.1
If a minor to be adopted is age 12 or older, he or she must consent before a decree of adoption may be granted unless the court makes a finding that it is not in the best interests of the minor to require the minor’s consent. The consent of the minor must be given before the court in such form as the court shall direct.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Oklahoma:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, § 7505-4.2
Consent to adoption is not required from a putative father who fails to prove he is the father of the child.
Consent to adoption is not required from a parent who:
  • For 12 consecutive months out of the last 14 months immediately preceding the filing of a petition for adoption of a child has willfully failed, refused, or neglected to contribute to the support of such minor
  • Is entitled to custody of a minor and has abandoned the minor
  • Fails to establish and/or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the minor for 12 consecutive months
  • Has been convicted of physically or sexually abusing the minor or a sibling of the minor or failed to protect the minor or a sibling of the minor from physical or sexual abuse that resulted in severe harm or injury
  • Has been convicted in a criminal action of having caused the death of a sibling of the minor as a result of the physical or sexual abuse or chronic neglect of such sibling
  • Has been sentenced to a period of incarceration of not less than 10 years and the continuation of parental rights would result in harm to the minor
  • Has a mental illness or mental deficiency that renders the parent incapable of adequately and appropriately exercising parental rights, duties, and responsibilities
  • Has permanently relinquished parental rights and responsibilities to the minor
  • Has had his or her parental relationship to a minor legally terminated or legally determined not to exist
  • Has voluntarily placed a minor child in the care of a licensed child care institution or child‑placing agency, if the minor has remained in out‑of‑home care for 18 months or more, and the parent has willfully failed to substantially comply for 12 consecutive months out of the 14‑month period immediately preceding the filing of the petition for adoption with a reasonable written plan of care
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Oklahoma:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, §§ 7503-2.2; 7503-2.3
Consent may be given as follows:
  • The mother of a minor shall not execute a valid consent to the adoption of the minor or a permanent relinquishment of the minor prior to the birth of the minor.
  • The father of a minor born in wedlock shall not execute a valid consent to the adoption of the minor or a permanent relinquishment of the minor prior to the birth of the minor
  • A putative father of a minor may execute a consent to the adoption of the minor, a permanent relinquishment of the minor, or an extrajudicial consent to the adoption of the minor before or after the birth of the minor.
  • A guardian, guardian ad litem, or legal custodian of a child may execute a consent to the adoption of a minor or a permanent relinquishment at any time after being authorized by a court to do so.
  • A child‑placing agency that places a child for adoption may execute its consent at any time at or before the hearing on the petition for adoption.
  • A minor age 12 or older whose consent is required may execute a consent to adoption at any time at or before the hearing on the petition for adoption.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Oklahoma:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, §§ 7503-2.4; 7503-2.6
Consent to an adoption of a minor shall be in writing and executed before a judge of the district court in this State. A consent must state that the person executing the consent:
  • Is voluntarily and unequivocally consenting to the adoption
  • Understands that after the consent is executed, it is final and, except for fraud or duress, may not be revoked for any reason except as otherwise authorized by law
  • Is represented by counsel or has waived any right to counsel
  • Retains the duty to support the mother or the minor until the adoption is completed
  • Has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the consent, except for payments authorized by law
  • Indicates whether he or she is a member of an Indian Tribe and whether the minor is eligible for membership or is a member of an Indian Tribe
  • Believes the adoption of the minor is in the minor’s best interests
A consent may be signed before any judge of a court having probate or adoption jurisdiction in this State or in the State of residence of the person executing the consent.
A putative father at least age 16 of a minor born out of wedlock who is not an Indian child may execute an extrajudicial consent before a notary public in which the putative father waives any legal interest in the minor, disclaims any legal rights with respect to the minor, and consents to the adoption of the minor. An extrajudicial consent may be executed by a putative father before or after the birth of the minor.
A man who is the legal husband of the mother of a minor who is not an Indian child may execute an extrajudicial consent before a notary public in which he waives any legal interest in the minor, disclaims any legal rights with respect to the minor, and consents to the adoption of the minor. An extrajudicial consent may be executed by the father only after the birth of the minor.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Oklahoma:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 10, §§ 7503-2.7; 7503-2.6
Except as otherwise provided below, a consent to adoption shall be irrevocable.
The court shall set aside a consent to adoption or vacate an order terminating parental rights based upon the execution of a permanent relinquishment only if it would be in the best interests of the minor and if the individual who executed the permanent relinquishment or consent establishes:
  • By a preponderance of the evidence, that without good cause shown, a petition to adopt was not filed within 9 months after the minor was placed for adoption
  • By a preponderance of the evidence, that another consent or permanent relinquishment was not executed or that a court decided not to terminate another individual’s parental relationship to the minor
  • By clear and convincing evidence, before a decree of adoption is issued or within 3 months of the discovery of the fraud, whichever is later, that the consent was obtained by fraud or duress
An extrajudicial consent shall be revocable for any reason for 15 calendar days after the execution of the consent before the notary public.
Oregon
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Oregon:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.312; 109.314; 109.316
Consent in writing to the adoption of a child shall be given by:
  • The parents of the child, or the survivor of them
  • The guardian of the child, if the child has no living parent
  • The next of kin in this State, if the child has no living parent and no guardian
  • Some suitable person appointed by the court to act in the proceeding as next friend of the child to give or withhold consent, if the child has no living parent and no guardian or next of kin qualified to consent
If the legal custody of the child has been awarded in marital dissolution proceedings, the written consent of the person to whom custody of the child has been awarded may be held sufficient by the court. However, unless the noncustodial parent consents to the adoption, the petitioner shall serve on the noncustodial parent a summons and a motion and order to show cause why the proposed adoption should not be ordered without the noncustodial parent’s consent, and the objections of the noncustodial parent shall be heard if appearance is made.
The Department of Human Services or an approved child‑caring agency, acting in loco parentis, may consent to the adoption of a child who has been:
  • Surrendered to it for the purpose of adoption
  • Permanently committed to it by order of a court of competent jurisdiction
  • Surrendered to it for the purpose of adoption by one parent and permanently committed to it by a court of competent jurisdiction having jurisdiction of the other parent
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Oregon:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 109.328
If the child is age 14 or older, the adoption shall not be made without the consent of the child.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Oregon:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.322; 109.324; 109.326
An adoption may be granted without the consent of the parent if:
  • A parent has been adjudged mentally ill or mentally deficient and remains so at the time of the adoption proceedings.
  • A parent is imprisoned in a State or Federal prison under a sentence for a term of not less than 3 years and has actually served 3 years.
  • A parent has willfully deserted the child or neglected without just and sufficient cause to provide proper care and maintenance for the child for 1 year immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption.
  • The mother of a child was married at the time of the conception or birth of the child, and it has been determined that her husband at such time was not the father of the child; in this case, consent of the husband is not required.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Oregon:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Oregon:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.312; 109.346; 418.270
Consent must be in writing and its validity attested to by the court or an authorized person.
A birth parent consenting to an adoption shall receive notice of the birth parent’s right to payment for three adoption‑related counseling sessions prior to surrender or relinquishment of the child for adoption and three sessions of adoption‑related counseling after surrender or relinquishment of the child for adoption.
Notice of the right to adoption‑related counseling shall be in writing and shall be provided to the consenting birth parent by either the attorney for the birth parent, the agency representative taking the birth parent’s consent, or the attorney for the prospective adoptive parent. Before entry of a judgment of adoption, the agency or attorney providing the written notice shall submit verification to the court that the notice was given to the consenting birth parent.
A parent may execute consent or surrender to a child‑placing agency for the purpose of placing the child for adoption by that agency.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Oregon:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 109.312
A person who gives consent to adoption may agree concurrently or subsequently to the giving of such consent that the consent shall be or become irrevocable and may waive such person’s right to a personal appearance in court by a duly signed and attested certificate. The certificate of irrevocability and waiver shall be in effect when the following are completed:
  • The child is placed for the purpose of adoption in the physical custody of the person or persons to whom the consent is given.
