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Child Adoption Laws
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Child Adoption Laws
Nebraska


We hope to help you learn more about the child adoption laws in the State of Nebraska.  Please note that while we have tried to be as current as possible, laws are occasionally rewritten and/or amended; accordingly, the Nebraska adoption law provided below may have errors, omissions, or may not be the most current version. Please remember that this information should not be used as the basis for making any legal decision. Please use appropriate resources and an attorney's advice when making legal decisions.

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Nebraska Legislature Website


Nebraska Adoption Statute and Law
Nebraska Revised Statute 43-101
Chapter 43
Sections 101- 165

(This page was last updated on 09/10/13.)

Section 43-101
Children eligible for adoption.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, any minor child may be adopted by any adult person or persons and any adult child may be adopted by the spouse of such child's parent in the cases and subject to sections 43-101 to 43-115, except that no person having a husband or wife may adopt a minor child unless the husband or wife joins in the petition therefore. If the husband or wife so joins in the petition therefore, the adoption shall be by them jointly, except that an adult husband or wife may adopt a child of the other spouse whether born in or out of wedlock.

(2) Any adult child may be adopted by any person or persons subject to sections 43-101 to 43-115, except that no person having a husband or wife may adopt an adult child unless the husband or wife joins in the petition therefore. If the husband or wife so joins the petition therefore, the adoption shall be by them jointly. The adoption of an adult child by another adult or adults who are not the stepparent of the adult child may be permitted if the adult child has had a parent-child relationship with the prospective parent or parents for a period of at least six months next preceding the adult child's age of majority and (a) the adult child has no living parents, (b) the adult child's parent or parents had been deprived of parental rights to such child by the order of any court of competent jurisdiction, (c) the parent or parents, if living, have relinquished the adult child for adoption by a written instrument, (d) the parent or parents had abandoned the child for at least six months next preceding the adult child's age of majority, or (e) the parent or parents are incapable of consenting. The substitute consent provisions of section 43-105 do not apply to adoptions under this subsection.

Annotations:
For an adoption to be valid under Nebraska's adoption statutes, the record must show the following factors: (1) the existence of an adult person or persons entitled to adopt, (2) the existence of a child eligible for adoption, (3) compliance with statutory procedures providing for adoption, and (4) evidence that the proposed adoption is in the child's best interests. Reading the adoption statutes in their entirety, it is clear that aside from the stepparent adoption scenario, the parents' parental rights must be terminated or the existing nonterminated parent or parents must relinquish in order for the child to be eligible for adoption by any adult person or persons under this section. In re Adoption of Luke, 263 Neb. 365, 640 N.W.2d 374 (2002).

 

Section 43-102
Petition requirements; decree; adoptive home study, when required; jurisdiction; filings.

Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, any person or persons desiring to adopt a minor child or an adult child shall file a petition for adoption signed and sworn to by the person or persons desiring to adopt. The consent or consents required by sections 43-104 and 43-105 or section 43-104.07, the documents required by section 43-104.07 or the documents required by sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.24, and a completed preplacement adoptive home study if required by section 43-107 shall be filed prior to the hearing required in section 43-103.

The county court of the county in which the person or persons desiring to adopt the child reside has jurisdiction of adoption proceedings, except that if a separate juvenile court already has jurisdiction over the child to be adopted under the Nebraska Juvenile Code, such separate juvenile court has concurrent jurisdiction with the county court in such adoption proceeding. The petition and all other court filings for an adoption proceeding shall be filed with the clerk of the county court. The party shall state in the petition whether such party requests that the proceeding be heard by the county court or, in cases in which a separate juvenile court already has jurisdiction over the child to be adopted under the Nebraska Juvenile Code, such separate juvenile court. Such proceeding is considered a county court proceeding even if heard by a separate juvenile court judge and an order of the separate juvenile court in such adoption proceeding has the force and effect of a county court order. The testimony in an adoption proceeding heard before a separate juvenile court judge shall be preserved as in any other separate juvenile court proceeding. The clerks of the district courts shall transfer all adoption petitions and other adoption filings which were filed with such clerks prior to August 28, 1999, to the clerk of the county court where the separate juvenile court which heard the proceeding is situated. The clerk of such county court shall file and docket such petitions and other filings.

Except as set out in subdivisions (1)(b)(ii), (iii), (iv), and (v) of section 43-107, an adoption decree shall not be issued until at least six months after an adoptive home study has been completed by the department or a licensed child placement agency.

Annotations:
Failure to sign and verify petition was not jurisdictional. Hiatt v. Menendez, 157 Neb. 914, 62 N.W.2d 123 (1954).

County court in adoption proceeding determines question of permanent custody and control of minor. Krell v. Jenkins, 157 Neb. 554, 60 N.W.2d 613 (1953).

Statutory procedure for adoption must be followed. In re Petition of Ritchie, 155 Neb. 824, 53 N.W.2d 753 (1952


Section 43-102.01
Military personnel; deemed residents; when.

For purposes of adoption, persons serving in the armed forces of the United States, who have been continuously stationed at any military base or installation in the State of Nebraska for the period of one year immediately preceding the filing of a petition for adoption shall be deemed residents in good faith of this state and the county where such military base or installation is located.


Section 43-103
Petition; hearing; notice.

Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, upon the filing of such petition the court shall fix a time for hearing the same, not less than four weeks nor more than eight weeks after the filing of such petition. The court may require notice of the hearing to be given to the child, if over fourteen years of age, to the natural parent or parents of the child, and to such other interested persons as the judge may, in the exercise of discretion, deem advisable, in the manner provided for service of a summons in a civil action. If the judge directs notice by publication, such notice shall be published three successive weeks in a legal newspaper of general circulation in such county.


Section 43-104
Adoption; consent required; exceptions.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section and in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, no adoption shall be decreed unless written consents thereto are filed in the county court of the county in which the person or persons desiring to adopt reside or in the county court in which the separate juvenile court having jurisdiction over the custody of the child is located and the written consents are executed by (a) the minor child, if over fourteen years of age, or the adult child, (b) any district court, county court, or separate juvenile court in the State of Nebraska having jurisdiction of the custody of a minor child by virtue of proceedings had in any district court, county court, or separate juvenile court in the State of Nebraska or by virtue of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, and (c) 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, or both the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock as determined pursuant to sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.25. On and after April 20, 2002, a written consent or relinquishment for adoption under this section shall not be valid unless signed at least forty-eight hours after the birth of the child.

(2) Consent shall not be required of any parent who (a) has relinquished the child for adoption by a written instrument, (b) has abandoned the child for at least six months next preceding the filing of the adoption petition, (c) has been deprived of his or her parental rights to such child by the order of any court of competent jurisdiction, or (d) is incapable of consenting.

(3) Consent shall not be required of a putative father who has failed to timely file (a) a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody pursuant to section 43-104.02 and, with respect to the absence of such filing, a certificate has been filed pursuant to section 43-104.04 or (b) a petition pursuant to section 43-104.05 for the adjudication of such notice and a determination of whether his consent to the adoption is required and the mother of the child has timely executed a valid relinquishment and consent to the adoption pursuant to such section.

(4) Consent shall not be required of an adjudicated or putative father who is not required to consent to the adoption pursuant to section 43-104.22.

Annotations

Pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, for an adoption to proceed, the consent of the biological father who has established a familial relationship with his child is required unless, under subsection (2) of this section, the party seeking adoption has established that the biological parent: (1) has relinquished the child for adoption by a written instrument, (2) has abandoned the child for at least six months next preceding the filing of the adoption petition, (3) has been deprived of his or her parental rights to such child by the order of any court of competent jurisdiction, or (4) is incapable of consenting. In re Adoption of Corbin J., 278 Neb. 1057, 775 N.W.2d 404 (2009).

The putative father provisions of this section do not apply to a previously adjudicated father. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).

It is clear that the district court is not to consider the issue of abandonment; the question of whether the parent did in fact abandon the child, for purposes of adoption, is exclusively for the county court. Smith v. Smith, 242 Neb. 812, 497 N.W.2d 44 (1993).

The critical period of time during which abandonment must be shown to eliminate the necessity for obtaining consent to adoption from a parent under this section is the 6 months immediately preceding the filing of the petition for adoption. In re Guardianship of T.C.W., 235 Neb. 716, 457 N.W.2d 282 (1990).

The consent granted by the district court pursuant to the provisions of this section does nothing more than permit the county court, as the tribunal having exclusive original jurisdiction over adoption matters, to entertain such proceedings. Klein v. Klein, 230 Neb. 385, 431 N.W.2d 646 (1988).

Abandonment for purposes of permitting substitute consent for adoption must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. In re Guardianship of Sain, 217 Neb. 96, 348 N.W.2d 435 (1984).

Although the critical period of time during which abandonment must be shown to eliminate the necessity of obtaining consent pursuant to this section is the six months immediately preceding the filing for adoption, evidence of a parent's conduct either before or after this period may be considered as relevant to a determination of whether the purpose and intent of that parent was to abandon the child or children. To prove abandonment in adoption proceedings, the evidence must clearly and convincingly show that the parent has acted toward the child in a manner evidencing a settled purpose to be rid of all parental obligations and to forego all parental rights, together with a complete repudiation of parenthood and an abandonment of parental rights and responsibilities. Where there has been a protracted period of totally unjustified failure to exercise parental functions, an isolated contact does not necessarily negate the inference that a person no longer wishes to act in the role of a parent to a child. In re Adoption of Simonton, 211 Neb. 777, 320 N.W.2d 449 (1982).

The signing of a consent to adoption does not, in itself, release the consenting parent from an obligation to support the child and the court's earlier opinion in Smith v. Smith, 201 Neb. 21, 265 N.W.2d 855 (1978), should not be read that way. Williams v. Williams, 206 Neb. 630, 294 N.W.2d 357 (1980).

Consent for relinquishment executed by seventeen year old mother of child born out of wedlock is valid. Batt v. Nebraska Children's Home Society, 185 Neb. 124, 174 N.W.2d 88 (1970).

To warrant an adoption, it must clearly appear that the natural parents, if living, had abandoned the child for a period of at least six months. McCauley v. Stewart, 177 Neb. 759, 131 N.W.2d 174 (1964).


