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The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 15A: Adoption Act

Chapter 002: ADOPTION OF MINORS

  • Subchapter 001: PLACEMENT OF MINORS FOR ADOPTION
  • § 2-101. Who may place minors for adoption

    (a) The only persons who may place a minor for adoption are:

    (1) a parent having legal and physical custody of the minor, as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section;

    (2) a guardian expressly authorized by the court to place the minor for adoption;

    (3) an agency to which the minor has been relinquished for purposes of adoption; or

    (4) an agency expressly authorized to place the minor for adoption by a court order terminating the relationship between the minor and the minor's parent or guardian.

    (b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a parent having legal and physical custody of a minor may place the minor for adoption, even if the other parent has not executed a consent or a relinquishment or the other parent's relationship to the minor has not been terminated.

    (c) A parent having legal and physical custody of a minor may not place the minor for adoption if the other parent has legal custody or a right of visitation with the minor and that parent's whereabouts are known, unless that parent agrees in writing to the placement or, before the placement, the parent who intends to place the minor sends notice of the intended placement by certified mail to the other parent's last known address.

    (d) An agency authorized under this title to place a minor for adoption may place the minor for adoption, even if only one parent has executed a relinquishment or has had his or her parental relationship to the minor terminated. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-102. Direct placement for adoption by parent or guardian

    (a) A parent or guardian authorized to place a minor for adoption may place the minor only with a prospective adoptive parent who has a valid favorable preplacement evaluation or for whom a preplacement evaluation is not required.

    (b) A parent or guardian shall personally select a prospective adoptive parent.

    (c) A parent or guardian may be assisted by another person in locating a prospective adoptive parent or in transferring legal and physical custody to a prospective adoptive parent.

    (d) A prospective adoptive parent may be assisted by another person in locating a minor who is available for adoption.

    (e) A prospective adoptive parent shall furnish a copy of the preplacement evaluation to the parent or guardian. The evaluation may be edited to exclude identifying information.

    (f) If, at the time of the minor's placement for adoption, the parent or guardian has not executed a consent to adoption, the parent or guardian will furnish to the prospective adoptive parent a signed statement that:

    (1) the transfer of custody is for the purpose of adoption;

    (2) the parent or guardian has been informed of the provisions of this title relevant to placement for adoption, consent and termination of parental rights;

    (3) the prospective adoptive parent is authorized to provide support and medical care for a specific period of time.

    (g) The prospective adoptive parent shall acknowledge in writing responsibility for the minor's medical and other care and support and for returning the minor to the custody of the parent or guardian if the consent is not executed within the time specified. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-103. Placement for adoption by agency

    (a) An agency authorized to place a minor for adoption shall furnish to a person who inquires about its services a written statement of its services, including the agency's procedure for selecting a prospective adoptive parent for a minor, the role of the parent or guardian in the selection and a schedule of its fees.

    (b) A parent shall be informed that he or she may indicate preferences for the selection of the adoptive parent, and may be involved in the selection of the adoptive parent.

    (c) An agency that places a minor for adoption shall authorize in writing the prospective adoptive parent to provide support and medical and other care for the minor pending entry of a decree of adoption. The prospective adoptive parent shall acknowledge in writing responsibility for the minor's support and medical and other care.

    (d) An agency shall inform the adoptive parents about any known unique requirements or special needs of the child and the services available to assist with meeting those needs, including any adoption subsidy for which the child may be eligible.

    (e) Upon request by a parent who has relinquished a minor child pursuant to Part 4 of this article, the agency shall promptly inform the parent as to whether the minor has been placed for adoption, whether a petition for adoption has been granted, denied, or withdrawn, and, if the petition was not granted, whether another placement has been made. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-104. [Reserved.]