  • The person or persons to whom consent for adoption is given have filed a petition to adopt the child in a court of competent jurisdiction.
  • The court has entered an order appointing the petitioner or some other suitable person as guardian of the child.
  • A home study has been filed with the court approving the petitioners as potential adoptive parents.
  • Information about the child’s social, medical, and genetic history has been provided by the person giving consent to the adoption.
  • The person signing the certificate of irrevocability and waiver has been given an explanation of the consequences of signing the certificate.
Upon the fulfillment of the conditions above, the consent for adoption may not be revoked unless fraud or duress is proved with respect to any material fact.
Consent to the adoption of a child subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act shall not be valid unless the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) are met. In accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, a certificate of irrevocability is not valid for a child who is subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Pennsylvania
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Pennsylvania:
Citation: Cons. Stat. Ch. 23, § 2711
Consent to an adoption shall be required of the following:
  • The spouse of the adopting parent, unless he or she joins in the adoption petition
  • The parents or surviving parent of a child who has not reached age 18
  • The guardian of an incapacitated person to be adopted
  • The guardian or custodian of a child under age 18, whenever the child has no parent whose consent is required
The consent of the husband of the mother shall not be necessary if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the husband of the natural mother is not the natural father of the child.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Pennsylvania:
Citation: Cons. Stat. Ch. 23, § 2711
A child who is age 12 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Pennsylvania:
Citation: Cons. Stat. Ch. 23, §§ 2713; 2714; 2511
The consent of the parent is not required when:
  • The person to be adopted is age 18 or older.
  • The child is under age 18 and has no parent living whose consent is required.
  • The parental rights of the parent have been terminated.
  • The court finds that grounds exist for involuntary termination under § 2511.
The rights of a parent in regard to a child may be terminated when the parent:
  • Has refused or failed to perform parental duties
  • Has harmed the child through repeated and continued incapacity, abuse, or neglect
  • Is the presumptive but not the natural father of the child
  • Is unknown or cannot be found and does not claim the child within 3 months after the child is found
  • Has a child in out‑of‑home care and cannot or will not remedy those conditions that led to the removal or placement of the child within a reasonable period of time
  • In the case of a newborn child, knows or has reason to know of the child’s birth, does not reside with the child, has not married the child’s other parent, and has failed for a period of 4 months to make reasonable efforts to maintain substantial and continuing contact with the child or to support the child
  • Is the father of a child conceived as a result of a rape or incest
  • Has not remedied conditions that led to the removal of the child, 12 months or more have elapsed since the child’s removal, and termination of parental rights would best serve the needs and welfare of the child
  • Has been convicted of criminal homicide or aggravated assault, and the victim was a child of the parent
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Pennsylvania:
Citation: Cons. Stat. Ch. 23, § 2711
No consent shall be valid if it was executed prior to or within 72 hours after the birth of the child. A putative father may execute consent at any time after receiving notice of the expected or actual birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Pennsylvania:
Citation: Cons. Stat. Ch. 23, §§ 2501-2504; 2711(d)
When a child under age 18 has been in the care of an agency for 3 days, or the agency has received a written notice of the intent to transfer to it custody of the child, executed by the parent, the parent of the child may petition the court for permission to relinquish forever all parental rights and duties with respect to the child.
The written consent of a parent or guardian of a petitioner who has not reached age 18 shall not be required. The consent of the agency to accept custody of the child until the child is adopted shall be required.
When any child under age 18 has been for 3 days in the exclusive care of an adult who has filed a report of intention to adopt, the parent of the child may petition the court for permission to relinquish forever all parental rights to the child.
The written consent of a parent or guardian of a petitioner who has not reached age 18 shall not be required. The adults having care of the child shall file a separate consent to accept custody of the child.
Upon presentation of a petition to relinquish parental rights, the court shall hold a hearing within 10 days. The petitioner must appear at the hearing. After the hearing, the court may enter a decree of termination of parental rights.
If a putative father fails to file a petition, appear at the hearing, or file a written objection to the termination, and has not filed a claim of paternity, the court may enter a decree terminating the parental rights of the putative father.
If the parent of the child has executed consent, upon petition by the intermediary or, where there is no intermediary, by the adoptive parent, the court shall hold a hearing to confirm a consent to an adoption. The original consent to the adoption shall be attached to the petition.
The consent shall include the date and place of its execution and names and addresses and signatures of at least two persons who witnessed its execution and their relationship to the consenter.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Pennsylvania:
Citation: Cons. Stat. Ch. 23, § 2711
The revocation of a consent shall be in writing and shall be served upon the agency or adult to whom the child was relinquished. The following apply:
  • For a consent executed by a birth father or a putative father, the consent is irrevocable more than 30 days after the birth of the child or the execution of the consent, whichever occurs later.
  • For a consent executed by a birth mother, the consent is irrevocable more than 30 days after the execution of the consent.
An individual who executed a consent to an adoption may challenge the validity of the consent only by filing a petition alleging fraud or duress within the earlier of the following timeframes:
  • 60 days after the birth of the child or the execution of the consent, whichever occurs later
  • 30 days after the entry of the adoption decree
A consent to an adoption may be invalidated only if the alleged fraud or duress is proven by:
  • A preponderance of the evidence in the case of consent by a person age 21 or younger
  • Clear and convincing evidence in all other cases
Puerto Rico
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Puerto Rico:
Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 31, § 535
The following persons shall give consent to adoption before the court:
  • The adopting parents
  • The father, mother, or parents of the adoptee who, at the moment of the adoption, possesses his or her patria potestas, as well as the father or mother who, due to a divorce decree, does not possess the patria potestas of a minor
  • The father or mother who, on the date the petition is filed, has acknowledged the minor to be adopted as his or her child
  • The Secretary of the Department of the Family, when an unnemancipated minor to be adopted is under his or her guardianship and care and whose father, mother, or parents have been deprived of patria potestas
  • The special or legal guardian designated for the purpose of consenting to the adoption
  • The parents who are minors, but over age 18, who are married to each other on the date the adoption petition is filed
  • The biological grandparents when the biological parents are unemancipated minors
[Note: In Puerto Rico, the age of majority is 21 (see tit. 31, § 971).]
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Puerto Rico:
Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 31, § 535
A child who is age 10 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Puerto Rico:
Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 31, § 535
The consent of the parents shall not be required in the following cases:
  • When both or either parent have been deprived of patria potestas according to the provisions of §§ 632 through 634c of this title, and pursuant to any other legal provisions in effect that apply to these cases
  • When the adoptee is a minor emancipated by judicial decree or granted by the father, mother, or parents with patria potestas, and when the adoptee is duly qualified for adoption
  • When the father, mother, or parents called upon to consent are disqualified by judicial decree, or when their whereabouts are unknown or they are declared absent from the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Puerto Rico:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Puerto Rico:
Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 32, § 2699b
Written consent of parents shall be attached to the adoption petition.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Puerto Rico:
Citation: Ann. Laws Tit. 32, § 2699q
The adoption decree is voidable when parties entitled to notice have not been notified, when there are flaws or defects in the parental consents, or when there has been fraud.
Rhode Island
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Rhode Island:
Citation: Gen. Laws §§ 15-7-5; 15-7-10
The parents of the child, or their survivor, shall consent in writing to the adoption. If neither parent is living, consent may be given by:
  • The guardian of the person of the child
  • The next of kin, if there is no guardian
  • A suitable person appointed by the court as next friend of the child, if there is no next of kin
If the child to be adopted is age 18 or older, the consent of, or notice to, the child’s parents or other person in the child’s behalf shall not be required.
No minor parent may give a binding consent to any adoption petition or to any termination of rights except with the consent of one of the parents, guardian, or guardian ad litem of the minor parent.