Adoption is permitted where parents have been deprived of custody of minor child by order of juvenile court. Krell v. Jenkins, 157 Neb. 554, 60 N.W.2d 613 (1953).

 

Section 43-104.01
Child born out of wedlock; biological father registry; Department of Health and Human Services Finance and Support; duties.

(1) The Department of Health and Human Services shall establish a biological father registry. The department shall maintain such registry and shall record the names and addresses of (a) any person adjudicated by a court of this state or by a court of another state or territory of the United States to be the biological father of a child born out of wedlock if a certified copy of the court order is filed with the registry by such person or any other person, (b) any putative father who has filed with the registry, prior to the receipt of notice under sections 43-104.12 to 43-104.16, a Request for Notification of Intended Adoption with respect to such child, and (c) any putative father who has filed with the registry a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody with respect to such child.

(2) A Request for Notification of Intended Adoption or a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody filed with the registry shall include (a) the putative father's name, address, and social security number, (b) the name and last-known address of the mother, (c) the month and year of the birth or the expected birth of the child, (d) the case name, court name, and location of any Nebraska court having jurisdiction over the custody of the child, and (e) a statement by the putative father that he acknowledges liability for contribution to the support and education of the child after birth and for contribution to the pregnancy-related medical expenses of the mother of the child. The person filing the notice shall notify the registry of any change of address pursuant to procedures prescribed in rules and regulations of the department.

(3) A request or notice filed under this section or section 43-104.02 shall be admissible in any action for paternity and shall estop the putative father from denying paternity of such child thereafter.

(4) Any putative father who files a Request for Notification of Intended Adoption or a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody with the biological father registry may revoke such filing. Upon receipt of such revocation by the registry, the effect shall be as if no filing had ever been made.

(5) The department shall not divulge the names and addresses of persons listed with the biological father registry to any other person except as authorized by law or upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction for good cause shown.

(6) The department may develop information about the registry and may distribute such information, through its existing publications, to the news media and the public. The department may provide information about the registry to the Department of Correctional Services, which may distribute such information through its existing publications.

(7) A person who has been adjudicated by a Nebraska court of competent jurisdiction to be the biological father of a child born out of wedlock who is the subject of a proposed adoption shall not be construed to be a putative father for purposes of sections 43-104.01 to 43-104.05 and shall not be subject to the provisions of such sections as applied to such fathers. Whether such person's consent is required for the proposed adoption shall be determined by the Nebraska court having jurisdiction over the custody of the child pursuant to section 43-104.22, as part of proceedings required under section 43-104 to obtain the court's consent to such adoption.

 

Section 43-104.02
Child born out of wedlock; Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody; filing requirements.

A Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody shall be filed with the biological father registry under section 43-104.01 on forms provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (1) within five business days after the birth of the child or (2) if notice is provided after the birth of the child (a) within five business days after receipt of the notice provided under section 43-104.12 or (b) within five business days after the last date of any published notice provided under section 43-104.14, whichever notice is earlier. Such notice shall be considered to have been filed if it is received by the department or postmarked prior to the end of the fifth business day as provided in this section.

Annotations:
A putative father who intends to claim paternity and obtain custody of a child born out of wedlock must file notice with the biological father registry and adjudicate his claim within 30 days. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
Section 43-102.05 requires a "claimant-father" to petition the county court where the child was born to adjudicate his claim of paternity and right to custody within 30 days of filing notice under this section. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
This section and section 43-104.05 do not apply to a putative father who has been previously determined to be the biological father. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
This section, by its very terms, has no application in a dispute between the biological father and mother of a child born out of wedlock. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
This section does not apply to a biological father opposing the adoption of his child who is no longer a newborn when the father had acknowledged and supported his child and established strong familial ties. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
This section requires "a person claiming to be the father of the child" to file notice of his intent to claim paternity and obtain custody with the biological father registry within 5 business days of the child's birth or published notification. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
Five-day filing requirement for paternity held constitutional as applied, because such requirement did not violate right of equal protection or procedural due process. Friehe v. Schaad, 249 Neb. 825, 545 N.W.2d 740 (1996).
This section held unconstitutional as applied in this case. In re Application of S.R.S. and M.B.S., 225 Neb. 759, 408 N.W.2d 272 (1987).
Five-day claim provision does not apply to a dispute between the father and mother of a child born out of wedlock. White v. Mertens, 225 Neb. 241, 404 N.W.2d 410 (1987).


Section 43-104.03
Child born out of wedlock; filing with biological father registry; department; notice; to whom given.

Within three days after the filing of a Request for Notification of Intended Adoption or a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody with the biological father registry pursuant to sections 43-104.01 and 43-104.02, the Department of Health and Human Services shall cause a certified copy of such request or notice to be mailed by certified mail to (1) the mother or prospective mother of such child at the last-known address shown on the request or notice or an agent specifically designated in writing by the mother or prospective mother to receive such request or notice and (2) any Nebraska court identified by the putative father under section 43-104.01 as having jurisdiction over the custody of the child.

 

Section 43-104.04
Child born out of wedlock; failure to file notice; effect.

If a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody is not timely filed with the biological father registry pursuant to section 43-104.02, the mother of a child born out of wedlock or an agent specifically designated in writing by the mother may request, and the Department of Health and Human Services shall supply, a certificate that no such notice has been filed with the biological father registry. The filing of such certificate pursuant to section 43-102 shall eliminate the need or necessity of a consent or relinquishment for adoption by the putative father of such child.

Annotations:
For an adoption to proceed, the consent of the biological father who has established a familial relationship with his child is required unless, under section 43-104(2), the party seeking adoption has established that the biological parent: (1) has relinquished the child for adoption by a written instrument, (2) has abandoned the child for at least six months next preceding the filing of the adoption petition, (3) has been deprived of his or her parental rights to such child by the order of any court of competent jurisdiction, or (4) is incapable of consenting. In re Adoption of Corbin J., 278 Neb. 1057, 775 N.W.2d 404 (2009).
Five-day filing requirement for paternity held constitutional as applied, because such requirement did not violate right of equal protection or procedural due process. Friehe v. Schaad, 249 Neb. 825, 545 N.W.2d 740 (1996).


Section 43-104.05
Child born out of wedlock; notice; filed; petition for adjudication of paternity; trial; guardian ad litem; court; jurisdiction.

(1) If a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody is timely filed with the biological father registry pursuant to section 43-104.02, either the putative father, the mother, or her agent specifically designated in writing shall, within thirty days after the filing of such notice, file a petition for adjudication of the notice and a determination of whether the putative father's consent to the proposed adoption is required. The petition shall be filed in the county court in the county where such child was born or, if a separate juvenile court already has jurisdiction over the custody of the child, in the county court of the county in which such separate juvenile court is located.

(2) If such a petition is not filed within thirty days after the filing of such notice and the mother of the child has executed a valid relinquishment and consent to the adoption within sixty days of the filing of such notice, the putative father's consent to adoption of the child shall not be required, he is not entitled to any further notice of the adoption proceedings, and any alleged parental rights and responsibilities of the putative father shall not be recognized thereafter in any court.

(3) After the timely filing of such petition, the court shall set a trial date upon proper notice to the parties not less than twenty nor more than thirty days after the date of such filing. If the mother contests the putative father's claim of paternity, the court shall order DNA testing to establish whether the putative father is the biological father. The court shall assess the costs of such testing between the parties in an equitable manner. Whether the putative father's consent to the adoption is required shall be determined pursuant to section 43-104.22. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the child.

(4)(a) The county court of the county where the child was born or the separate juvenile court having jurisdiction over the custody of the child shall have jurisdiction over proceedings under this section from the date of notice provided under section 43-104.12 or the last date of published notice under section 43-104.14, whichever notice is earlier, until thirty days after the conclusion of adoption proceedings concerning the child, including appeals, unless such jurisdiction is transferred under subdivision (b) of this subsection.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, the court shall, upon the motion of any party, transfer the case to the district court for further proceedings on the matters of custody, visitation, and child support with respect to such child if (i) such court determines under section 43-104.22 that the consent of the putative father is required for adoption of the minor child and the putative father refuses such consent or (ii) the mother of the child, within thirty days after the conclusion of proceedings under this section, including appeals, has not executed a valid relinquishment and consent to the adoption. The court, upon its own motion, may retain the case for good cause shown.

Annotations:
A putative father who intends to claim paternity and obtain custody of a child born out of wedlock must file notice with the biological father registry and adjudicate his claim within 30 days. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).


Section 43-104.02 and this section do not apply to a putative father who has been previously determined to be the biological father. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).

This section requires a "claimant-father" to petition the county court where the child was born to adjudicate his claim of paternity and right to custody within 30 days of filing notice under section 43-104.02. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).

Although under this section a father who fails to petition for an adjudication of paternity in county court within 30 days after filing his notice of intent to claim paternity would be precluded from claiming paternity in an adoption proceeding, such father would not be precluded from seeking to establish paternity under the paternity statutes in district court where there is no consent or relinquishment by the mother and no adoption proceeding is pending. Bohaboj v. Rausch, 272 Neb. 394, 721 N.W.2d 655 (2006).

The 30-day filing requirement of this section does not facially violate substantive due process. In re Adoption of Baby Girl H., 262 Neb. 775, 635 N.W.2d 256 (2001).

A petition to adjudicate paternity filed pursuant to this section is a matter of adoption over which the district courts have no subject matter jurisdiction. Armour v. L.H., 259 Neb. 138, 608 N.W.2d 599 (2000).


Section 43-104.06
Repealed. Laws 1995, LB 712, § 31.


Section 43-104.07
Child born in a foreign country; requirements.

The petition for adoption of a child born in a foreign country shall be accompanied by: (1) A document or documents from a court, official department, or government agency of the country of origin stating that the parent has consented to the adoption, stating that the parental rights of the parents of the child have been terminated, or stating that the child to be adopted has been abandoned or relinquished by the natural parents and that the child is to immigrate to the United States for the purpose of adoption; and (2) written consent to the adoption of the child from a child placement agency licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services or the agency's duly authorized representative which placed the child with the adopting person or persons. The consent shall be signed and acknowledged before an officer authorized to acknowledge deeds in the state where the consent is signed and shall not require a witness.