  • § 2-105. Disclosure of information on background

    (a) Before placing a minor for adoption, a parent or agency placing the minor shall provide in writing to the prospective adoptive parent all of the following nonidentifying information that is reasonably available from the parents, relatives or guardian of the minor, the agency, any person who has had physical custody of the minor for 30 days or more, or any person who has provided health, psychological, educational or similar services to the minor:

    (1) a social and health history of the minor, including:

    (A) date, time, and place of birth;

    (B) first and middle name as given by the parent;

    (C) current health history, including an account of the minor's prenatal care, medical condition at birth, any drug or medication taken by the minor's mother during pregnancy;

    (D) any subsequent medical, psychological, psychiatric, and dental information and diagnosis, and a record of any immunizations and health care received while in foster or other care;

    (E) any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse known to have been experienced by the minor;

    (F) enrollment and performance in school, results of educational testing, and any special educational needs; and

    (G) an account of the minor's past and existing relationship with any relative, foster parent, or other person with whom the minor has lived or visited on a regular basis;

    (2) a social and health history of the minor's parents and extended family, including:

    (A) health and genetic history, including any known hereditary condition or disease, the current health of each parent, a summary of the findings of any medical, psychological, or psychiatric evaluation of each parent completed prior to placement, history of use of drugs and alcohol and if a parent is deceased, the cause of and the age at death;

    (B) racial, ethnic, and religious background, and general physical description;

    (C) the levels and types of educational, vocational, athletic, artistic, or scientific achievement or interests, including academic performance and diagnosed learning problems;

    (D) the date of birth and sex of any other child of the parents and whether or not those children have been removed from the parent's custody or placed for adoption;

    (E) the facts and circumstances related to the consent or relinquishment or termination of parental rights; and

    (F) any information necessary to determine the minor's eligibility for State or federal benefits, including financial, medical, or other assistance.

    (b) Before the final hearing on a petition for adoption, a person or agency who placed a minor for adoption shall provide to the prospective adoptive parent a supplemental written report containing any information listed in subsection (a) of this section which was unavailable before the minor was placed, but becomes reasonably available after the placement.

    (c) The Department shall prescribe forms designed to obtain specific information about the minor and the minor's family and shall provide these forms to any agency, attorney, or certified placement intermediary.

    (d) A report furnished under this section shall indicate who prepared the report and, unless confidentiality has been waived, shall be edited by the person who prepared the report to exclude the identity of any person who furnished information or about whom information is reported.

    (e) The adoptive parents shall file a copy of the report furnished under this section in the Probate Division of the Superior Court when the petition for adoption is filed. Upon finalization of an adoption, the Probate Division of the Superior Court shall file a copy of the report with the adoption registry. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 73.)

  • § 2-106. Interstate placement

    An adoption in this state of a minor brought into this state from another state by a prospective adoptive parent, or by a person who places the minor for adoption in this state, is governed by the laws of this state, including this title and the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-107. Intercountry placement

    An adoption in this state of a minor brought into this state from another country by a prospective adoptive parent, or by a person who places the minor for adoption in this state, is governed by this title, subject to any convention or treaty on intercountry adoption which the United States has ratified and any relevant federal law. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)


  • Subchapter 002: PREPLACEMENT EVALUATION
  • § 2-201. Preplacement evaluation required

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this section, only a person for whom a favorable written preplacement evaluation has been prepared may accept custody of a minor for purposes of adoption.

    (b) An evaluation is valid if it was completed or updated within the 12 months preceding the placement of the minor with the person for adoption.

    (c) A court may waive all or a portion of the requirement of a preplacement evaluation for good cause shown, but a person who is the subject of a waiver shall be evaluated during the pendency of a proceeding for adoption.

    (d) A preplacement evaluation is not required if a parent or guardian places a minor directly with a relative of the minor for purposes of adoption, but an evaluation of the relative is required during the pendency of a proceeding for adoption. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1997, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 2-202. Preplacement evaluator

    (a) A preplacement evaluation may be prepared only by a person who is qualified by the department to make the evaluation or who meets the qualifications of an evaluator and is appointed by the court.

    (b) An evaluator may charge a reasonable fee, based on time spent, for preparing an evaluation, even if the person being evaluated requests that it not be completed. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-203. Timing and content of preplacement evaluation

    (a) A person requesting a preplacement evaluation need not have located a prospective minor adoptee when the request is made, and the person may request more than one evaluation.

    (b) A preplacement evaluation shall be completed within 90 days after it is requested unless extended by the court. An evaluator shall give priority to a request from a person who has located a prospective adoptee.

    (c) A preplacement evaluation shall be based upon a personal interview and visit at the residence of the person being evaluated, personal interviews or correspondence with others who know the person and may have information relevant to the evaluation, and the information required by subsection (d) of this section.

