SB 992 - This act permits a guardian ad litem or a private attorney filing a petition for adoption to petition the juvenile court to terminate the rights of a parent or to receive specific consent to adopt or waiver of consent to adoption. This act also repeals existing provisions relating to the form and manner of the consent to adopt or waiver of consent to adoption.
Under current law, written consent to an adoption shall be required from (1) the mother of the child and (2) the presumptive or putative father or the child's current adoptive parents or other legally recognized mother and father. This act requires written consent from all three categories of individuals. Additionally, a birth father or the current adoptive parents of a child may execute a written consent to adoption before or after the birth of the child and before or after the commencement of adoption proceedings. Properly executed consent to adoption under this provision is irrevocable. The consent shall be signed in the presence of two adult witnesses, one of whom may be the attorney representing the party executing the consent. The court shall receive and acknowledge a properly executed consent to adoption when such consent is in the best interests of the child.
This act permits out of state adoptive petitioners to appear by their attorney or by telephone or video conference rather than in person.
This act removes a requirement that a court consider whether the adoption would be in compliance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.
Finally, this act permits adoptive parents and the birth parents of a child to enter into a written post adoption contact agreement to allow contact, communication, and the exchange of photographs after the adoption between the parties. Any agreement shall be voluntary, contain provisions specified in the act, be in writing, signed by the parties to the agreement, and approved by the court. The court shall enforce an agreement unless doing so would not be in the best interest of the child.
Provisions of this act are substantially similar to the truly agreed to and finally passed HCS/SB 800 (2018) and similar to SB 425 (2015), SB 990 (2014), and HB 1994 (2012).