Any document in a foreign language shall be translated into English by the Department of State or by a translator who shall certify the accuracy of the translation.

A guardian shall not be required to be appointed to give consent to the adoption of any child born in a foreign country when the consent requirements of this section have been met.

 

Section 43-104.08
Child born out of wedlock; identify and inform biological father.

Whenever a child is claimed to be born out of wedlock and the biological mother contacts an adoption agency or attorney to relinquish her rights to the child, or the biological mother joins in a petition for adoption to be filed by her husband, the agency or attorney contacted shall attempt to establish the identity of the biological father and further attempt to inform the biological father of his right to execute a relinquishment and consent to adoption, or a denial of paternity and waiver of rights, in the form mandated by section 43-106, pursuant to sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.25.


Section 43-104.09
Child born out of wedlock; biological mother; affidavit; form.

In all cases of adoption of a minor child born out of wedlock, the biological mother shall complete and sign an affidavit in writing and under oath. The affidavit shall be executed by the biological mother before or at the time of execution of the consent or relinquishment and shall be attached as an exhibit to any petition to finalize the adoption. If the biological mother is under the age of nineteen, the affidavit may be executed by the agency or attorney representing the biological mother based upon information provided by the biological mother. The affidavit shall be in substantially the following form:

AFFIDAVIT OF IDENTIFICATION

I, .................., the mother of a child, state under oath or affirm as follows:

(1) My child was born, or is expected to be born, on the ....... day of ............, ............, at ................., in the State of ................ .

(2) I reside at ................., in the City or Village of ..................., County of .................., State of ................ .

(3) I am of the age of .......... years, and my date of birth is .................... .

(4) I acknowledge that I have been asked to identify the father of my child.

(5) (CHOOSE ONE)

(5A) I know and am identifying the biological father (or possible biological fathers) as follows:

The name of the biological father is ................ .

His last-known home address is ....................... .

His last-known work address is ....................... .

He is .......... years of age, or he is deceased, having died on or about the ............. day of ............, ............, at ........................., in the State of .................... .

He has been adjudicated to be the biological father by the ..................... Court of ................ county, State of .................., case name ..................., docket number ................ .

(For other possible biological fathers, please use additional sheets of paper as needed.)

(5B) I am unwilling or unable to identify the biological father (or possible biological fathers). I do not wish or I am unable to name the biological father of the child for the following reasons:

.......... Conception of my child occurred as a result of sexual assault or incest

.......... Providing notice to the biological father of my child would threaten my safety or the safety of my child

.......... Other reason: .............................. .

(6) If the biological mother is unable to name the biological father, the physical description of the biological father (or possible biological fathers) and other information which may assist in identifying him, including the city or county and state where conception occurred:

..................................................

..................................................

..................................................

(use additional sheets of paper as needed).

(7) Under penalty of perjury, the undersigned certifies that the statements set forth in this affidavit are true and correct.

(8) I have read this affidavit and have had the opportunity to review and question it. It was explained to me by ....................... .

I am signing it as my free and voluntary act and understand the contents and the effect of signing it.

Dated this ...... day of ......., ...... .

(Acknowledgment)

...........................

(Signature)

 

Section 43-104.10
Child born out of wedlock; agency or attorney; duty to inform biological mother.

The agency or attorney representing the biological mother shall inform the mother of the legal and medical need to determine, whenever possible, the paternity of the child prior to an adoption and that her failure or refusal to accurately identify the biological father or possible biological fathers could threaten the legal validity of any adoptive placement of the child.

 

Section 43-104.11
Child born out of wedlock; father's relinquishment and consent; when effective.

If the biological mother's affidavit, required by section 43-104.09, identifies only one possible biological father of the child and states that there are no other possible biological fathers of the child, and if the named father executes a valid relinquishment and consent to adoption of the child in the form mandated by section 43-106 or executes a denial of paternity and waiver of rights in the form mandated by section 43-106, the court may enter a decree of adoption pursuant to section 43-109 without regard to sections 43-104.12 to 43-104.16. A named biological father's relinquishment and consent or a named biological father's waiver of rights is irrevocable upon signing and is not voidable for any period after signing. Such relinquishment and consent or such waiver of rights may only be challenged on the basis of fraud or duress for up to six months after signing.

 

Section 43-104.12
Child born out of wedlock; agency or attorney; duty to inform biological father.

In order to attempt to inform the biological father or possible biological fathers of the right to execute a relinquishment and consent to adoption or a denial of paternity and waiver of rights, the agency or attorney representing the biological mother shall notify, by registered or certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested:

(1) Any person adjudicated by a court in this state or by a court in another state or territory of the United States to be the biological father of the child;

(2) Any person who has filed a Request for Notification of Intended Adoption or a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody pursuant to sections 43-104.01 and 43-104.02;

(3) Any person who is recorded on the child's birth certificate as the child's father;

(4) Any person who might be the biological father of the child who was openly living with the child's biological mother within the twelve months prior to the birth of the child;

(5) Any person who has been identified as the biological father or possible biological father of the child by the child's biological mother pursuant to section 43-104.09;

(6) Any person who was married to the child's biological mother within six months prior to the birth of the child and prior to the execution of the relinquishment; and

(7) Any other person who the agency or attorney representing the biological mother may have reason to believe may be the biological father of the child.

 

Section 43-104.13
Child born out of wedlock; notice to biological father; contents.

The notice sent by the agency or attorney pursuant to section 43-104.12 shall be served sufficiently in advance of the birth of the child, whenever possible, to allow compliance with subdivision (1) of section 43-104.02 and shall state:

(1) The biological mother's name, the fact that she is pregnant or has given birth to the child, and the expected or actual date of delivery;

(2) That the child has been relinquished by the biological mother, that she intends to execute a relinquishment, or that the biological mother has joined or plans to join in a petition for adoption to be filed by her husband;

(3) That the person being notified has been identified as a possible biological father of the child;

(4) That the possible biological father may have certain rights with respect to such child if he is in fact the biological father;

(5) That the possible biological father has the right to (a) deny paternity, (b) waive any parental rights he may have, (c) relinquish and consent to adoption of the child, (d) file a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody pursuant to section 43-104.02, or (e) object to the adoption in a proceeding before any Nebraska court which has, prior to his receipt of this notice, adjudicated him to be the biological father of the child;

(6) That to deny paternity, to waive his parental rights, or to relinquish and consent to the adoption, the biological father must contact the undersigned agency or attorney representing the biological mother, and that if he wishes to object to the adoption and seek custody of the child he should seek legal counsel from his own attorney immediately; and

(7) That if he is the biological father and if the child is not relinquished for adoption, he has a duty to contribute to the support and education of the child and to the pregnancy-related expenses of the mother and a right to seek a court order for custody, parenting time, visitation, or other access with the child.

The agency or attorney representing the biological mother may enclose with the notice a document which is an admission or denial of paternity and a waiver of rights by the biological father, which the biological father may choose to complete, in the form mandated by section 43-106, and return to the agency or attorney.

Annotations:
This section is facially constitutional. In re Adoption of Baby Girl H., 262 Neb. 775, 635 N.W.2d 256 (2001).


Section 43-104.14
Child born out of wedlock; agency or attorney; duty to notify biological father by publication; when.

(1) If the agency or attorney representing the biological mother is unable through reasonable efforts to locate and serve notice on the biological father or possible biological fathers as contemplated in sections 43-104.12 and 43-104.13, the agency or attorney shall notify the biological father or possible biological fathers by publication.

(2) The publication shall be made once a week for three consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper of general circulation in the Nebraska county or county of another state which is most likely to provide actual notice to the biological father. The publication shall include:

(a) The first name or initials of the father or possible father or the entry "John Doe, real name unknown", if applicable;

(b) A description of the father or possible father if his first name is or initials are unknown;

(c) The approximate date of conception of the child and the city and state in which conception occurred, if known;

(d) The date of birth or expected birth of the child;

(e) That he has been identified as the biological father or possible biological father of a child whom the biological mother currently intends to place for adoption and the approximate date that placement will occur;

(f) That he has the right to (i) deny paternity, (ii) waive any parental rights he may have, (iii) relinquish and consent to adoption of the child, (iv) file a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody pursuant to section 43-104.02, or (v) object to the adoption in a proceeding before any Nebraska court which has adjudicated him to be the biological father of the child prior to his receipt of notice; and

(g) That (i) in order to deny paternity, waive his parental rights, relinquish and consent to the adoption, or receive additional information to determine whether he is the father of the child in question, he must contact the undersigned agency or attorney representing the biological mother and (ii) if he wishes to object to the adoption and seek custody of the child, he must seek legal counsel from his own attorney immediately.

 

Section 43-104.15
Child born out of wedlock; notification to biological father; exceptions.

The notification procedure set forth in sections 43-104.12 to 43-104.14 shall, whenever possible, be completed prior to a child being placed in an adoptive home. If the information provided in the biological mother's affidavit prepared pursuant to section 43-104.09 presents clear evidence that providing notice to a biological father or possible biological father as contemplated in sections 43-104.12 to 43-104.14 would be likely to threaten the safety of the biological mother or the child or that conception was the result of sexual assault or incest, notice is not required to be given. If the biological father or possible biological fathers are not given actual or constructive notice prior to the time of placement, the agency or attorney shall give the adoptive parents a statement of legal risk indicating the legal status of the biological father's parental rights as of the time of placement, and the adoptive parents shall sign a statement of legal risk acknowledging their acceptance of the placement, notwithstanding the legal risk.

 

Section 43-104.16
Child born out of wedlock; notice requirements; affidavit by agency or attorney.

In all cases involving the adoption of a minor child born out of wedlock, the agency or attorney representing the biological mother shall execute an affidavit stating that due diligence was used to identify and give actual or constructive notice to the biological father or possible biological fathers of the child and stating the methods used to attempt to identify and give actual or constructive notice to those persons or the reason why no attempts were made to identify and notify those persons. The affidavit shall be attached to any petition filed in an adoption proceeding.