    (d) A preplacement evaluation shall contain the following information about the person being evaluated:

    (1) age and date of birth, nationality, racial or ethnic background, and any religious affiliation;

    (2) marital status and family history, including the age and location of any child of the person and the identity of and relationship to anyone else living in the person's household;

    (3) parenting experience;

    (4) physical and mental health, and any history of abuse of alcohol or drugs;

    (5) educational and employment history and any special skills;

    (6) property and income, including outstanding financial obligations as indicated in a current credit report or financial statement furnished by the person;

    (7) any previous request for an evaluation or involvement in an adoptive placement and the outcome of the evaluation or placement as confirmed by the department;

    (8) whether the person has been subject to an abuse prevention order issued under 15 V.S.A. § 1103 or 1104, charged with or convicted of domestic assault in violation of 13 V.S.A. § 1042 (domestic assault), 1043 (first degree aggravated domestic assault), or 1044 (second degree aggravated domestic assault) or the subject of a substantiated complaint filed with the department, or subject to a court order restricting the person's right to parental rights and responsibilities or parent-child contact with a child;

    (9) whether the person has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation;

    (10) whether the person has located a parent interested in placing a minor with the person for adoption and, if so, a brief description of the parent and the minor;

    (11) reason for and attitude about adoption;

    (12) whether the person is in noncompliance with a child support order; and

    (13) any other fact or circumstance that may be relevant in determining whether the person is suited to be an adoptive parent, including the quality of the environment in the home, and the functioning of other children in the person's household.

    (e) A person being evaluated shall submit to fingerprinting and sign a release permitting the evaluator to obtain from an appropriate law enforcement agency any record indicating that the person has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation.

    (f) A person being evaluated shall, at the request of the evaluator, sign any release necessary for the evaluator to obtain information required by subsection (d) of this section. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 53, § 2, eff. June 26, 1997.)

  • § 2-204. Determining suitability to be adoptive parent

    (a) An evaluator shall assess the information required by section 2-203 of this title to determine whether it raises a concern that placement of any minor, or a particular minor, in the home of the person would pose a risk of harm to the physical or psychological well-being of the minor.

    (b) If an evaluator determines that the information assessed does not raise a concern that placement of any minor, or a particular minor, in the home of the person would pose a risk of harm to the physical or psychological well-being of the minor, the evaluator shall find that the person is suited to be an adoptive parent. The evaluator may comment about any factor that in the evaluator's opinion makes the person suited in general or for a particular minor.

    (c) If an evaluator determines that the information assessed raises a concern that placement of any minor, or a particular minor, in the home of the person would pose a risk of harm to the physical or psychological well-being of the minor, the evaluator, on the basis of the original or any further investigation, shall find that the person is or is not suited to be an adoptive parent. The evaluator shall support the finding with a written explanation. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-205. Filing and copies of preplacement evaluation

    (a) If a preplacement evaluation contains a finding that a person is suited to be an adoptive parent, the evaluator shall give the person a signed copy of the evaluation. At the person's request, the evaluator shall furnish a copy of the evaluation to a person authorized under this title to place a minor for adoption and, unless the person requests otherwise, edit the copy to exclude identifying information.

    (b) If a preplacement evaluation contains a finding that a person is not suited to be an adoptive parent of any minor, or a particular minor, the evaluator shall immediately give a signed copy of the evaluation to the person and to the department. The department shall retain for 10 years the copy and a copy of any court order concerning the evaluation issued pursuant to section 2-206 or 2-207 of this title.

    (c) An evaluator shall retain for two years the original of a completed or incomplete preplacement evaluation and a list of every source for each item of information in the evaluation.

    (d) An evaluator who conducted an evaluation in good faith under this part or under Part 6 of Article 3 of this title is not subject to civil liability for anything contained in the evaluation. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-206. Review of evaluation

    (a) Within 90 days after a person receives a preplacement evaluation with a finding that he or she is not suited to be an adoptive parent, the person may petition the probate division of the superior court for review of the evaluation.

    (b) If the court determines that the petitioner has failed to prove suitability by a preponderance of the evidence, it shall order that the petitioner not be permitted to adopt a minor and shall send a copy of the order to the department to be retained with the copy of the original evaluation. If, at the time of the court's determination, the petitioner has custody of a minor for purposes of adoption, the court shall make an appropriate order for the care and custody of the minor.