When the petitioners are one of the natural parents of the child and his or her spouse or one of the grandparents of the child, and the child is residing with the petitioners at the time the petition is filed, and if the noncustodial parent refused to consent to the adoption, the court shall determine whether the noncustodial parent’s rights shall be terminated involuntarily. The court may grant the petition without a noncustodial parent’s consent if the petitioners prove by clear and convincing evidence any of the grounds set forth in § 15‑7‑7(a)(1), (2), or (4). The court shall give primary consideration to the physical, psychological, mental, and intellectual needs of the child.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Rhode Island:
Citation: Gen. Laws § 15-7-5
If the child is age 14 or older, the adoption shall not be made without the child’s consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Rhode Island:
Citation: Gen. Laws § 15-7-7
The court shall terminate any and all legal rights of the parent to the child, including the right to notice of any subsequent adoption proceedings involving the child, if the court finds as a fact by clear and convincing evidence that:
  • The parent has willfully neglected to provide proper care and maintenance for the child for a period of at least 1 year where financially able to do so.
  • The parent is unfit by reason of conduct or conditions seriously detrimental to the child such as, but not limited to:
    • Institutionalization of the parent, including imprisonment, for a duration as to render it improbable for the parent to care for the child for an extended period of time
    • Conduct toward any child of a cruel or abusive nature
    • A chronic substance abuse problem that has made the parent unable to adequately care for the child
    • Inability to correct conditions that led to termination of rights to another child
    • Subjecting the child to aggravated circumstances, including abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, or sexual abuse
    • Commission of murder, voluntary manslaughter, or felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury on that child or another of his or her children
    • Behavior or conduct that is seriously detrimental to the child for a duration as to render it improbable for the parent to care for the child for an extended period of time
  • The child has been placed in the legal custody or care of the department for at least 12 months, and the parents were offered or received services to correct the situation that led to the placement, and it is still unsafe for the child to return home.
  • The parent has abandoned or deserted the child.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Rhode Island:
Citation: Gen. Laws § 15-7-6
Termination of rights or consent to adoption may not be executed sooner than 15 days after the child’s birth.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Rhode Island:
Citation: Gen. Laws § 15-7-6
Any governmental or duly licensed child‑placing agency in this State, at the request of the natural parent or parents of a child under age 18, may petition the family court for the termination of the rights of the natural parents of the child to consent to its adoption. After any notice to the natural parents that the court deems proper, a hearing shall be held prior to the hearing on the petition for adoption in the family court. If the family court finds, after examination of the parent or parents, that the parent or parents freely join in the petition and that the granting of the petition is for the best interests of the child, it shall decree that in the hearing on the adoption of the child the consent of the natural parents as provided above shall be unnecessary and that the agency shall be the sole party to give or withhold consent. The granting of the petition to give or withhold consent to the child placement agency shall also make the agency the guardian of the child for all purposes.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Rhode Island:
Citation: Gen. Laws § 15-7-21.1
A decree of adoption or a termination of a parent’s right to give or withhold consent for adoption shall not be subject to a challenge or petition to reverse unless the challenge or petition is filed in the family court 180 days after the decree or order is entered.
In the event a challenge is brought within the 180‑day period by an individual whose parental relationship to an adoptee is terminated, or by any individual who is asserting a parental relationship to the adoptee, the family court shall deny the challenge unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the decree or order is not in the best interests of the adoptee.
South Carolina
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in South Carolina:
Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-310
Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption is required of the following persons:
  • The parents or surviving parent of a child conceived or born during the marriage of the parents
  • The mother of a child born when the mother was not married
  • The father of a child born when the father was not married to the child’s mother, if the child was placed with the prospective adoptive parents more than 6 months after the child’s birth, but only if the father has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child
  • The father of a child born when the father was not married to the child’s mother, if the child was placed with the prospective adoptive parents less than 6 months after the child’s birth, but only if the father openly lived with the child or the child’s mother and openly held himself out to be the father or paid a fair and reasonable sum for the support of the child
Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption is required of the legal guardian, child‑placing agency, or legal custodian of the child, if authority to execute a consent or relinquishment has been vested legally in the agency or person and both parents of the child are deceased or their parental rights have been judicially terminated.
Consent is required of the child‑placing agency or person facilitating the placement of the child for adoption if the child has been relinquished for adoption to the agency or person.
Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption given by a parent who is a minor is not subject to revocation by reason of the parent’s minority.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in South Carolina:
Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-310
A child who is age 14 or older must consent to the adoption, except where the court finds that the child lacks the mental capacity to consent or that it is not in the child’s best interests.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in South Carolina:
Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-320
Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption is not required of the following persons:
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated
  • A parent whom the family court finds to be mentally incapable of giving consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption and whom the court finds to be unlikely to provide minimally acceptable care of the child and whose capacity is unlikely to be restored for a reasonable period of time, and, in the court’s judgment, it would be detrimental to the child to delay adoption
  • The biological parent of a child conceived as a result of that parent’s criminal sexual conduct or incest
A parent who has executed a relinquishment pursuant to § 63‑9‑330 to a person facilitating the adoption or to a child‑placing agency for the purpose of adoption of his child is not required to execute a separate consent document also.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in South Carolina:
Citation: Ann. Code § 63-9-330
Consent may be given at any time after the child’s birth.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in South Carolina:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63-9-330; 63-9-340
Consent or relinquishment for the purpose of adoption must be made by a sworn document, signed by the person or the head of the agency giving consent or relinquishment after the birth of the adoptee.
The sworn document that gives consent must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, one of whom must be one of the following:
  • A judge of any family court
  • An attorney licensed to practice law in South Carolina who does not represent the prospective adoption petitioners
  • A person certified by the State Department of Social Services to obtain consents or relinquishments
  • When the consent or relinquishment is obtained outside the State, by an attorney licensed to practice law in that
State, by a person designated by an agency of that State, by a person or agency authorized by that State’s law to obtain consents or relinquishments or to conduct investigations for adoptions, or by a qualified resident of that State authorized by a South Carolina family court
The persons who witness the signing of the consent shall attach to the document written certification signed by each witness that before the signing of the document, the provisions of the document were discussed with the person giving consent, and that based on this discussion, it is each witness’s opinion that consent or relinquishment is being given voluntarily and that it is not being obtained under duress or through coercion.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in South Carolina:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63-9-330; 63-9-350
The written consent must attest that the person giving consent understands that consent or relinquishment once given must not be withdrawn unless the court finds that it is in the best interests of the child and that the consent or relinquishment was not given voluntarily or was obtained under duress or through coercion. The written consent must also attest that the entry of the final decree of adoption renders any consent or relinquishment irrevocable.
Withdrawal of any consent or relinquishment is not permitted except by order of the court after notice and opportunity to be heard is given to all persons concerned, and except when the court finds that the withdrawal is in the best interests of the child and that the consent or relinquishment was not given voluntarily or was obtained under duress or through coercion. Any person attempting to withdraw consent or relinquishment shall file the reasons for withdrawal with the family court. The entry of the final decree of adoption renders any consent or relinquishment irrevocable.
South Dakota
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in South Dakota:
Citation: Codified Laws § 25-6-4
No child may be adopted without the consent of the child’s parents.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in South Dakota:
Citation: Codified Laws § 25-6-5
A child who is age 12 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in South Dakota:
Citation: Codified Laws § 25-6-4
If it is in the best interests of the child, the court may waive consent from a parent or putative father who:
  • Has been convicted of any crime punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a period that, in the opinion of the court, will deprive the child of the parent’s companionship for a critical period of time
  • Has, by clear and convincing evidence, abandoned the child for 6 months or more immediately prior to the filing of the petition
  • Has substantially and continuously or repeatedly neglected the child and refused to give the child necessary parental care and protection
  • Being financially able, has willfully neglected to provide the child with the necessary subsistence, education, or other care necessary for the child’s health, morals, or welfare or has neglected to pay for such subsistence, education, or other care, if legal custody of the child is lodged with others and such payment ordered by the court
  • Is unfit by reason of habitual abuse of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs
  • Has been judicially deprived of the custody of the child, if the adjudication is final on appeal to the court of last resort or the time for an appeal has expired
  • Has caused the child to be conceived as a result of rape or incest
  • Does not appear personally or by counsel at the hearing to terminate parental rights after notice was received at least 30 days prior to the hearing
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in South Dakota:
Citation: Codified Laws § 25-5A-4
No petition to terminate rights or consent to adoption may be filed until 5 days after the child’s birth.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in South Dakota:
Citation: Codified Laws §§ 25-6-12; 25-5A-16
Before the hearing on a petition for adoption, the person adopting a child, the child adopted, and the other persons whose consent is necessary shall execute their consent in writing, and the person adopting shall execute an agreement to the effect that the child adopted shall be treated in all respects as his or her own. The consent forms and the agreement of the person adopting shall be filed with the court.
