Is Adoption Possible without Parental Consent?

Parental consent is almost always required in any adoption, but some circumstances do exist where parental consent is not needed for an adoption to go through.

The following explores these situations, as well as other roadblocks that may come along the way when pursuing an adoption without parental consent.

Birth Parent Consent

The birth parents may give official consent to the adoption of their child 72 hours after the child’s birth.

All consents must be given in writing and must be signed by the parent giving the consent. It also must be signed in the presence of a notary public or witnessed by two or more credible witnesses who are over 18 years old.

On the written consent for adoption, either the specific parents authorized to adopt the child or an agency where the child will be placed for adoption must be given.

In Arizona, consent for adoption must be given by:

  • The birth or adoptive mother;
  • The father, if he was married to the mother when the child was conceived, if he was the adoptive father or if he has otherwise legally established paternity;
  • Any guardian or agency with whom the child has been placed for adoption;
  • The guardian of any adult parent, if one has already been appointed
  • The child, if he or she is over the age of 12 years old. This consent must be given in open court.

Consent Not Necessary

In some situations, consent is not necessary. These situations include the following:

  • When the adult parent already has a guardian appointed;
  • When the parental rights have been previously terminated by court order;
  • If the birth parents had already consented to an agency or division for placement of the child for adoption and adoptive parents are later chosen by the agency or division;
  • If the potential father has failed to pursue a paternity action and has not complied with the requirements set within 30 days of receiving notice.

Consent of the Father

Many times, the birth father is completely supportive of the adoption plan, but sometimes this is not the case.

In the Arizona, a man is considered the child’s “legal father” if he is or was married to the mother any time in the 10 months preceding the child’s birth, if he and the child’s birth mother signed the birth certificate of paternity statement, or if genetic testing showed that the man had a 95 percent probability of paternity.

If any of these circumstances apply, either the consent needs to be given or the father’s parental rights need to be terminated.

However, other circumstances exist where the consent is not needed, including the following:

  • When the identity of the birth father is unknown or his whereabouts are unknown, the adoption may be able to proceed without his consent. However, in these situations, the adoptive parents must make an effort to identify the birth father, and a search on the putative father registry must be completed before the adoption can proceed.
  • If the birth father is unsupportive of the birth mother’s decision for adoption, the birth father will need to demonstrate his desire for custody and willingness to support the child. If he simply does not want to agree with the adoption and does not want to care for the child, the court may be able to terminate his parental rights so that the adoption can move forward.

If any of the circumstances exist, it is almost always recommended that an adoption attorney be hired to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

While it is possible to terminate parental rights through a court proceeding, an attorney will be needed to properly present the evidence to support the claim that the birth father is not able or willing to care for the minor child.

If You Are Thinking Adoption, Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today

At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how stressful the adoption process can be. We’re here to help you find the path to adoption that’s right for you. Every adoption is as unique as the adoptive parents themselves, but the journey doesn’t have to be harrowing.

We specialize in Arizona adoption law, and we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you welcome your child into your loving home. Contact us at (480) 420 2900 today for your free consultation.

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