    (c) If the court determines that the petitioner has proved suitability, the court shall find the petitioner suitable to be an adoptive parent and the petitioner may commence or continue a proceeding for adoption of a minor. The court shall send a copy of its order to the department to be retained with the copy of the original evaluation. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011.)

  • § 2-207. Action by department

    If, before a decree of adoption is issued, the department learns from an evaluator or another person that a minor has been placed for adoption with a person who is the subject of a preplacement evaluation on file with the department containing a finding of unsuitability, the department shall immediately review the evaluation and investigate the circumstances of the placement and may request that the person return the minor to the custody of the person who placed the minor or to the department. If the person refuses to return the minor, the department shall immediately commence an action or proceeding to remove the minor from the home of the person and, pending a hearing, the court shall make an appropriate order for the care and custody of the minor. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)


  • Subchapter 004: CONSENT TO AND RELINQUISHMENT FOR ADOPTION
  • § 2-401. Persons whose consent to adoption is required

    (a) Unless consent is not required or is dispensed with by section 2-402 of this title, in a direct placement of a minor for adoption by a parent or guardian authorized under this title to place the minor, a petition to adopt the minor may be granted only if consent to the adoption has been executed by:

    (1) the woman who gave birth to the minor;

    (2) the biological father identified by the mother or as otherwise known to the court;

    (3) 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;

    (4) a man who:

    (A) was not married to the minor's mother at the time of the child's birth;

    (B) has acknowledged his paternity of the minor by executing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity under 15 V.S.A. § 307 or has filed a notice to retain parental rights under section 1-110 of this title; and

    (C) 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; and

    (5) the minor's guardian if expressly authorized by a court to consent to the minor's adoption; or

    (6) the current adoptive or other legally recognized mother and father of the minor.

    (b) Unless consent is not required under section 2-402 of this title, in a placement of a minor for adoption by an agency authorized under this title to place the minor, a petition to adopt the minor may be granted only if consent to the adoption has been executed by:

    (1) the agency that placed the minor for adoption; and

    (2) a person described in subsection (a) who has not relinquished the minor or had his or her parental rights terminated.

    (c) 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 by subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the minor has executed an informed consent to the adoption. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 3, § 12a, eff. Sept. 1, 2009.)

  • § 2-402. Persons whose consent not required

    (a) Consent to an adoption of a minor is not required of:

    (1) a person who has relinquished parental rights or guardianship powers, including the right to consent to adoption, to an agency pursuant to this part of this article;

    (2) a person whose parental relationship to the minor has been judicially terminated or determined not to exist;

    (3) 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;

    (4) the personal representative of a deceased parent's estate; or

    (5) 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.

    (b) The court may dispense with the consent of:

    (1) a guardian or an agency whose consent is otherwise required upon a finding that the consent is being withheld unreasonably, contrary to the best interest of a minor adoptee; or

    (2) a minor adoptee who has attained 14 years of age upon a finding that it is not in the best interest of the minor to require the consent. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-403. Persons who may relinquish minor

    A parent or guardian whose consent to the adoption of a minor is required by section 2-401 of this title may relinquish to an agency all rights with respect to the minor, including legal and physical custody and the right to consent to the minor's adoption. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-404. Time and prerequisites for execution of consent or relinquishment

    (a) A parent whose consent to the adoption of a minor is required by section 2-401 of this title may not execute a consent or a relinquishment sooner than 36 hours after the minor is born. A parent who executes a consent or relinquishment may revoke the consent or relinquishment within 21 days after the consent or relinquishment is executed by filing a written notice in the court in which the consent was executed.

    (b) 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.

    (c) 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.

    (d) A minor adoptee whose consent is required may execute a consent at any time at or before the hearing on the petition for adoption.

    (e) Before executing a consent or relinquishment, 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 which may affect the physical or psychological well-being of the adoptee, and the procedure for the release of the parent's identity pursuant to Article 6 of this title. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-405. Procedure for execution of consent or relinquishment

    (a) A consent or relinquishment executed by a parent or guardian under this title shall be signed in the presence of:

    (1) a judge of a court that has jurisdiction over adoption proceedings in this or in any other state;

    (2) a person appointed by a probate judge to take consents or relinquishments;

    (3) a commissioned officer on active duty in the military service of the United States, if the person executing the consent or relinquishment is in military service; or

    (4) 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.