At the time of the hearing on the petition, the person adopting the child and the child to be adopted shall appear in court. All persons whose consent is necessary, except the child and the person adopting the child, may be represented by a person who has power of attorney. A guardian may appear on behalf of the child, or a duly incorporated home or society for the care of dependent or neglected children may, by its authorized officer or agent, consent to the adoption of a child surrendered to such home or society by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Department of Social Services may appear in court and consent to the adoption of a child surrendered to it by any court of competent jurisdiction, or, if the department has custody of a child by written agreement of a parent or parents with power of attorney to consent to adoption, by the officer of the department holding such power of attorney.
At the time of the hearing, the court, after full and complete inquiry, shall determine whether the petitioner or petitioners are fully aware of the purpose of the proceedings and the consequences of their act.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in South Dakota:
Citation: Codified Laws § 25-6-21
Except in any case involving fraud, any proceeding for the adoption of a child shall be in all things legalized, cured, and validated 2 years after the proceeding is finalized. If any person has a claim or right arising from any adoption proceeding, that person must initiate any action to enforce such right or claim within 2 years of the date when the proceeding is finalized.
Tennessee
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Tennessee:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 36-1-110; 36-1-117
The following persons must be made parties to an adoption proceeding:
  • The parent, the legal parent, or the guardian
  • The putative biological father of the child
A parent who has not reached age 18 shall have the legal capacity to surrender a child or otherwise give parental consent to adoption or execute a waiver of interest and to release his or her rights to the child and shall be as fully bound thereby as if the parent had attained age 18.
The court shall have the authority to appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor parent of a child who may be surrendered or for whom a parental consent or waiver of interest is given, if deemed necessary to advise and assist the minor parent with respect to surrender, parental consent, waiver, or termination of the minor parent’s parental rights.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Tennessee:
Citation: Ann. Code § 36-1-117
When the child who is the subject of the adoption is age 14 or older, the adoption court must receive the sworn, written consent of the child to the adoption. The court shall receive the consent and testimony from the child in chambers with only the child and a guardian ad litem if required and appointed by the court.
If the child is mentally disabled, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to give or withhold consent for the child.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Tennessee:
Citation: Ann. Code § 36-1-117
The parent, legal parent, guardian, or putative biological father of the child shall not be made a party to the adoption proceeding if he or she:
  • Has surrendered parental or guardianship rights to the child
  • Has executed a parental consent that has been confirmed by the court
  • Has waived his or her rights or has had his or her rights terminated by the order of a court of competent jurisdiction
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Tennessee:
Citation: Ann. Code § 36-1-111
No surrender or parental consent shall be valid that is made within 3 calendar days after the date of the child’s birth beginning on the day following the child’s birth. The court may, for good cause shown, waive this waiting period.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Tennessee:
Citation: Ann. Code § 36-1-111(b)
All surrenders must be made in chambers before a judge of the chancery, circuit, or juvenile court, and the court shall advise the person or persons surrendering the child of the right of revocation of the surrender and time for the revocation and the procedure for that revocation.
No surrender or parental consent shall be sufficient to make a child available for adoption when any other person, the department, a licensed child‑placing agency, or other child‑caring agency is exercising the right to physical custody of the child.
When the person executing the surrender resides in another State or territory of the United States, the surrender may be made in accordance with the laws of that State or territory or may be made before the judge of such State or territory, and such surrender shall be valid for use in adoptions in this State.
When the surrendering person resides or is temporarily in a foreign country, the surrender may be made before any officer of the U.S. armed forces or foreign service authorized to administer oaths.
When the person executing the surrender is incarcerated in a State or Federal penitentiary, the surrender may be executed before the warden of the penitentiary. The signature of the person executing the surrender and the warden must be acknowledged before a notary public.
In all other respects, the court or other persons authorized to accept surrenders must witness the actual act of surrender or must confirm the parental consent by verifying directly with the parent or guardian the parent’s or guardian’s understanding and willingness to terminate parental rights, by witnessing the parent’s or guardian’s signature on the surrender form, or by questioning the parent before the entry of an order of confirmation of the parental consent.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Tennessee:
Citation: Ann. Code § 36-1-112
A person who executed a surrender may revoke the surrender at any time within 10 calendar days of the date of the surrender. The surrender shall be revoked by appearing before the judge who accepted the surrender. The revocation of the surrender shall be executed under oath by the parent or guardian who executed the surrender of the child, and the judge or other person who accepted the surrender shall sign and date the revocation form.
No surrender may be revoked by the person surrendering the child or set aside by a court after the expiration of the 10‑day period, except as the surrender may be invalidated by court order entered pursuant to a timely filed complaint or as permitted by order of the court entered pursuant to § 36‑1‑118.
A parental consent may be revoked at any time prior to the entry of an order of confirmation of the parental consent by the court. The parent who executed the parental consent shall appear before the judge of the court in which the adoption petition is filed and shall execute a revocation of the parental consent.
After the revocation period has expired or after the court has entered an order confirming a parental consent, no surrender or waiver of interest or parental consent shall be set aside by a court except upon clear and convincing evidence of duress, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, or invalidity, and no surrender, waiver of interest, or parental consent may be set aside for any reason unless the action based on these grounds is initiated within 30 days of the execution of the surrender or within 30 days of the date of entry of the order of confirmation of parental consent.
Texas
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Texas:
Citation: Fam. Code § 162.010
Unless the managing conservator is the petitioner, the written consent of a managing conservator to the adoption must be filed. A managing conservator must be a parent, a competent adult, an authorized agency, or a licensed child‑placing agency.
If a parent of the child is presently the spouse of the petitioner, that parent must join in the petition for adoption, and further consent of that parent is not required.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Texas:
Citation: Fam. Code § 162.010
A child who is age 12 or older must consent, unless the court finds it in the child’s best interests to waive consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Texas:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 161.003 through 161.007; 162.010
Consent of the parent is not required when:
  • The parent is unable to care for the child due to mental illness.
  • The parent has voluntarily terminated parental rights.
  • The parent has no right of consent after an abortion when the child survives.
  • A person is convicted of a crime resulting in the birth of a child.
  • The parent’s rights have been terminated on the grounds of abandonment, nonsupport, endangerment, abuse, or neglect.
The court may waive the requirement of consent by the managing conservator if the court finds that the consent is being refused or has been revoked without good cause.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Texas:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 161.103; 161.106
An affidavit for voluntary relinquishment of parental rights must be signed after the birth of the child, but not before 48 hours after the birth of the child, by the parent, whether or not a minor, whose parental rights are to be relinquished.
A man may sign an affidavit disclaiming any interest in a child before the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Texas:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 161.103; 161.106
An affidavit for voluntary relinquishment of parental rights must be signed by the parent, whether or not a minor, whose parental rights are to be relinquished, witnessed by two credible persons, and verified before a person authorized to take oaths. The affidavit must contain:
  • The name, address, and age of the parent whose parental rights are being relinquished
  • The name, age, and birth date of the child
  • The names the guardians of the child, if any
  • A statement that the person signing the affidavit is or is not presently obligated to make payments for the support of the child
  • A description of all property owned by the child
  • An allegation that termination of the parent‑child relationship is in the best interests of the child
  • The name and address of the other parent or a statement that the parental rights of the other parent have been terminated or that the child has no presumed father
  • A statement that the parent has been informed of parental rights and duties
  • A statement that the relinquishment is revocable, irrevocable, or irrevocable for a stated period of time
  • The designation of a prospective adoptive parent, the department, or a licensed child‑placing agency to serve as managing conservator of the child
The affidavit may not contain terms for limited posttermination contact between the child and the parent whose parental rights are to be relinquished as a condition of the relinquishment of parental rights.