 

Section 43-104.17
Child born out of wedlock; petition; evidence of compliance required; notice to biological father; when.

In all cases of adoption of a minor child born out of wedlock, the petition to finalize the adoption shall specifically allege compliance with sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.16, and shall attach as exhibits all documents which are evidence of such compliance. No notice of the filing of the petition to finalize or the hearing on the petition shall be given to a biological father or putative biological father who (1) executed a valid relinquishment and consent or a valid denial of paternity and waiver of rights pursuant to section 43-104.11, (2) was provided notice under sections 43-104.12 to 43-104.14 and failed to timely file a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody pursuant to section 43-104.02 or petition pursuant to section 43-104.05, or (3) is not required to consent to the adoption pursuant to proceedings conducted under section 43-104.22.

 

Section 43-104.18
Child born out of wedlock; failure to establish compliance with notice requirements; court powers; guardian ad litem authorized.

If a petition to finalize an adoption is filed and fails to establish substantial compliance with sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.16, the court shall receive evidence by affidavit of the facts and circumstances of the biological mother's relationship with the biological father or possible biological fathers at the time of conception of the child and at the time of the biological mother's relinquishment of the child, including any evidence that providing notice to a biological father would be likely to threaten the safety of the biological mother or the child or that the conception was the result of sexual assault or incest. If, under the facts and circumstances presented, the court finds that the agency or attorney representing the biological mother did not exercise due diligence in complying with sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.16, or if the court finds that there is no credible evidence that providing notice to a biological father would be likely to threaten the safety of the biological mother or the child or that the conception was the result of sexual assault or incest, the court shall order the attorney or agency to exercise due diligence in complying with sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.16. If the attorney or agency fails to exercise due diligence in complying with such sections or at any time upon the petition or application of any interested party the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the biological father. The guardian ad litem shall be chosen from a qualified pool of local attorneys. The guardian ad litem shall receive reasonable compensation for the representation, the amount to be determined at the discretion of the court.

 

Section 43-104.19
Child born out of wedlock; guardian ad litem for biological father; duties.

The guardian ad litem for the biological father shall:

(1) Identify the biological father whenever possible;

(2) Notify the biological father or possible biological fathers of the proposed relinquishment of the child and inform the biological father or possible biological fathers of their parental rights and duties with regard to the child;

(3) Notify the court if all reasonable attempts to both identify and notify the biological father or possible biological fathers are unsuccessful; and

(4) Determine, by deposition, by affidavit, by interview, or through testimony at a hearing, the following: Whether the mother was married at the time of conception of the child or at any time thereafter, whether the mother was cohabitating with a man at the time of conception or birth of the child, whether the mother has received support payments or promises of support with respect to the child or in connection with her pregnancy, whether conception was the result of sexual assault or incest, and whether any man has formally or informally acknowledged or declared his possible paternity of the child.

 

Section 43-104.20
Child born out of wedlock; guardian ad litem for biological father; investigation; hearing.

The guardian ad litem for the biological father shall complete the investigation of the interests of the biological father within twenty days after appointment unless the court finds reasonable cause to extend the time period. The court shall hold a hearing as soon as practicable to determine whether the child was born out of wedlock, to determine the identity of the biological father, if possible, and to determine the rights of the biological father. The court may exercise its contempt powers with respect to any individual who admits having knowledge of information regarding the paternity of the child but who refuses to disclose that information to the guardian ad litem or to the court.

 

Section 43-104.21
Child born out of wedlock; guardian ad litem for biological father; hearing; notice; when.

(1) Notice of the hearing under section 43-104.20 shall be given to every person identified by the guardian ad litem as the biological father or a possible biological father. Notice shall be given in the manner appropriate under the rules of civil procedure for the service of process in this state and in any additional manner that the court directs. Proof of notice shall be filed with the court before the hearing.

(2) Notice is not required to be given to a person who may be the father of a child conceived as a result of a sexual assault or incest or if notification is likely to result in a threat to the safety of the biological mother or the child.

 

Section 43-104.22
Child born out of wedlock; hearing; paternity of child; father's consent required; when; determination of custody.

At any hearing to determine a biological father's parental rights to the child, the court shall receive evidence with regard to the biological father's actual paternity of the child and whether he is a fit, proper, and suitable custodial parent for the child. The court shall determine that the biological father's consent is not required for a valid adoption of the child upon a finding of one or more of the following:

(1) The father abandoned or neglected the child after having knowledge of the child's birth;

(2) The father is not a fit, proper, and suitable custodial parent for the child;

(3) The father had knowledge of the child's birth and failed to provide reasonable financial support for the mother or child;

(4) The father abandoned the mother without reasonable cause and with knowledge of the pregnancy;

(5) The father had knowledge of the pregnancy and failed to provide reasonable support for the mother during the pregnancy;

(6) The child was conceived as a result of a nonconsensual sex act or an incestual act;

(7) Notice was provided pursuant to sections 43-104.12 to 43-104.14 and the father failed to timely file an intent to claim paternity and obtain custody pursuant to section 43-104.02;

(8) The father failed to timely file a petition to adjudicate his claim of paternity and right to custody as contemplated in section 43-104.05; or

(9) The man is not, in fact, the biological father of the child.

The court shall determine the custody of the child according to the best interest of the child, weighing the superior rights of a biological parent who has been found to be a fit, proper, and suitable parent against any detriment the child would suffer if removed from the custody of persons with whom the child has developed a substantial relationship.

 

Section 43-104.23
Child born out of wedlock; order finalizing adoption without biological father's notification; when; appeal.

If, after viewing the evidence submitted to support a petition to finalize an adoption or any evidence submitted by a guardian ad litem if one is appointed, the court determines that no biological father can be identified, or that no identified father can be notified without likely threat to the safety of the biological mother or the child, or upon a finding of due diligence and substantial compliance with sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.16 and a finding that no biological father has timely filed under section 43-104.02, the court shall enter an order finalizing the adoption of the child. Subject to the disposition of an appeal, upon the expiration of thirty days after an order is issued under this section, the order shall not be reversed, vacated, or modified in any manner or upon any ground including fraud, misrepresentation, or failure to provide notice under sections 43-104.12 to 43-104.14.

 

Section 43-104.24
Child born out of wedlock; proceedings; court priority.

All proceedings pursuant to sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.23 have the highest priority and shall be advanced on the court docket to provide for their earliest practical disposition. An adjournment or continuance of a proceeding pursuant to sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.23 shall not be granted without a showing of good cause.


43-104.25. Child born out of wedlock; biological father; applicability of sections.
With respect to any person who has been adjudicated by a Nebraska court of competent jurisdiction to be the biological father of a child born out of wedlock who is the subject of a proposed adoption:

(1) Such person shall not be construed to be a putative father for purposes of sections 43-104.01 to 43-104.05 and shall not be subject to the provisions of such sections as applied to such fathers; and

(2)(a) If the adjudicated biological father has been provided notice in substantial compliance with section 43-104.12 or section 43-104.14, whichever notice is earlier, and he has not executed a valid relinquishment or consent to the adoption, the mother or lawful custodian of the child or his or her agent shall file a motion in the court with jurisdiction of the custody of the child for a hearing to determine whether such father's consent to the adoption is required and whether the court shall give its consent to the adoption;

(b) Notice of the motion and hearing shall be served on the adjudicated biological father in the manner provided for service of process under applicable state law; and

(c) Within thirty days after service of notice under subdivision (b) of this subdivision, the court shall conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the adjudicated biological father's consent to the adoption is required and whether the court shall give its consent to the adoption. Whether such father's consent is required for the proposed adoption shall be determined pursuant to section 43-104.22.

Section 43-105
Substitute consents.

(1) If consent is not required of both parents of a child born in lawful wedlock if living, the surviving parent of a child born in lawful wedlock, or the mother or mother and father of a child born out of wedlock, because of the provisions of subdivision (1)(c) of section 43-104, substitute consents shall be filed as follows:

(a) 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 in accordance with section 43-906;

(b) When a parent has relinquished a minor child for adoption to any child placement agency licensed or approved by the department or its duly authorized agent, consent to the adoption of such child may be given by such agency; and

(c) In all other cases when consent cannot be given as provided in subdivision (1)(c) of section 43-104, consent shall be given by the guardian or guardian ad litem of such minor child appointed by a court, which consent shall be authorized by the court having jurisdiction of such guardian or guardian ad litem.

(2) Substitute consent provisions of this section do not apply to a biological father whose consent is not required under section 43-104.22.

Annotations:
A finding of abandonment under this section should not be made without first appointing a guardian. Abandonment, for purposes of permitting substitute consent, must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. In re Guardianship of Sain, 211 Neb. 508, 319 N.W.2d 100 (1982).

Under subsection (3) of this section, the county court is the proper court for authorizing consent of a guardian appointed under former sections 38-101 to 38-120 or section 43-111.01, as the authority to appoint a guardian under those sections lies exclusively in the county court, while the juvenile court would be the proper court for a guardian appointed under sections 43-201 to 43-227 since the juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction to appoint a guardian under these sections. However, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court arises only if there has been a determination, prior to the adoption proceedings, that the child is dependent and neglected; otherwise the matter remains exclusively in the jurisdiction of the county court. Section 38-114 remains as the legislative bridge between the reference to former sections 38-101 to 38-120 in this section and the provisions of sections 30-2601 to 30-2616. A guardian appointed for a minor child for whom adoption is being sought by the use of substitute consent pursuant to this section should be an independent party not directly interested in the outcome of the adoption proceedings. In re Guardianship of Sain, 211 Neb. 508, 319 N.W.2d 100 (1982).


Section 43-106
Consents; signature; witnesses; acknowledgment; certified copy of orders.

Consents required to be given under sections 43-104 and 43-105, except under subdivision (1)(b) of section 43-104, must be acknowledged before an officer authorized to acknowledge deeds in this state and signed in the presence of at least one witness, in addition to the officer. Consents under subdivision (1)(b) of section 43-104 shall be shown by a duly certified copy of order of the court required to grant such consent.

Annotations

Acknowledgment held valid, no particular form of acknowledgment being specified. Batt v. Nebraska Children's Home Society, 185 Neb. 124, 174 N.W.2d 88 (1970).