    (b) A consent executed by a minor adoptee shall be signed in the presence of the judge before whom the proceeding is pending.

    (c) A parent who is a minor is competent to execute a consent or relinquishment 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 or relinquishment is executed.

    (d) A person before whom a consent or relinquishment is signed under subsection (a) of this section shall certify in writing that he or she orally explained the contents and consequences of the consent or relinquishment, and to the best of the person's knowledge or belief, the person executing the consent or relinquishment:

    (1) read or was read the consent or relinquishment and understood it;

    (2) signed the consent or relinquishment voluntarily;

    (3) received or was offered a copy of the consent or relinquishment and the information described in subsection 2-404(e) of this title;

    (4) if a parent, understands that personal counseling was available by a certified adoption counselor or other counselor of his or her choice;

    (5) if a parent who is a minor, was advised by an attorney who is not representing an adoptive parent or the agency to which the parent's child is being relinquished, or, if an adult, was informed of the right to have an attorney who is not representing an adoptive parent or an agency to which the parent's child is being relinquished;

    (6) if a mother who has not identified a biological father, has responded to inquiries under section 3-404 of this title; and

    (7) if a parent who has identified another parent who is deceased, has provided the names and addresses of persons described in subdivision 3-401(a)(6) of this title.

    (e) A prospective adoptive parent named or described in a consent to the adoption of a minor shall sign a statement indicating an intention to adopt the minor, acknowledging an obligation to return legal and physical custody of the minor to the minor's parent if the parent revokes the consent within the time specified in subsection 2-404(a) of this title, and acknowledging responsibility for the minor's support and medical and other care if the consent is not revoked.

    (f) If an agency accepts a relinquishment, an employee of the agency shall sign a statement accepting the relinquishment, acknowledging its obligation to return legal and physical custody of the child to the minor's parent if the parent revokes the relinquishment within the time indicated in subsection 2-404(a), and acknowledging responsibility for the minor's support and medical and other care if the relinquishment is not revoked.

    (g) A person before whom a consent or a relinquishment is signed or confirmed shall certify having received the statements required by subsections (e) and (f) of this section.

    (h) A consent by an agency to the adoption of a minor in the agency's legal custody shall be executed by the head of the agency or a person authorized by the agency and shall be signed or confirmed under oath in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments.

    (i) A consent or relinquishment executed in another state or country is valid if in accordance with this title or with the law and procedure of the state or country in which executed. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-406. Content of consent or relinquishment

    (a) A consent or relinquishment required from a parent or guardian under this title shall be in writing and contain, in plain English or, if the native language of the parent or guardian is a language other than English, in that language:

    (1) the name, date of birth, and current mailing address of the individual executing the consent or relinquishment;

    (2) the date of birth and the name of the minor adoptee;

    (3) if a consent, the name, address, and telephone number of the attorney representing the prospective adoptive parent with whom the individual executing the consent has placed or intends to place the minor for adoption;

    (4) if a relinquishment, the name, address, and telephone number of the agency to which the minor is being relinquished;

    (5) specific instructions as to how to revoke the consent or relinquishment and how to commence an action to set it aside;

    (6) the name and address of the court, if known to the parent, in which the petition for adoption has been or will be filed, or if unknown to the parent, the name and address of a court in which a motion to set aside a consent on the ground of fraud or coercion may be filed.

    (b) A consent shall state that the parent or guardian executing the document is voluntarily and unequivocally consenting to the transfer of legal and physical custody to, and the adoption of the minor by, a specific adoptive parent whom the parent or guardian has selected.

    (c) A relinquishment shall state that the individual executing the relinquishment voluntarily consents to the permanent transfer of legal and physical custody of the minor to the agency for the purposes of adoption.