A man may sign an affidavit disclaiming any interest in a child and waiving notice in any suit filed or to be filed affecting the parent‑child relationship. The affidavit shall be signed by the man, whether or not a minor, witnessed by two credible persons, and verified before a person authorized to take oaths.
The affidavit may contain a statement that the affiant does not admit being the father of the child or having had a sexual relationship with the mother of the child.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Texas:
Citation: Fam. Code §§ 161.1035; 162.011; 161.103; 161.106
At any time before an order granting the adoption of the child is rendered, a consent required by § 162.010 may be revoked by filing a signed revocation.
An affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights or affidavit of waiver of interest in a child that fails to state that the relinquishment or waiver is irrevocable for a stated time is:
  • Revocable only if the revocation is made before the 11th day after the date the affidavit is executed
  • Irrevocable on or after the 11th day after the date the affidavit is executed
The relinquishment or waiver of interest in an affidavit that designates the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services or a licensed child‑placing agency to serve as the managing conservator is irrevocable. A relinquishment in any other affidavit of relinquishment is revocable unless it expressly provides that it is irrevocable for a stated period of time not to exceed 60 days after the date of its execution
Utah
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Utah:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-120; 78B-6-123
Consent to adoption of a child, or relinquishment of a child for adoption, is required from:
  • A man who by operation of law under § 78B‑15‑607 is recognized as the father of the proposed adoptee or is the father of the adoptee by a previous legal adoption
  • The mother of the adoptee
  • Any biological parent who has been adjudicated to be the child’s biological father by a court of competent jurisdiction prior to the mother’s execution of consent to adoption or her relinquishment of the child for adoption
  • Any biological parent who has executed and filed a voluntary declaration of paternity with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics within the Department of Health, prior to the mother’s execution of consent to adoption or her relinquishment of the child for adoption
  • An unmarried biological father of the child, only if he strictly complies with requirements to develop a substantial relationship with the child, openly acknowledge himself to be the father, initiate paternity proceedings, and agrees to support the child
  • The person or agency to whom the child has been relinquished and that is placing the child for adoption
A minor parent has the power to consent to the adoption of his or her child and relinquish his or her control or custody of the child for adoption. The consent or relinquishment is valid and has the same force and effect as a consent or relinquishment executed by an adult parent.
A minor parent, having executed a consent or relinquishment, cannot revoke that consent upon reaching the age of majority or otherwise by becoming emancipated.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Utah:
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-120
A child who is age 12 or older must consent to the adoption unless he or she does not have the capacity to consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Utah:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 78B-6-120;78B-6-121; 78B-6-111
The consent of a parent is not required if the adoptee is age 18 or older. The consent of a parent is not required if the person’s parental rights relating to the adoptee have been terminated.
The consent of an unmarried biological father is not required if:
  • The court determines that the unmarried biological father’s rights should be terminated based on the petition of any interested party.
  • A declaration of paternity declaring the unmarried biological father to be the father of the child is rescinded.
  • The unmarried biological father fails to comply to requirements to initiate proceedings to establish his paternity of the child.
A biological father is not entitled to notice of an adoption proceeding, nor is the consent of a biological father required in connection with an adoption proceeding, in cases where it is shown that the child who is the subject of the proceeding was conceived as a result of conduct which would constitute any sexual offense, regardless of whether the biological father is formally charged with or convicted of a criminal offense.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Utah:
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-125
A birth mother may not consent to the adoption of her child or relinquish control or custody of her child until at least 24 hours after the birth of her child.
The consent or relinquishment of any other person as required by §§ 78B‑6‑120 and 78B‑6‑125 may be executed at any time, including prior to the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Utah:
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-124
A consent or relinquishment by a birth mother or an adoptee shall be signed before:
  • A judge of any court that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings, or a person appointed by that judge for the purpose of taking consents or relinquishments
  • A person who is authorized by a licensed child‑placing agency to take consents or relinquishments, if the consent or relinquishment grants legal custody of the child to a child‑placing agency or an extra‑jurisdictional child‑placing agency
If the consent or relinquishment of a birth mother or adoptee is taken out of State, it shall be signed before:
  • A person who is authorized by a child‑placing agency to take consents or relinquishments
  • A person authorized or appointed to take consents or relinquishments by a court of this State that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings
  • A court that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings in the State where the consent or relinquishment is taken
  • A person authorized, under the laws of the State where the consent or relinquishment is taken, to take consents or relinquishments of a birth mother or adoptee
The consent or relinquishment of any other person or agency as required by § 78B‑6‑120 may be signed before a notary public or any person authorized to take a consent or relinquishment.
A person authorized to take consents or relinquishments shall certify to the best of his or her information and belief that the person executing the consent or relinquishment has read and understands the consent or relinquishment and has signed it freely and voluntarily.
A person executing a consent or relinquishment is entitled to receive a copy of the consent or relinquishment.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Utah:
Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-6-126
A consent or relinquishment is effective when it is signed and may not be revoked.
Vermont
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Vermont:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 2-401
In a direct placement of a minor for adoption by a parent or guardian, a petition to adopt the minor may be granted only when consent to the adoption has been executed by:
  • The woman who gave birth to the minor
  • The biological father identified by the mother or as otherwise known to the court
  • A man who is or has been married to the woman if the minor was born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage was terminated or a court issued a decree of separation
  • A man who meets all of the following conditions:
    • Was not married to the minor’s mother at the time of the child’s birth
    • Has acknowledged his paternity of the minor by executing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or has filed a notice to retain parental rights
    • Has demonstrated a commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood by establishing a custodial, personal, or financial relationship with the child, unless he was prevented from demonstrating such commitment or was unable to demonstrate such commitment
  • The minor’s guardian if expressly authorized by a court to consent to the minor’s adoption
  • The current adoptive or other legally recognized mother and father of the minor
In a placement of a minor for adoption by an agency authorized to place the minor, a petition to adopt the minor may be granted only if consent to the adoption has been executed by:
  • The agency that placed the minor for adoption
  • A person described above who has not relinquished the minor or had his or her parental rights terminated
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Vermont:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 2-401
Unless the court dispenses with the minor’s consent, a petition to adopt a minor who has attained 14 years of age may be granted only if, in addition to any consent required above, the minor has executed an informed consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Vermont:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 2-402
Consent to an adoption of a minor is not required of:
  • A person who has relinquished parental rights or guardianship powers, including the right to consent to adoption, to an agency
  • A person whose parental relationship to the minor has been judicially terminated or determined not to exist
  • A man who has not been married to the woman who gave birth to the minor and who, after the conception of the minor, executes a notarized statement denying paternity or disclaiming any interest in the minor and acknowledging that his statement is irrevocable when executed
  • The personal representative of a deceased parent’s estate
  • A parent or other person who has not executed a consent or a relinquishment and who fails to file an answer or make an appearance in a proceeding for adoption or for termination of a parental relationship within the requisite time after service of notice of the proceeding
The court may dispense with the consent of:
  • A guardian or an agency whose consent is otherwise required upon a finding that the consent is being withheld unreasonably, contrary to the best interests of a minor adoptee
  • A minor who is age 14 or older upon a finding that it is not in the best interests of the minor to require the consent
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Vermont:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 2-404
A parent whose consent to the adoption is required may not execute a consent or a relinquishment sooner than 36 hours after the minor is born.
A guardian may execute a consent to the adoption of a minor or a relinquishment at any time after being authorized by a court to do so.
An agency that places a minor for adoption may execute its consent at any time before or during the hearing on the petition for adoption.
A minor whose consent is required may execute a consent at any time at or before the hearing on the petition for adoption.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Vermont:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, §§ 2-404; 2-405
Before executing a consent, a parent shall have been informed of the meaning and consequences of adoption, the availability of personal and legal counseling, the consequences of misidentifying the other parent, the procedure for releasing information about the health and other characteristics of the parent that may affect the physical or psychological well‑being of the child, and the procedure for the release of the parent’s identity.