Consent to adoption must be witnessed and acknowledged. McCauley v. Stewart, 177 Neb. 759, 131 N.W.2d 174 (1964).

 

Section 43-106.01
Relinquishment; relief from parental duties; no impairment of right to inherit.

When a child shall have been relinquished by written instrument, as provided by sections 43-104 and 43-106, to the Department of Health and Human Services or to a licensed child placement agency and the agency has, in writing, accepted full responsibility for the child, the person so relinquishing shall be relieved of all parental duties toward and all responsibilities for such child and have no rights over such child. Nothing contained in this section shall impair the right of such child to inherit.

Annotations

A court cannot accept a voluntary relinquishment of a child prior to an adjudication and an adoption of a permanency plan. In re Interest of Cornelius K., 280 Neb. 291, 785 N.W.2d 849 (2010).

A juvenile court may order the Department of Health and Human Services to accept a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights when a child has been adjudicated and adoption is the permanency objective. In re Interest of Gabriela H., 280 Neb. 284, 785 N.W.2d 843 (2010).

In an agency adoption, the rights of the relinquishing parent are terminated when the agency accepts responsibility for the child in writing, and once the agency accepts such responsibility, the agency retains custody until such time as the child is actually adopted; whereas in a private adoption, the child is relinquished directly into the hands of the prospective adoptive parents without interference by the state or a private agency, and the relinquishing parent's rights are not totally extinguished until the child has been formally adopted by the prospective parents. Gomez v. Savage, 254 Neb. 836, 580 N.W.2d 523 (1998).

The statute requires both a written relinquishment and a written acceptance. D.S. v. United Catholic Soc. Servs., 227 Neb. 654, 419 N.W.2d 531 (1988).

Relinquishment of a child may be effectively revoked within a reasonable time after its execution before the child placement agency has, in writing, accepted full responsibility for the child. Kellie v. Lutheran Family & Social Service, 208 Neb. 767, 305 N.W.2d 874 (1981).

The legislative intent as to the finality of a child relinquishment is not the same in the case of a private placement, governed by section 43-111, R.R.S.1943, as it is in an agency placement, governed by section 43-106.01, R.R.S.1943. Gray v. Maxwell, 206 Neb. 385, 293 N.W.2d 90 (1980).

A voluntary relinquishment in accordance herewith, and accepted, is not revocable. Kane v. United Catholic Social Services, 187 Neb. 467, 191 N.W.2d 824 (1971).

Child which received inheritance from adoptive parents may also receive inheritance from natural parents. Wulf v. Ibsen, 184 Neb. 314, 167 N.W.2d 181 (1969).


Section 43-106.02
Relinquishment of child; presentation of nonconsent form required.

Prior to the relinquishment of a child for adoption, a representative of the Department of Health and Human Services or of any child placement agency licensed by the department or an attorney and a witness shall present a copy or copies of the nonconsent form as provided in section 43-146.06 to the relinquishing parent or parents and explain the effects of signing such form.

 

Section 43-107.  Investigation by Department of Health and Human Services; adoptive home studies required; when; medical history; required; contents; exceptions; report required; case file; access; department; duties.

(1)(a) For adoption placements occurring or in effect prior to January 1, 1994, upon the filing of a petition for adoption, the county judge shall, except in the adoption of children by stepparents when the requirement of an investigation is discretionary, request the Department of Health and Human Services or any child placement agency licensed by the department to examine the allegations set forth in the petition and to ascertain any other facts relating to such minor child and the person or persons petitioning to adopt such child as may be relevant to the propriety of such adoption, except that the county judge shall not be required to request such an examination if the judge determines that information compiled in a previous examination or study is sufficiently current and comprehensive. Upon the request being made, the department or other licensed agency shall conduct an investigation and report its findings to the county judge in writing at least one week prior to the date set for hearing.

(b)(i) For adoption placements occurring on or after January 1, 1994, a preplacement adoptive home study shall be filed with the court prior to the hearing required in section 43-103, which study is completed by the Department of Health and Human Services or a licensed child placement agency within one year before the date on which the adoptee is placed with the petitioner or petitioners and indicates that the placement of a child for the purpose of adoption would be safe and appropriate.

(ii) An adoptive home study shall not be required when the petitioner is a stepparent of the adoptee unless required by the court, except that for petitions filed on or after January 1, 1994, the judge shall order the petitioner or his or her attorney to request the Nebraska State Patrol to file a national criminal history record information check by submitting the request accompanied by two sets of fingerprint cards or an equivalent electronic submission and the appropriate fee to the Nebraska State Patrol for a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and to request the department to conduct and file a check of the central register created in section 28-718 for any history of the petitioner of behavior injurious to or which may endanger the health or morals of a child. An adoption decree shall not be issued until such records are on file with the court. The petitioner shall pay the cost of the national criminal history record information check and the check of the central register.

(iii) The placement of a child for foster care made by or facilitated by the department or a licensed child placement agency in the home of a person who later petitions the court to adopt the child shall be exempt from the requirements of a preplacement adoptive home study. The petitioner or petitioners who meet such criteria shall have a postplacement adoptive home study completed by the department or a licensed child placement agency and filed with the court at least one week prior to the hearing for adoption.

(iv) A voluntary placement for purposes other than adoption made by a parent or guardian of a child without assistance from an attorney, physician, or other individual or agency which later results in a petition for the adoption of the child shall be exempt from the requirements of a preplacement adoptive home study. The petitioner or petitioners who meet such criteria shall have a postplacement adoptive home study completed by the department or a licensed child placement agency and filed with the court at least one week prior to the hearing for adoption.

(v) The adoption of an adult child as provided in subsection (2) of section 43-101 shall be exempt from the requirements of an adoptive home study unless the court specifically orders otherwise. The court may order an adoptive home study, a background investigation, or both if the court determines that such would be in the best interests of the adoptive party or the person to be adopted.

(vi) Any adoptive home study required by this section shall be conducted by the department or a licensed child placement agency at the expense of the petitioner or petitioners unless such expenses are waived by the department or licensed child placement agency. The department or licensed agency shall determine the fee or rate for the adoptive home study.

(vii) The preplacement or postplacement adoptive home study shall be performed as prescribed in rules and regulations of the department and shall include at a minimum an examination into the facts relating to the petitioner or petitioners as may be relevant to the propriety of such adoption. Such rules and regulations shall require an adoptive home study to include a national criminal history record information check and a check of the central register created in section 28-718 for any history of the petitioner or petitioners of behavior injurious to or which may endanger the health or morals of a child.

(2) Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, the judge shall require that a complete medical history be provided on the child, except that in the adoption of a child by a stepparent the provision of a medical history shall be discretionary. On and after August 27, 2011, the complete medical history or histories required under this subsection shall include the race, ethnicity, nationality, Indian tribe when applicable and in compliance with the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, or other cultural history of both biological parents, if available. A medical history shall be provided, if available, on the biological mother and father and their biological families, including, but not limited to, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, unless the child is foreign born or was abandoned. The medical history or histories shall be reported on a form provided by the department and filed along with the report of adoption as provided by section 71-626. If the medical history or histories do not accompany the report of adoption, the department shall inform the court and the State Court Administrator. The medical history or histories shall be made part of the court record. After the entry of a decree of adoption, the court shall retain a copy and forward the original medical history or histories to the department. This subsection shall only apply when the relinquishment or consent for an adoption is given on or after September 1, 1988.

(3) After the filing of a petition for adoption and before the entry of a decree of adoption for a child who is committed to the Department of Health and Human Services, the person or persons petitioning to adopt the child shall be given the opportunity to read the case file on the child maintained by the department or its duly authorized agent. The department shall not include in the case file to be read any information or documents that the department determines cannot be released based upon state statute, federal statute, federal rule, or federal regulation. The department shall provide a document for such person's or persons' signatures verifying that he, she, or they have been given an opportunity to read the case file and are aware that he, she, or they can review the child's file at any time following finalization of the adoption upon making a written request to the department. The department shall file such document with the court prior to the entry of a decree of adoption in the case.

 

Section 43-108
Personal appearance of parties; exceptions.

The minor child to be adopted, unless such child is over fourteen years of age, and the person or persons desiring to adopt the child must appear in person before the judge at the time of hearing, except that when the petitioners are husband and wife and one of them is present in court, the court, in its discretion, may accept the affidavit of an absent spouse who is in the armed forces of the United States and it appears to the court the absent spouse will not be able to be present in court for more than a year because of his or her military assignment, which affidavit sets forth that the absent spouse favors the adoption.

 

Section 43-109
Decree; conditions; content.

(1) If, upon the hearing, the court finds that such adoption is for the best interests of such minor child or such adult child, a decree of adoption shall be entered. No decree of adoption shall be entered unless (a) it appears that the child has resided with the person or persons petitioning for such adoption for at least six months next preceding the entering of the decree of adoption, except that such residency requirement shall not apply in an adoption of an adult child, (b) the medical histories required by subsection (2) of section 43-107 have been made a part of the court record, (c) the court record includes an affidavit or affidavits signed by the relinquishing biological parent, or parents if both are available, in which it is affirmed that, pursuant to section 43-106.02, prior to the relinquishment of the child for adoption, the relinquishing parent was, or parents if both are available were, (i) presented a copy or copies of the nonconsent form provided for in section 43-146.06 and (ii) given an explanation of the effects of filing or not filing the nonconsent form, and (d) if the child to be adopted is committed to the Department of Health and Human Services, the document required by subsection (3) of section 43-107 is a part of the court record. Subdivisions (b) and (c) of this subsection shall only apply when the relinquishment or consent for an adoption is given on or after September 1, 1988.

(2) If the adopted child was born out of wedlock, that fact shall not appear in the decree of adoption.

(3) The court may decree such change of name for the adopted child as the petitioner or petitioners may request.

Annotations

The issue of the children's best interests in the context of adoption is within the dominion of the county court. Smith v. Smith, 242 Neb. 812, 497 N.W.2d 44 (1993).