    (d) A consent or relinquishment shall state:

    (1) an understanding that after the consent or relinquishment is executed in substantial compliance with section 2-405 of this title, it is final and, except under a circumstance stated in sections 2-408, 2-409 of this title, or subsection (e) of this section may not be revoked or set aside for any reason, including the failure of an adoptive parent to permit the individual executing the consent or relinquishment to visit or communicate with the minor adoptee;

    (2) an understanding that the consent or relinquishment will extinguish all parental rights and obligations the individual executing the consent or relinquishment has with respect to the minor adoptee;

    (3) an understanding that the adoption will terminate completely every aspect of the legal relationship between the adoptee and the person executing the consent or relinquishment has with respect to the minor adoptee, except for arrearages of child support, and will remain valid whether or not any agreement for visitation or communication with the minor adoptee is later performed;

    (4) that the individual executing the consent or relinquishment has:

    (A) received a copy of the consent or relinquishment;

    (B) been advised, if a parent who is a minor, by an attorney who is not representing an adoptive parent or the agency to which the minor adoptee is being relinquished, or, if an adult, has been informed of the right to have an attorney who is not representing an adoptive parent or the agency;

    (C) been provided the information described in subsection 2-404(e) of this title;

    (D) been advised of the obligation to provide the information required under section 2-105 of this title;

    (E) if a parent, understands that personal counseling was available by a certified adoption counselor or other counselor of his or her choice; and

    (F) been informed that it is in the best interest of the child to keep the court or agency informed of his or her current address and any family health problem which the parent develops or becomes aware of which could affect the child, in order for the court or agency to respond to any inquiry concerning the adoptee's medical or social history;

    (5) that the individual executing the consent or relinquishment has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the consent or the relinquishment, except for payments authorized by Article 7 of this title that are itemized on a schedule attached to the consent or relinquishment;

    (6) that the minor is or is not an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. Sections 1901 et seq.;

    (7) that the individual believes the adoption of the minor is in the minor's best interest;

    (8) that the individual who is consenting or relinquishing:

    (A) does not waive notice of any proceeding for adoption; or

    (B) waives notice of any proceeding for adoption; or

    (C) waives notice unless the adoption is contested, appealed or denied; and

    (9) an understanding that the adoption will make an order or agreement for visitation or communication with the minor unenforceable; and

    (10) for the purpose of evaluating the reasonableness of reimbursement or expenses as provided for in section 7-103 of this title, whether the individual executing the consent or relinquishment has received any public assistance during the last 12 months.

    (e) A consent or relinquishment may provide for its revocation if:

    (1) another consent or relinquishment is not executed within a specified period;

    (2) a court decides not to terminate another individual's parental relationship to the minor; or

    (3) 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. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-407. Consequences of consent or relinquishment

    (a) Except under a circumstance stated in section 2-408 of this title, a consent to the adoption of a minor, which consent is executed by a parent or guardian in substantial compliance with sections 2-405 and 2-406 of this title, is final and irrevocable 21 days after execution, and:

    (1) unless a court orders otherwise to protect the welfare of the minor, entitles the prospective adoptive parent named or described in the consent to the legal and physical custody of the minor and imposes on that person responsibility for the support and medical and other care of the minor;

    (2) terminates any responsibility of a parent who executed the consent with respect to the minor, including child support (except for arrearages) upon filing the consent with the family division of the superior court that entered the child support order and notifying the office of child support; and

    (3) terminates any right of a parent or guardian who executed the consent to object to the minor's adoption by the prospective adoptive parent unless otherwise provided in the consent.

    (b) Except under a circumstance stated in section 2-409 of this title, a relinquishment of a minor to an agency executed in substantial compliance with sections 2-405 and 2-406 is final and irrevocable 21 days after it is executed, and:

    (1) unless a court orders otherwise to protect the welfare of the minor, entitles the agency to the legal custody of the minor until a decree of adoption becomes final;

    (2) empowers the agency to:

    (A) place the minor for adoption;

    (B) consent to the minor's adoption; and

    (C) delegate to a prospective adoptive parent responsibility for the support and medical and other care of the minor;

    (3) terminates any responsibility of the person who executed the relinquishment with respect to the minor, including child support (except for arrearages) upon filing the relinquishment with the family division of the superior court that entered the child support order notifying the office of child support; and

    (4) terminates any right of the person who executed the relinquishment to object to the minor's adoption and, unless otherwise provided in the relinquishment, any right to notice of the proceeding for adoption. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 154, § 238.)

