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Consenting to Your Child's Adoption

Consenting to Your Child's Adoption

In some situations, providing a financially stable home or offering their children the type of life they want them to enjoy is impossible for parents. Birth parents in this situation may decide to put their children up for adoption so they can provide them a chance at a better future. If you are a parent considering adoption as the best option for your child or children, or if you are a parent who is hoping to adopt, there are a few things that you should know.

A child becomes available for adoption when the following conditions are met:

  • They are surrendered to an agency and the agency consents to the adoption.
  • An individual (other than the parents) and authorized to do so by law, consents to the child’s adoption, unless no consent is necessary.
  • The child is already with an individual or family that intends to adopt through placement by the biological parents.
  • A specific consent to adopt has been signed by the parent.
  • The child has been relinquished (according to the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act).

In most cases, a consent or surrender is required prior to a child becoming available for adoption. In some cases, neither is required, if:

  • The parent is unfit according to clear and convincing evidence.
  • The person is not the child’s biological or adoptive father.
  • Parental rights have been waived.
  • The person became the father as a result of sexual abuse/assault.
  • The father is a member of the mother’s family and she was under 18 years old at the time of conception.
  • The mother was under 17 years old when the baby was conceived and the father is at least 5 years older than the mother (unless the parents acknowledge paternity voluntarily).

In cases where a waiver, consent or surrender is required in order to complete the adoption:

  • During the 72 hours directly following the child’s birth, no consent or surrender can be signed.
  • Once 72 hours has passed and the consent or surrender is signed it is typically irrevocable.
  • Prior to the child’s birth, the father may sign a consent or surrender. This consent or surrender can be revoked within 72 hours after the baby’s birth. If it is not revoked during this 72 hour time period following the baby’s birth, it is generally irrevocable.
  • A parent may put a standby adoption in place that will go into effect upon the death of the consenting parent or at their own request that the final judgment of adoption be entered.
  • A putative/legal father has the right to sign a waiver of his parental rights at any time before the child is born. Such a waiver is typically irrevocable.
If you have questions about the consequences of signing a consent, surrender or waiver, contact an adoption lawyer at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.
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