A decision as to whether or not to permit adoption is required to be based on the best interests of the child. Nebraska Children's Home Soc. v. Collins, 195 Neb. 531, 239 N.W.2d 258 (1976).

Child must reside with adoptive parents at least six months preceding the rendition of decree. Hiatt v. Menendez, 157 Neb. 914, 62 N.W.2d 123 (1954).

Decree of adoption should be granted only if it will be for best interests of child. Krell v. Jenkins, 157 Neb. 554, 60 N.W.2d 613 (1953).

 

Section 43-110
Decree; effect as between parties.

After a decree of adoption is entered, the usual relation of parent and child and all the rights, duties and other legal consequences of the natural relation of child and parent shall thereafter exist between such adopted child and the person or persons adopting such child and his, her or their kindred.

Annotations:
No distinction between adult and minor adoptees will be made for the purposes of this section. Satterfield v. Bonyhady, 233 Neb. 513, 446 N.W.2d 214 (1989).

Under the provisions of this section an adopted child, in the absence of specific testamentary directions to the contrary, inherits from the antecedents of an adoptive parent to the same extent as do the adoptive parent's natural children. In re Trust Estate of Darling, 219 Neb. 705, 365 N.W.2d 821 (1985).

Habeas corpus petition of natural parents for children who had been in adoptive home over five years was properly dismissed. Syrovatka ex rel. Syrovatka v. Graham, 190 Neb. 355, 208 N.W.2d 281 (1973).

The next of kin of adoptive parents have the same right to inherit property from an adoptive child as from a natural child of the adoptive parents. Neil v. Masterson, 187 Neb. 364, 191 N.W.2d 448 (1971).


Section 43-111
Decree; effect as to natural parents.

Except as provided in section 43-106.01 and the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, after a decree of adoption has been entered, the natural parents of the adopted child shall be relieved of all parental duties toward and all responsibilities for such child and have no rights over such adopted child or to his or her property by descent and distribution.

Annotations:
In an agency adoption, the rights of the relinquishing parent are terminated when the agency accepts responsibility for the child in writing, and once the agency accepts such responsibility, the agency retains custody until such time as the child is actually adopted; whereas in a private adoption, the child is relinquished directly into the hands of the prospective adoptive parents without interference by the state or a private agency, and the relinquishing parent's rights are not totally extinguished until the child has been formally adopted by the prospective parents. Gomez v. Savage, 254 Neb. 836, 580 N.W.2d 523 (1998).

In a private adoption situation, the relinquishing parent's rights are not totally extinguished until the child has been formally adopted. Yopp v. Batt, 237 Neb. 779, 467 N.W.2d 868 (1991).

In a private placement, where relinquishment was not voluntary and the natural mother attempted to revoke the relinquishment within hours, the adoptive parents have no standing to contest the custody of the child. Gray v. Maxwell, 206 Neb. 385, 293 N.W.2d 90 (1980).

The legislative intent as to the finality of a child relinquishment is not the same in the case of a private placement, governed by section 43-111, R.R.S.1943, as it is in an agency placement, governed by section 43-106.01, R.R.S.1943. Gray v. Maxwell, 206 Neb. 385, 293 N.W.2d 90 (1980).

This section does not prohibit an adopted child from inheriting from its natural parents. Wulf v. Ibsen, 184 Neb. 314, 167 N.W.2d 181 (1969).


Section 43-111.01
Denial of petition; court; powers.

Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, if, upon a hearing, the court shall deny a petition for adoption, the court may take custody of the child involved and determine whether or not it is in the best interests of the child to remain in the custody of the proposed adopting parents. The court may also, on its own motion, appoint a legal guardian over the person and property of such minor and make disposition in the best interests of the child without further notice, relinquishments, or consents as may otherwise be required by sections 43-102 to 43-112.

Annotations:
Where abandonment is found so as to permit substitute consent to be given, the county court may still refuse to allow the adoption, in which case the parental rights remain intact until a decree of adoption is in fact granted. In re Guardianship of Sain, 211 Neb. 508, 319 N.W.2d 100 (1982).

 

Section 43-112
Decree; appeal.

An appeal shall be allowed from any final order, judgment, or decree, rendered under the authority of sections 43-101 to 43-115, from the county court to the Court of Appeals in the same manner as an appeal from district court to the Court of Appeals.

An appeal may be taken by any party and may also be taken by any person against whom the final judgment or final order may be made or who may be affected thereby. The judgment of the Court of Appeals shall not vacate the judgment of the county court. The judgment of the Court of Appeals shall be certified without cost to the county court for further proceedings consistent with the determination of the Court of Appeals.

 

Section 43-113
Adoption records; access; retention.

Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, court adoption records may not be inspected by the public and shall be permanently retained on microfilm or in their original form in accordance with the Records Management Act. No person shall have access to such records except that:

(1) Access shall be provided on the order of the judge of the court in which the decree of adoption was entered on good cause shown or as provided in sections 43-138 to 43-140 or 43-146.11 to 43-146.13; or

(2) The clerk of the court shall provide three certified copies of the decree of adoption to the parents who have adopted a child born in a foreign country and not then a citizen of the United States within three days after the decree of adoption is entered. A court order is not necessary to obtain these copies. Certified copies shall only be provided upon payment of applicable fees.

 

Section 43-114
Repealed. Laws 1949, c. 95, s. 2.

Section 43-115
Prior adoptions.

No adoption heretofore lawfully made shall be affected by the enactment of sections 43-101 to 43-115, but such adoptions shall continue in effect and operation according to the terms thereof.

 

Section 43-116
Validity of decrees.

When any court in the State of Nebraska shall (1) have entered of record a decree of adoption prior to August 27, 1949, it shall be conclusively presumed that such adoption and all instruments and proceedings in connection therewith are valid in all respects notwithstanding some defect or defects may appear on the face of the record, or the absence of any record of such court, unless an action shall be brought within two years from August 27, 1949, attacking its validity, or (2) hereafter enter of record such a decree of adoption, it shall in like manner be conclusively presumed that the adoption and all instruments and proceedings in connection therewith are valid in all respects notwithstanding some defect or defects may appear on the face of the record, or the absence of any record of such court, unless an action is brought within two years from the entry of such decree of adoption attacking its validity.

Annotations:
Any action to set aside an adoption must be brought under this section. The matter of adoption is statutory, and the manner of procedure and terms are all specifically prescribed and must be followed. In re Adoption of Hemmer, 260 Neb. 827, 619 N.W.2d 848 (2000).

All instruments and proceedings connected with adoption are conclusively presumed valid unless decree is attacked within two years. Syrovatka ex rel. Syrovatka v. Graham, 190 Neb. 355, 208 N.W.2d 281 (1973).

After two years from entry of decree of adoption, there is conclusive presumption of validity of decree of adoption. Hiatt v. Menendez, 157 Neb. 914, 62 N.W.2d 123 (1954).

Natural parents are barred from collaterally challenging the adoption of their natural children once the statutory period of two years had passed for a direct appeal of the adoption order. Syrovatka v. Erlich, 608 F.2d 307 (8th Cir. 1979).



Section 43-117
Adoptive parents; assistance; medical assessment of child.

(1) The Department of Health and Human Services may make payments as needed in behalf of a ward of the department with special needs after the legal completion of his or her adoption. Such payments to adoptive parents may include maintenance costs, medical and surgical expenses, and other costs incidental to the care of the child. Payments for maintenance and medical care shall terminate on or before the child's twentieth birthday.

(2) The Department of Health and Human Services shall pay the treatment costs for the care of an adopted minor child which are the result of an illness or condition if within three years after the decree of adoption is entered the child is diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness or condition which predates the adoption and the child was adopted through the department, the department did not inform the adopting parents of such condition prior to the adoption, and the condition is of such nature as to require medical, psychological, or psychiatric treatment and is more extensive than ordinary childhood illness.

(3) The Department of Health and Human Services shall conduct a medical assessment of the mental and physical needs of any child to be adopted through the department.

 

Section 43-117.01
Ward of a child placement agency; adoptive parents; assistance.

The Department of Health and Human Services may make payments as needed on behalf of a ward of a child placement agency with special needs after the legal completion of the child's adoption as authorized by the federal adoption assistance program, 42 U.S.C. 673. Such payments to adoptive parents may include maintenance costs, medical and surgical expenses, and other costs incidental to the care of the child. Payments for maintenance and medical care shall terminate on or before the child's nineteenth birthday.


43-117.02. Child with special needs; adoptive parents; reimbursement for adoption expenses.

The Department of Health and Human Services may make a payment of up to two thousand dollars on behalf of a child with special needs after the legal completion of the child's adoption. The payment to the adoptive parents shall be a reimbursement for nonrecurring adoption expenses, including reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney's fees, and other expenses which are directly related to the legal adoption of the child, which are not incurred in violation of law, and which have not been reimbursed from any other source or funds.


43-117.03. Adoption assistance payments; cease; when; exceptions.


Payment of adoption assistance provided for by section 43-117 ceases upon the death of the adoptive parent or parents except (1) in cases in which the adoption assistance agreement provides for assignment to a guardian or conservator or (2) for up to six months pending the appointment of a guardian or conservator if the child is placed in the temporary custody of a family member or other individual.

Payment of adoption assistance provided by section 43-117 ceases upon placement of the child with the Department of Health and Human Services or a child placement agency.



Section 43-118
Assistance; conditions.

All actions of the Department of Health and Human Services under the programs authorized by sections 43-117 to 43-117.03 and 43-118.02 shall be subject to the following criteria:

(1) The child so adopted shall have been a child for whom adoption would not have been possible without the financial aid provided for by sections 43-117 to 43-117.03 and 43-118.02; and

(2) The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of sections 43-117 to 43-118 and 43-118.02.



Section 43-118.01
Ward of state; adoption assistance payment.

(1) For adoptions decreed on or after January 1, 2000, and on or before October 1, 2002, every individual or couple that adopts a ward of the State of Nebraska shall be entitled to a payment of one thousand dollars for the year of adoption and for up to four succeeding years. Payments shall be made after approval of an application submitted by the adoptive parent or parents to the Department of Health and Human Services. The application shall be on a form prescribed by the department. An application shall be submitted during January of the year following the year for which the payment is sought. An applicant shall be eligible for payment for the year of adoption and for the earliest of four subsequent years or until the adopted child reaches the age of majority, is emancipated, or is no longer living in the home of the adoptive parent or parents. To be eligible for payment in the years subsequent to the adoption, the requirements of this section must be met for the entire year.