A consent executed by a parent or guardian shall be signed in the presence of:
  • A judge of a court that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings in this or in any other State
  • A person appointed by a probate judge to take consents
  • A commissioned officer on active duty in the military, if the person executing the consent is in military service
  • An officer of the foreign service or a consular officer of the U.S. in another country, if the person executing the consent is in that country
A consent executed by a minor person to be adopted shall be signed in the presence of the judge before whom the proceeding is pending. A parent who is a minor is competent to execute consent if the parent has had the advice of an attorney who is not representing an adoptive parent or the agency to which the parent’s child is relinquished. The attorney shall be present when the consent is executed.
A prospective adoptive parent named or described in a consent to the adoption of a child shall sign a statement indicating an intention to adopt the child, acknowledging an obligation to return legal and physical custody of the child to the child’s parent if the parent revokes the consent within the time specified in § 2‑404(a), and acknowledging responsibility for the minor’s support and medical and other care, if the consent is not revoked.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Vermont:
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, §§ 2-407; 2-408; 2-409
Except as specified below, a consent to adoption that is executed by a parent or guardian is final and irrevocable 21 days after execution.
In a direct placement of a minor for adoption by a parent or guardian, and before the adoption is finalized, a consent is revoked if:
  • Within 21 days after the consent is executed, the parent who executed the consent notifies the court in writing that he or she revokes the consent.
  • The person who executed the consent and the prospective adoptive parent agree to its revocation.
In a direct placement by a parent or guardian, the court shall set aside the consent if the person who executed the consent establishes:
  • By clear and convincing evidence, before a decree of adoption is issued, that the consent was obtained by fraud or duress
  • By a preponderance of the evidence before a decree of adoption is issued that, without good cause shown, a petition to adopt was not filed within 45 days after the minor was placed for adoption, unless the 45‑day period was extended by the court, in which event the petition to adopt was not filed within the extended period set by the court
  • By a preponderance of the evidence, that a condition permitting revocation has occurred
A relinquishment is revoked if:
  • Within 21 days after a relinquishment is executed, a parent who executed the relinquishment gives written notice to the court and the agency to which the minor has been relinquished that the parent revokes the relinquishment.
  • The person who executed the relinquishment and the agency that accepted it agree to its revocation.
The court shall set aside a relinquishment if the person who executed the relinquishment establishes:
  • By clear and convincing evidence, before a decree of adoption is issued, that the relinquishment was obtained by fraud or duress
  • By a preponderance of the evidence that a condition permitting revocation has occurred
Virgin Islands
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Virgin Islands:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, § 142(a)
Consent must be given by:
  • The parents of the child, or the survivor of them
  • If neither parent is living, the guardian of the child
  • If there is no guardian, the next of kin in the Virgin Islands
  • If there is no next of kin, a guardian ad litem appointed by the court
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Virgin Islands:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, § 144
If the child is age 14 or older, the adoption shall not be made without his or her consent given to the court on privy examination.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Virgin Islands:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, § 142(b)
The consent of the parent is not required if either parent:
  • Is insane or imprisoned in a penitentiary under sentence for a term not less than 2 years
  • Has willfully deserted and neglected to provide proper care and maintenance for the child for 1 year immediately prior to the filing of the petition
  • Is an unfit person to have the care and custody of the child
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Virgin Islands:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Virgin Islands:
Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, § 142(a)
Consent must be in writing.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Virgin Islands:
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Virginia
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2-1202; 63.2-1241
Consent shall be executed by:
  • The birth mother
  • Any man who:
    • Is an acknowledged father under § 20‑49.1
    • Is an adjudicated father under § 20‑49.8
    • Is a presumed father
    • Has registered with the Putative Father Registry
  • The child‑placing agency or the local board having custody of the child, with the right to place the child for adoption, through court commitment or parental agreement
  • An agency outside the Commonwealth that is licensed or otherwise duly authorized to place children for adoption by virtue of the laws under which it operates
In a stepparent adoption, the adoption may be granted when:
  • The noncustodial birth parent consents, under oath and in writing, to the adoption.
  • The mother swears, under oath and in writing, that the identity of the father is not reasonably ascertainable, rendering his consent unnecessary.
  • The putative father named by the mother denies paternity of the child, rendering his consent unnecessary.
  • The child is age 14 or older and has lived in the home of the person desiring to adopt the child for at least 5 years.
  • The noncustodial birth parent is deceased.
  • The noncustodial birth parent executes a denial of paternity under oath and in writing.
  • The noncustodial birth parent:
    • Is not an acknowledged father
    • Is not an adjudicated father
    • Is not a presumed father
    • Is not a putative father who has registered with the Putative Father Registry, and the putative father’s identity is not reasonably ascertainable
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-1202
Consent must be executed by the child if he or she is age 14 or older unless the circuit court finds that the best interests of the child will be served by not requiring such consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-1202
No consent shall be required if:
  • A birth father denies, under oath and in writing, the paternity of the child.
  • The birth father is convicted of rape, statutory rape, incest, or an equivalent offense of another State or any foreign jurisdiction, and the child was conceived as a result of such violation.
  • Any person has had his or her parental rights terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction.
  • A birth parent, without just cause, has neither visited nor contacted the child for a period of 6 months prior to the filing of the petition for adoption.
The failure of the nonconsenting party to appear at the scheduled hearing, either in person or by counsel, after proper notice has been given, shall constitute a waiver of any objection and right to consent to the adoption.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2-1202; 63.2-1233
A birth father may consent to the termination of all of his parental rights prior to the birth of the child.
In a direct parental placement, the adoptive child must be at least in the third calendar day of life before the birth parents can execute consent before the juvenile and domestic relations court.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2-1202; 63.2-1233
No petition for adoption shall be granted unless written consent to the proposed adoption is filed with the petition.
Such consent shall be in writing, signed under oath, and acknowledged before an officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments. A birth parent who is under age 18 shall have legal capacity to give consent to adoption and perform all acts related to adoption and shall be as fully bound thereby as if the birth parent had attained age 18.
In a direct parental placement, the birth parent or both birth parents, as the case may be, shall execute consent to the proposed adoption when they come before the juvenile and domestic relations district court in person and in the presence of the prospective adoptive parents. The juvenile and domestic relations district court shall accept the consent of the birth parent(s) and transfer custody of the child to the prospective adoptive parents, pending notification to any nonconsenting birth parent.
The execution of consent before the juvenile and domestic relations district court shall not be required of a birth father who is not married to the mother of the child at the time of the child’s conception or birth if the birth father consents under oath and in writing to the adoption.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2-1204; 63.2-1223; 63.2-1234
Parental consent to an adoption shall be revocable prior to the final order of adoption under these conditions:
  • Upon proof of fraud or duress
  • After placement of the child in an adoptive home, upon written, mutual consent of the birth parents and prospective adoptive parents
A valid entrustment agreement terminating all parental rights and responsibilities to the child shall be revocable by either of the birth parents until the child has reached the age of 10 days, and 7 days have elapsed from the date of execution of the agreement. In addition, a valid entrustment agreement shall be revocable by either of the birth parents if the child has not been placed in the physical custody of adoptive parents at the time of such revocation. Revocation of an entrustment agreement shall be in writing and signed by the revoking party. The written revocation shall be delivered to the child‑placing agency or local board to which the child was originally entrusted.
In a direct parental placement, consent shall be revocable by either consenting birth parent for any reason for up to 7 days from its execution. The 7‑day revocation period may be waived in writing at the time of consent provided that the child is at least 10 days old and the consenting birth parent acknowledges having received independent legal counsel regarding the effect of such waiver. In the case of two consenting birth parents, the waiver by one consenting birth parent shall not affect the right of the second consenting birth parent to retain his or her 7‑day revocation period.
Such revocation shall be in writing, signed by the revoking party or counsel of record for the revoking party, and filed with the clerk of the juvenile and domestic relations district court in which the petition was filed.