  • § 2-408. Revocation of consent

    (a) 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:

    (1) within 21 days after the consent is executed, a parent who executed the consent notifies the court in writing that the parent revokes the consent, or the parent complies with any other instructions for revocation specified in the consent; or

    (2) the person who executed the consent and the prospective adoptive parent named or described in the consent agree to its revocation.

    (b) In a direct placement of a minor for adoption by a parent or guardian, the court shall set aside the consent if the person who executed the consent establishes:

    (1) by clear and convincing evidence, before a decree of adoption is issued, that the consent was obtained by fraud or duress;

    (2) 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; or

    (3) by a preponderance of the evidence, that a condition permitting revocation has occurred, as expressly provided for in the consent pursuant to section 2-406 of this title.

    (c) If the consent of a person who had legal and physical custody of a minor when the minor was placed for adoption or when the consent was executed is revoked, the prospective adoptive parent shall immediately return the minor to the custody of the person who executed the consent and move to dismiss a proceeding for adoption or termination of the person's parental relationship to the minor. If the minor is not returned immediately, the person may petition the court named in the consent for appropriate relief. The court shall hear the petition expeditiously.

    (d) If the consent of a person who had legal and physical custody of a minor when the minor was placed for adoption or when the consent was executed is set aside under subdivision (b)(1) of this section, the court shall order the immediate return of the minor to the custody of the person and dismiss a proceeding for adoption.

    (e) If the consent of a person who had legal and physical custody of a minor when the minor was placed for adoption or when the consent was executed is set aside under subdivision (b)(2) or (3) of this section and no ground exists under Article 3, Part 5 of this title, for terminating the relationship of parent and child between the person and the minor, the court shall dismiss a proceeding for adoption and order the immediate return of the minor to the custody of the person, unless the court finds that return will be detrimental to the minor.

    (f) If the consent of a person who did not have physical custody of a minor when the minor was placed for adoption or when the consent was executed is revoked or set aside and no ground exists under Article 3, Part 5 of this title, for terminating the relationship of parent and child between the person and the minor, the court shall dismiss a proceeding for adoption and issue an order providing for the care and custody of the minor according to the best interest of the minor. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2-409. Revocation of relinquishment

    (a) A relinquishment under this title is revoked if:

    (1) within 21 days after a relinquishment is executed, a parent who executed the relinquishment gives written notice to the court in which the relinquishment was signed and the agency to which the minor has been relinquished, that the parent revokes the relinquishment, or the parent complies with any other instructions for revocation specified in the relinquishment; or

    (2) the person who executed the relinquishment and the agency that accepted it agree to its revocation.

    (b) The court shall set aside a relinquishment if the person who executed the relinquishment establishes:

    (1) by clear and convincing evidence, before a decree of adoption is issued, that the relinquishment was obtained by fraud or duress; or

    (2) by a preponderance of the evidence, that a condition permitting revocation has occurred, as expressly provided for in the relinquishment pursuant to section 2-406 of this title.

    (c) If a relinquishment by a person who had legal and physical custody of a minor when the relinquishment was executed is revoked, the agency shall immediately return the minor to the person's custody and move to dismiss a proceeding for adoption. If the minor is not returned immediately, the person may petition the court named in the relinquishment for appropriate relief. The court shall hear the petition expeditiously.

    (d) If a relinquishment by a person who had legal and physical custody of a minor when the relinquishment was executed is set aside under subdivision (b)(1) of this section, the court shall dismiss any proceeding for adoption and order the immediate return of the minor to the custody of the person.

    (e) If a relinquishment by a person who had legal and physical custody of a minor when the relinquishment was executed is set aside under subdivision (b)(2) of this section and no ground exists under Article 3, Part 5 of this title, for terminating the relationship of parent and child between the person and the minor, the court shall dismiss a proceeding for adoption and order the immediate return of the minor to the custody of the person, unless the court finds that return will be detrimental to the minor.

    (f) If a relinquishment by a person who did not have physical custody of a minor when the relinquishment was executed is revoked or set aside and no ground exists under Article 3, Part 5, for terminating the relationship of parent and child between the person and the minor, the court shall dismiss a proceeding for adoption and shall issue an order providing for the care and custody of the minor according to the best interest of the minor. (Added 1995, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)