(2) The department shall review all applications for eligibility for payment. The department shall approve or deny payment within thirty days after receipt of the application. If approved, the department shall certify the necessary information to the Director of Administrative Services for the issuance of a warrant. Warrants shall be issued within thirty days after certification. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the department may appeal. The appeal shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(3) The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out this section.

 

Section 43-119
Definitions, where found.

For purposes of sections 43-119 to 43-146.16, unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions found in sections 43-121 to 43-123.01 shall be used.

 

Section 43-120
Repealed. Laws 1997, LB 307, s. 236.


Section 43-121
Agency, defined.

Agency shall mean a child placement agency licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Section 43-122. Department, defined.

Department shall mean the Department of Health and Human Services.

Section 43-123
Relative, defined.

Relative shall mean the biological parents or biological siblings of an adopted person.

 

Section 43-123.01
Medical history, defined.

Medical history shall mean medical history as defined by the department in its rules and regulations and shall include the race, ethnicity, nationality, Indian tribe when applicable and in compliance with the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, or other cultural history of both biological parents, if available.

 

Section 43-124.  Department; provide relative consent form.

The department shall provide a form which may be signed by a relative indicating the fact that such relative consents to his or her name being released to such relative's adopted person as provided by sections 43-113, 43-119 to 43-146.16, 71-626, 71-626.01, and 71-627.02. Such consent shall be effective as of the time of filing the form with the department.

 

Section 43-125
Relative; consent form.

The form provided by section 43-124 shall contain the following information:

(1) The name of the person completing the form and, if different, the name of such person at the time of birth of the adopted person;

(2) The relationship of the person to the adopted person;

(3) The date of birth of the adopted person;

(4) The sex of the adopted person;

(5) The place of birth of the adopted person;

(6) Authorization that the name, last-known address, and last-known telephone number of the relative and the original birth certificate of the adopted person may be released to the adopted person as provided by sections 43-113, 43-119 to 43-146.16, 71-626, 71-626.01, and 71-627.02; and

(7) A notice in the following form:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You do not have to sign this form. If you do sign it, you are entitled to a copy of it. Your signature on this form allows the Department of Health and Human Services to give your name and other information to the adopted person designated, upon his or her written request after reaching twenty-five years of age. You may file additional copies of this consent if your name or address changes. You may revoke this consent at any time by filing a revocation of consent with the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Section 43-126.  Relative; revocation of consent; form.

At any time after signing the consent form, a relative may revoke such consent form. A form for revocation of consent shall be provided by the department. The revocation shall be effective as of the time of filing the form with the department. The revocation form shall contain the following notice:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You do not have to sign this form. If you do sign it, you are entitled to a copy of it. Your signature on this form means that the Department of Health and Human Services will not disclose your name or address to any person without a court order. If you sign this form and later decide you do want your name and address given to a relative properly requesting the information, you may file another consent for that purpose.

 

Section 43-127
Relative; consent and revocation forms; notarized; filing.

The forms provided by sections 43-124 and 43-126 shall be notarized and filed with the department which shall keep such forms with all other records of an individual adopted person.



Section 43-128
Medical history; access; contents.

A child placement agency shall maintain, and shall provide to the adopting parents upon placement of the person with such parents and to the adopted person upon his or her request, the available medical history of the person placed for adoption and of the biological parents. The medical history shall not include the names of the biological parents of the adopted person or the place of birth of the adopted person.

 

43-129. Original birth certificate; access by medical professionals; when.

If at any time an individual licensed to practice medicine and surgery pursuant to the Medicine and Surgery Practice Act or licensed to engage in the practice of psychology pursuant to the Psychology Practice Act, through his or her professional relationship with an adopted person, determines that information contained on the original birth certificate of the adopted person may be necessary for the treatment of the health of the adopted person, whether physical or mental in nature, he or she may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the release of the information contained on the original birth certificate, and the court may release the information on good cause shown.

 

Section 43-130
Adopted person; request for information; form.

Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, an adopted person twenty-five years of age or older born in this state who desires access to the names of relatives or access to his or her original certificate of birth shall file a written request for such information with the department. The department shall provide a form for making such a request.

 

Section 43-131
Release of information; procedure.

(1) Upon receipt of a request for information, the Department shall check the records of the adopted person making the request to determine whether the consent form provided by section 43-124 has been signed and filed by any relative of the adopted person and whether an unrevoked nonconsent form is on file from a biological parent or parents pursuant to section 43-132 or from an adoptive parent or parents pursuant to section 43-143.

(2) If the consent form has been signed and filed and has not been revoked and if no nonconsent form has been filed by an adoptive parent or parents pursuant to section 43-143, the Department shall release the information on such form to the adopted person.

(3) If no consent forms have been filed, or if the consent form has been revoked, and if no nonconsent form has been filed pursuant to section 43-143, the following information shall be released to the adopted person:

(a) The name and address of the court which issued the adoption decree;

(b) The name and address of the child placement agency, if any, involved in the adoption; and

(c) The fact that an agency may assist the adopted person in searching for relatives as provided in sections 43-132 to 43-141.

(4) The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons subject to the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act.

 


Section 43-132
Biological parent; notice of nonconsent; filing.

A biological parent or parents may at any time, if they desire, file a notice of nonconsent with the Department stating that at no time after his or her death and prior to the death of his or her spouse, if such spouse is not a biological parent, may any information on the adopted person's original birth certificate be released to such adopted person. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons subject to the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act.

 


Section 43-133
Biological parent; nonconsent form.

The nonconsent form provided for in section 43-132 shall contain the following information:

(1) The name of the person completing the form and, if different, the name of such person at the time of birth of the adopted person;

(2) The relationship of the person to the adopted person;

(3) The date of birth of the adopted person;

(4) The sex of the adopted person;

(5) The place of birth of the adopted person;

(6) A statement that no information concerning the information contained in the original birth certificate of the adopted person shall be released following the death of the parent or parents signing the form and such information shall not be released to the adopted person prior to the death of the spouse of such parent or parents, if such spouse is not a biological parent; and

(7) A notice in the following form:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You do not have to sign this form. If you do sign it, you are entitled to a copy of it. Your signature on this form means that the Department will not disclose any information contained on the birth certificate of the adopted person to any person following your death and prior to the death of your spouse, if such spouse is not a biological parent, without a court order. If you later decide that you do not object to the release of such information you may file a form stating that purpose.

 

Section 43-134
Biological parent; revocation of nonconsent; form.

At any time after signing the notice of nonconsent provided for in section 43-132, the parent or parents may revoke such notice. A form of revocation shall be provided by the Department shall take effect at the time of filing of the form with the department. The revocation form shall contain the following notice:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You do not have to sign this form. If you do sign it, you are entitled to a copy of it. Your signature on this form means that the Department may disclose any information contained on the birth certificate of the adopted person following your death. If you sign this form and later decide you do not want this information released following your death and prior to the death of your spouse, if such spouse is not a biological parent, you may file another form for that purpose.

 

Section 43-135
Biological parent; deceased; release of information.

If the Department has information indicating that both biological parents of the adopted person are deceased, or if only one biological parent is known and information indicates that such parent is deceased, and no nonconsent form, as provided in section 43-132 or 43-143, has been filed, all information on the adopted person's original birth certificate regarding such deceased parent or parents shall be released to the adopted person notwithstanding the fact that no consent form was signed and filed by such deceased parent or parents prior to death.

 

Section 43-136
Release of original birth certificate; when.

If a consent form has been signed and filed by both biological parents or by the biological mother of a child born out of wedlock, and no nonconsent form, as provided in section 43-143, has been filed, a copy of the adopted person's original birth certificate shall be provided to the adopted person.

 

Section 43-137
Adopted person; contact child placement agency or department; when.

If an adopted person twenty-five years of age or older, after following the procedures set forth in sections 43-130 and 43-131 is not able to obtain information about such person's relatives, such person may then contact the child placement agency which handled the adoption if the name of the agency has been given to the adopted person by the Department. If it is not feasible for the adopted person to contact the agency, such person may contact the Department.

 

Section 43-138
Department or agency; acquire information in court or department records; disclosure requirements.

After being contacted by an adopted person, if no valid nonconsent form, as provided in section 43-132 or 43-143, is on file, the Department or agency as the case may be shall apply to the clerk of the court which issued the adoption decree or the Department for any information in the records of the court or the Department regarding the adopted person or his or her relatives, including names, locations, and any birth, marriage, divorce, or death certificates. Any information which is available shall be given only to the Department or agency. The Department or agency shall keep such information confidential and shall not disclose it either directly or indirectly to the adopted person. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons subject to the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act.



Section 43-139
Court or department records provided; record required.

When any information is provided to the Department or agency pursuant to section 43-138, the person providing the information shall record in the records of the adopted person the nature of the information disclosed, to whom the information was disclosed, and the date of the disclosure.

 

Section 43-140
Department or agency; contact relative; limitations; reunion or release of information; when.

(1) Upon determining the identity and location of the relative being sought, the Department or agency shall attempt to contact the relative to determine such relative's willingness to be contacted by the adopted person.

(2) In contacting the relative, the Department or agency shall not discuss or reveal in any other manner to any person other than that particular relative who is being sought the nature of the contact, the name, nature, or business of the adoption agency, or any other information which might indicate or imply that such relative is the biological parent of an adopted person.

(3) In contacting the relative, the Department or agency shall not reveal the identity or any other information about the adopted person.

(4) No reunion of a relative and an adopted person shall be arranged, nor shall any information about the relative be released to the adopted person until such relative has signed the consent form provided by section 43-124 and the form has been filed with the Department .

 

Section 43-141
Department or agency; fees; rules and regulations.

The Department or agency may charge a reasonable fee in an amount established by the department or agency in rules and regulations to recover expenses in carrying out sections 43-137 to 43-140. The department or agency shall use the fees to defray costs incurred to carry out such sections. The department or agency may waive the fee if the requesting party shows that the fee would work an undue financial hardship on the party.