Washington
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Washington:
Citation: Rev. Code § 26.33.160
Consent to an adoption shall be required of the following, if applicable:
  • The parents and any alleged father of a child under age 18
  • An agency or the department to whom the child has been relinquished pursuant to § 26.33.080
  • The legal guardian of the child
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Washington:
Citation: Rev. Code § 26.33.160
A child who is age 14 or older must consent to the adoption.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Washington:
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.120; 26.33.170
Except in the case of an Indian child, the parent‑child relationship of a parent may be terminated upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the child to terminate the relationship, the parent has failed to perform parental duties, and the parent is withholding consent to adoption contrary to the best interests of the child.
Except in the case of an Indian child, the parent‑child relationship of an alleged father who appears and claims paternity may be terminated upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the child to terminate the relationship; that the alleged father has failed to perform parental duties under circumstances showing a substantial lack of regard for his parental obligations; that he is withholding consent to adoption contrary to the best interests of the child; or that he is not the father.
The parent‑child relationship of an Indian child and his or her parent or alleged father where paternity has been claimed or established, may be terminated only pursuant to the standards set forth in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f).
The consent of an agency, the department, or a legal guardian may be dispensed with if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed adoption is in the best interests of the child.
The consent of an alleged father, birth parent, or parent may be dispensed with if the court finds that the proposed adoption is in the best interests of the child, and the alleged father, birth parent, or parent:
  • Has been found guilty of rape or incest where the child was the victim of the rape or incest
  • Has been found guilty of rape or incest where the other parent of the child was the victim of the rape or incest and the child was conceived as a result of the rape or incest
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Washington:
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.080; 26.33.160
A petition for relinquishment, together with the written consent to adoption, may be filed before the child’s birth. If the child is an Indian child, the petition and consent shall not be signed until at least 10 days after the child’s birth and shall be recorded before a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 1913(a).
The consent will not be presented to the court until 48 hours after it is signed or 48 hours after the birth of the child, whichever occurs later. In the case of a consent to an adoption of an Indian child, no consent shall be valid unless the consent is executed in writing more than 10 days after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Washington:
Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.080; 26.33.160
A parent, an alleged father, the department, or an agency may file with the court a petition to relinquish a child to the department or an agency. The parent’s or alleged father’s written consent to adoption shall accompany the petition. The written consent of the department or the agency to assume custody shall be filed with the petition.
The written consent to adoption shall be signed under penalty of perjury and shall state that:
  • It is given subject to approval of the court.
  • It has no force or effect until approved by the court.
  • The birth parent is or is not of Native American or Alaska native ancestry.
  • It is revocable by the consenting party at any time before its approval by the court.
  • A written consent to adoption that meets all the requirements of this chapter but that does not name or otherwise identify the adopting parent is valid if it contains a statement that it is voluntarily executed without disclosure of the name or other identification of the adopting parent.
  • There must be a witness to the consent of the parent or alleged father. The witness must be at least age 18 and selected by the parent or alleged father. The consent document shall contain a statement identifying by name, address, and relationship the witness selected by the parent or alleged father.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Washington:
Citation: Rev. Code § 26.33.160
Consent to adoption is revocable by the consenting party at any time before the consent is approved by the court. The revocation may be made in either of the following ways:
  • Written revocation may be delivered or mailed to the clerk of the court before approval.
  • Written revocation may be delivered or mailed to the clerk of the court after approval, but only if it is delivered or mailed within 48 hours after a prior notice of revocation that was given within 48 hours after the birth of the child.
The prior notice of revocation shall be given to the agency or person who sought the consent and may be either oral or written.
Consent to adoption may not be revoked after it has been approved by the court. Within 1 year after approval, a consent may be revoked for fraud or duress practiced by the person, department, or agency requesting the consent, or for lack of mental competency on the part of the person giving the consent at the time the consent was given. A written consent to adoption may not be revoked more than 1 year after it is approved by the court.
In the case of consent to an adoption of an Indian child, consent may be withdrawn for any reason at any time prior to the entry of the final decree of adoption. Consent may be withdrawn for fraud or duress within 2 years of the entry of the final decree of adoption.
West Virginia
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in West Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 48-22-301; 49-3-1
Consent to or relinquishment for adoption of a minor child is required of:
  • The parents or surviving parent, whether adult or infant, of a marital child
  • The outsider father of a marital child who has been adjudicated to be the father of the child or who has filed a paternity action that is pending at the time of the filing of the petition for adoption
  • The birth mother, whether adult or minor, of a nonmarital child
  • The determined father
If all persons entitled to parental rights of the child are deceased or have been deprived of the custody of the child by law, then consent or relinquishment is required of the legal guardian or of any other person having legal custody of the child at the time. If there is no legal guardian or any person who has legal custody of the child, then consent or relinquishment is required from some discreet and suitable person appointed by the court to act as the next friend of the child in the adoption proceedings.
Whenever a child welfare agency licensed to place children for adoption or the Department of Health and Human Resources has been given the permanent legal and physical custody of any child and the rights of the mother and the rights of the legal, determined, putative, outside, or unknown father of the child have been terminated by order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by a legally executed relinquishment of parental rights, the child welfare agency or the department may consent to the adoption of the child.
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in West Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 48-22-301
If the child to be adopted is age 12 or older, the consent of the child is required to be given in the presence of a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction, unless for extraordinary cause, the requirement of such consent is waived by the court.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in West Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 48-22-301
Consent or relinquishment shall not be required of a parent or of any other person having custody of the child:
  • Whose parental rights have been terminated
  • Whom the court finds has abandoned the child
  • Who, in a stepparent adoption, is the birth parent or adoptive parent of the child and is married to the petitioning adoptive parent
If the mother, legal father, or determined father is under disability, the court may order the adoption if it finds:
  • The parental rights of the person are terminated, abandoned, or permanently relinquished.
  • The person is incurably insane.
  • The disability arises solely because of age and an otherwise valid consent or relinquishment has been given.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in West Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code § 48-22-302
No consent or relinquishment may be executed before the expiration of 72 hours after the birth of the child to be adopted.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in West Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 48-22-302; 48-22-304
A consent or relinquishment executed by a parent or guardian must be signed and acknowledged in the presence of one of the following:
  • A judge of a court of record
  • A person whom a judge of a court of record designates to take consents or relinquishments
  • A notary public
  • A commissioned officer on active duty in the military of the United States, if the person executing the consent or relinquishment is in military service
  • An officer of the foreign service or a consular officer of the United States in another country, if the person executing the consent or relinquishment is in that country
If a person who has executed a consent to or relinquishment for adoption is under age 18 at the time of the filing of the petition, and such minor parent is a resident of the State, the consent or relinquishment shall be specifically reviewed and approved by the court, and a guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent the interests of the minor parent. The guardian ad litem shall conduct a discreet inquiry regarding the consent or relinquishment given and may inquire of any person having knowledge of the consent or relinquishment. If the guardian ad litem finds reasonable cause to believe that the consent or relinquishment was obtained by fraud or duress, the court may request the minor parent to appear before the court or at a deposition, so that inquiry may be made regarding the circumstances surrounding the execution of the consent or relinquishment
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in West Virginia:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 48-22-303; 48-22-305
A consent or relinquishment may provide explicitly for its conditional revocation if:
  • Another person whose consent or relinquishment is required does not execute the same within a specified period.
  • A court determines not to terminate another person’s parental relationship to the child.
  • In a direct placement for adoption, a petition for adoption by a prospective adoptive parent, named or described in the consent, is denied or withdrawn.
Parental consent or relinquishment, whether given by an adult or minor, may be revoked only if:
  • The person who executed the consent and the prospective adoptive parent named in the consent, or the agency in case of relinquishment, agree to its revocation prior to the entry of an adoption order.
  • The person who executed the consent proves by clear and convincing evidence, in an action filed either within 6 months of the date of the execution of the consent or prior to the date an adoption order is final, whichever date is later, that the consent or relinquishment was obtained by fraud or duress.
  • The person who executed the consent proves by a preponderance of the evidence, prior to the entry of an adoption order, that a condition allowing revocation as expressly set forth in the consent has occurred.
  • The person who executed the consent proves by clear and convincing evidence, prior to the entry of an adoption order, that the consent or relinquishment does not comply with the requirements set forth in this article.
Wisconsin
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Wisconsin:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 48.41; 48.42
A parent may consent to a voluntary termination of parental rights. The father of a nonmarital child may consent to the termination of any parental rights that he may have.
A petition may also be filed by an agency or other authorized person. The following persons must be given notice of any hearing for terminating parental rights:
  • The parent or parents of the child unless the child’s parent has waived the right to notice
  • If the child is a nonmarital child who is not adopted or whose parents do not subsequently marry each other and whose paternity has not been established:
    • A person who has filed an unrevoked declaration of paternal interest before the birth of the child or within 14 days after the birth of the child
    • A person or persons alleged to the court to be the father of the child or who may, based upon the statements of the mother or other information presented to the court, be the father of the child unless that person has waived the right to notice
    • A person who has lived in a familial relationship with the child and who may be the father of the child
  • If the child is a nonmarital child who is under age 1 at the time the petition is filed and who is not adopted or whose parents do not subsequently marry each other and whose paternity has not been established and if an affidavit is filed with the petition:
    • A person who has filed an unrevoked declaration of paternal interest before the birth of the child, within 14 days after the birth of the child, or within 21 days after a notice is mailed, whichever is later
    • A person who has lived in a familial relationship with the child and who may be the father of the child
  • The guardian, guardian ad litem, and legal custodian of the child
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Wisconsin:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.42
Any child who is age 12 or older must be given notice to attend the hearing pertaining to his or her adoptive placement.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Wisconsin:
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 48.415; 48.42
Notice of a hearing to terminate parental rights need be sent to a person who may be the father of a nonmarital child who is not adopted or whose parents do not subsequently marry each other and whose paternity has not been established, and who has failed to establish his right to notice. In addition, consent is not required of any person whose parental rights have been terminated on any of the following grounds:
  • Parental rights have been terminated due to failure of the parents to assume responsibility.
  • The parent has abandoned the child.
  • There is continuing parental disability.
  • The parent has abused the child.
  • The parent has relinquished custody of the child when the child was 72 hours old or younger.
  • The parent has failed to assume responsibility for the child or to establish a substantial relationship with the child.
  • The parent has caused the child to be conceived as a result of incest or sexual assault.
  • The parent has been convicted of homicide or of solicitation to commit homicide of the child’s other parent.
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Wisconsin:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.837
A hearing is held within 30 days of the filing of a petition for voluntary termination of parental rights, but not before the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Wisconsin:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.41
A parent may consent to a voluntary termination of parental rights upon petition to the court. The parent must appear personally at the hearing to give his or her consent to the termination of his or her parental rights. The court may also accept the written consent of the parent given before an embassy or consul official, a military judge, or a judge of any court of record in another county or State or a foreign jurisdiction.
The father of a nonmarital child may consent to the termination of any parental rights that he may have by signing a written, notarized statement that recites that he has been informed of and understands the effect of an order to terminate parental rights and that he voluntarily disclaims any rights that he may have to the child.
If the proceeding to terminate parental rights is held prior to an adoption proceeding in which the petitioner is the child’s stepparent, or in which the child’s birth parent is a resident of a foreign jurisdiction, the child’s birth parent may consent to the termination of any parental rights that he or she may have by filing with the court an affidavit witnessed by two persons stating that he or she has been informed of and understands the effect of an order to terminate parental rights and that he or she voluntarily disclaims all rights to the child.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Wisconsin:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 48.46(2)
A parent who has consented to the termination of his or her parental rights or who did not contest the petition initiating the proceeding in which his or her parental rights were terminated may move the court for relief from the judgment on any of the following grounds, as specified in § 806.07(1)(a),(b),(c),(d) or (f)
  • Mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect
  • Newly discovered evidence that entitles a party to a new trial
  • Fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party
  • A voided judgment
  • A prior judgment upon which the judgment is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated
Any such motion shall be filed within 30 days after the entry of the judgment or order terminating parental rights unless the parent files a timely notice of intent to pursue relief from the judgment under § 808.04(7m), in which case the motion shall be filed within the time permitted by § 809.107(5). A motion under this subsection does not affect the finality or suspend the operation of the judgment or order terminating parental rights. Motions under this subsection and appeals to the court of appeals shall be the exclusive remedies for such a parent to obtain a new hearing in a termination of parental rights proceeding.
Wyoming
Who Must Consent to an Adoption in Wyoming:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-109
The consent to adoption shall be signed by:
  • Both parents, if living
  • The surviving parent
  • The mother and putative father of the child, if the name of the putative father is known
  • The mother alone if she does not know the name of the putative father, in which case she shall sign and file an affidavit so stating, and the court shall determine whether the putative father has registered and if so, shall require notice to be given to the putative father
  • The legal guardian of the person of the child if neither parent is living or if parental rights have been judicially terminated
  • The executive head of the agency to whom the child has been relinquished for adoption
  • The person having exclusive legal custody of the child by court order
  • The legally appointed guardian of any parent or putative father who has been adjudged mentally incompetent
Age When Consent of Adoptee Is Considered or Required in Wyoming:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-109
If the child to be adopted is age 14 or older, his or her written consent to adoption shall also be filed with the petition to adopt.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed for Adoption in Wyoming:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-110
The adoption of a child may be ordered without the written consent of a parent or the putative father if the court finds that the nonconsenting parent or putative father is unknown and that the putative father has not registered, and the affidavit required by § 1‑22‑109(a)(iv) has been filed with the petition to adopt or if the court finds that the putative father or the nonconsenting parent or parents have:
  • Been given notice of the hearing and have failed to answer or appear at the hearing
  • Been judicially deprived of parental rights of the child for any reason
  • Willfully abandoned or deserted the child
  • Willfully failed to contribute to the support of the child for a period of 1 year immediately prior to the filing of the petition to adopt and has failed to bring the support obligation current within 60 days after service of the petition to adopt
  • Willfully permitted the child to be maintained in or by a public or private institution or by the Department of Family Services for a period of 1 year immediately prior to the filing of the petition without substantially contributing to the support of the child
  • Failed, within 30 days after receiving notice of the pending birth or birth of the child, to advise or notify the agency that gave the putative father the notice of his interest in or responsibility for the child or his declaration of paternity
  • Been adjudged by a court to be guilty of cruelty, abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of the child
  • Caused the conception of the child born out of wedlock as a result of sexual assault or incest for which he has been convicted
  • Willfully failed to pay a total dollar amount of at least 70 percent of the court‑ordered support for a period of 2 years or more and has failed to bring the support obligation 100 percent current within 60 days after service of the petition to adopt
When Consent Can Be Executed for Adoption in Wyoming:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-109
The consent to adoption shall be signed any time after the birth of the child.
How Consent Must Be Executed for Adoption in Wyoming:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-109
A written relinquishment of custody of the child to be adopted and written consent to adoption shall be filed with the petition to adopt. The consent shall be acknowledged or may be approved in the following manner:
  • The consent shall be acknowledged by a:
    • Person authorized to take acknowledgments
    • Representative of the department of family services
    • Representative of a certified agency to whom the custody of the child is being relinquished for adoption
  • If not acknowledged as provided above, the consent to adoption may be approved by the court after:
    • The person giving the consent has appeared before the court in an informal hearing in court chambers.
    • The court finds that the consent is knowingly and voluntarily given.
The consent to adoption and the relinquishment of custody of a child for adoption may be contained in a single instrument.
Revocation of Consent for Adoption in Wyoming:
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-109(d)
Consent to adoption and the relinquishment of a child for adoption are irrevocable unless obtained by fraud or duress, except that if the court should deny the adoption on account of a claim or objection of the putative father of the child, the court may also allow the mother of the child to withdraw her consent and relinquishment. The consent or relinquishment by a parent who is a minor is valid and may not be revoked solely because of minority.