The department may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out such sections.

 

Section 43-142
Department or agency; file report with clerk.

The Department or an agency which receives information as provided in section 43-138 shall file a written report with the clerk of the court within nine months of receipt of the information. The report shall indicate whether the relative has been located and whether a contact between the relative and the adopted person has been arranged or has occurred. If the relative has not been located, the report shall set forth the efforts made to identify and locate the relative.

 

Section 43-143
Adoptive parent; notice of nonconsent; filing.

For adoptions in which the relinquishment or consent for adoption was given prior to July 20, 2002: An adoptive parent or parents may at any time, if they desire, file a notice of nonconsent with the Department and Support stating that at no time prior to his or her death or the death of both parents if each signed the form may any information on the adopted person's original birth certificate be released to such adopted person. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons subject to the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act.

 


Section 43-144
Adoptive parent; nonconsent form.

The nonconsent form provided for in section 43-143 shall contain the following information:

(1) The name of the person completing the form and, if different, the name of such person at the time of birth of the adopted person;

(2) The relationship of the person to the adopted person;

(3) The date of birth of the adopted person;

(4) The sex of the adopted person;

(5) The place of birth of the adopted person;

(6) A statement that no information concerning the information contained in the original birth certificate of the adopted person shall be released prior to the death of the adoptive parent or parents signing the form; and

(7) A notice in the following form:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You do not have to sign this form. If you do sign it, you are entitled to a copy of it. Your signature on this form means that the Department of Health and Human Services Finance and Support will not disclose any information contained on the birth certificate of the adopted person to any person prior to your death and the death of your spouse, if he or she signed the form, without a court order. If you later decide that you do not object to the release of such information you may file a form stating that purpose.

 

Section 43-145
Adoptive parent; revocation of nonconsent; form.

At any time after signing the notice of nonconsent provided for in section 43-143, the adoptive parent or parents may revoke such notice. A form of revocation shall be provided by the Department , and shall take effect at the time of filing of the form with the Department. The revocation form shall contain the following notice:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You do not have to sign this form. If you do sign it, you are entitled to a copy of it. Your signature on this form means that the Department may disclose any information contained on the birth certificate of the adopted person pursuant to sections 43-113, 43-119 to 43-146, 71-626, 71-626.01, and 71-627.02. If you sign this form and later decide you do not want this information released prior to your death you may file another form for that purpose.

 

Section 43-146
Forms; notarized; filing.

The forms provided by sections 43-132, 43-134, 43-143, and 43-145 shall be notarized and filed with the Department which shall keep such forms with all other records of an individual adopted person.

 

Section 43-146.01
Sections; applicability.

(1) Sections 43-106.02, 43-121, 43-123.01, and 43-146.02 to 43-146.16 shall provide the procedures for gaining access to information concerning an adopted person when a relinquishment or consent for an adoption is given on or after September 1, 1988.

(2) Sections 43-119 to 43-142 shall remain in effect for a relinquishment or consent for an adoption which is given prior to September 1, 1988.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of section 43-107, subdivisions (1)(b) and (1)(c) of section 43-109, and subsection (4) of this section: Sections 43-101 to 43-118, 43-143 to 43-146, 43-146.17, 71-626, 71-626.01, and 71-627.02 shall apply to all adoptions.

(4) Sections 43-143 to 43-146 shall not apply to adopted persons for whom a relinquishment or consent for adoption was given on and after July 20, 2002.

 

Section 43-146.02
Medical history; requirements.

A child placement agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, or a private agency handling the adoption, as the case may be, shall maintain and shall provide to the adopting parents upon placement of the person with such parents and to the adopted person, upon his or her request, the available medical history of the person placed for adoption and of the biological parents. The medical history shall not include the names of the biological parents of the adopted person or any other identifying information.

 

Section 43-146.03
Information on original birth certificate; release; when.

If at any time an individual licensed to practice medicine and surgery pursuant to sections 71-1,102 to 71-1,107.14 or licensed to engage in the practice of psychology pursuant to sections 71-1,206.01 to 71-1,206.35, through his or her professional relationship with an adopted person, determines that information contained on the original birth certificate of the adopted person may be necessary for the treatment of the health of the adopted person, whether physical or mental in nature, he or she may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the release of the information contained on the original birth certificate, and the court may release the information on good cause shown.

 

Section 43-146.04
Adopted person; request for information; form.

An adopted person twenty-one years of age or older born in this state who desires access to the names of relatives or access to his or her original certificate of birth shall file a written request for such information with the Department. The department shall provide a form for making such request.

 


Section 43-146.05
Release of information; procedure.

(1) Upon receipt of a request for information made under section 43-146.04, the Department shall check the records of the adopted person to determine whether an unrevoked nonconsent form is on file from a biological parent pursuant to section 43-146.06.

(2) If no nonconsent form has been filed pursuant to section 43-146.06, the following information shall be released to the adopted person:

(a) The name and address of the court which issued the adoption decree;

(b) The name and address of the child placement agency, if any, involved in the adoption;

(c) The fact that an agency or the Department of Health and Human Services may assist the adopted person in searching for relatives as provided in sections 43-146.10 to 43-146.14;

(d) A copy of the person's original birth certificate; and

(e) A copy of the person's medical history and any medical records on file.

(3) If an unrevoked nonconsent form has been filed pursuant to section 43-146.06, no information may be released to the adopted person except a copy of the person's medical history as provided in section 43-107 if requested. The medical history shall not include the names of the biological parents or relatives of the adopted person or any other identifying information.

 

Section 43-146.06
Biological parent; notice of nonconsent; filing; failure to sign; effect.

A biological parent may at any time file a notice of nonconsent with the Department stating that at no time prior to his or her death may any information on the adopted person's original birth certificate or any other identifying information, except medical histories as provided in section 43-107, be released to such adopted person. Failure by a biological parent to sign the notice of nonconsent shall be deemed a notice of consent by such parent to release the adopted person's original birth certificate to such adopted person.

 

Section 43-146.07
Biological parent; nonconsent form.

The nonconsent form provided for in section 43-146.06 shall be designed by the Department and shall contain the following information:

(1) The name of the person completing the form and, if different, the name of such person at the time of birth of the adopted person;

(2) The relationship of the person to the adopted person;

(3) The date of birth of the adopted person;

(4) The sex of the adopted person;

(5) The place of birth of the adopted person;

(6) A statement that no information contained in the original birth certificate or any other identifying information, except medical histories as provided in section 43-107, shall be released prior to the death of the parent signing the form;

(7) A statement that the person signing understands the effect and consequences of filing or not filing a nonconsent form; and

(8) A notice in the following form:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You do not have to sign this form. If you do sign it, you are entitled to a copy of it. Your signature on this form means that the Department will not disclose any information contained in the original birth certificate of the adopted person or any other identifying information to any person prior to your death without a court order. If you later decide that you do not object to the release of such information, you may file a form stating that purpose.

 

Section 43-146.08
Biological parent; revocation of nonconsent; form.

At any time after signing the notice of nonconsent provided for in section 43-146.06, the biological parent may revoke such notice. A form of revocation shall be provided by the Department and shall take effect at the time of filing of the form with the department. The revocation form shall contain the following notice:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You do not have to sign this form. If you do sign it, you are entitled to a copy of it. Your signature on this form means that the Department may at any time disclose to the adopted person any information contained on the original birth certificate of the adopted person.

 

Section 43-146.09
Biological parent; deceased; release of information.

If the Department has verified information indicating that both biological parents of the adopted person are deceased or if only one biological parent is known and verified information indicates that such parent is deceased, all information on the adopted person's original birth certificate regarding such deceased parent or parents shall be released to the adopted person upon request. The department shall establish a policy for verifying information about the death of the biological parent or parents.

 

Section 43-146.10.  Adopted person; contact child placement agency or department; when.

If an adopted person twenty-one years of age or older, after following the procedures set forth in sections 43-146.04 and 43-146.05, is unable to obtain information about the adopted person's relatives and there is no unrevoked nonconsent form as provided in section 43-146.06 on file with the Department, such person may then contact the child placement agency which handled the adoption or the Department.

 

Section 43-146.11
Department or agency; acquire information in court or department records; disclosure requirements.

After being contacted by an adopted person as provided in section 43-146.10, the Department or agency, as the case may be, shall verify with the Department that no unrevoked nonconsent form is on file. If an unrevoked nonconsent form is not on file, the Department of Health and Human Services or agency, as the case may be, shall apply to the clerk of the court which issued the adoption decree or the Department for any information in the court or Department records regarding the adopted person or his or her relatives, including names, locations, and any birth, marriage, divorce, or death certificates. Any information which is available shall be given by the court or Department only to the Department or agency. The Department or agency shall keep such information confidential.

 

Section 43-146.12.  Court or department records provided; record required.

When any information is provided to the Department or agency pursuant to section 43-146.11, the person providing the information shall record in the records of the adopted person the nature of the information disclosed, to whom the information was disclosed, and the date of the disclosure.

 

Section 43-146.13
Department or agency; contact relative; release of information; condition.

(1) Upon determining the identity and location of the relative being sought, the Department of Health and Human Services or agency shall attempt to contact the relative to determine such relative's willingness to be contacted by the adopted person.

(2) Information about the relative shall not be released to the adopted person by the department or agency unless such relative agrees to be contacted by the adopted person.

 

Section 43-146.14
Department or agency; fees; department; rules and regulations.

The Department or agency may charge a reasonable fee in an amount established by the department or agency in rules and regulations to recover expenses in carrying out sections 43-146.10 to 43-146.13. The department or agency shall use the fees to defray costs incurred to carry out such sections. The department or agency may waive the fee if the requesting party shows that the fee would work an undue financial hardship on the party.

The department may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out sections 43-123.01 and 43-146.01 to 43-146.16.


Section 43-146.15
Department or agency; written report; contents.

The Department of Health and Human Services or an agency which receives information as provided in section 43-146.11 shall file a written report with the clerk of the court or Department within nine months of receipt of the information. The report shall indicate whether the relative has been located and whether a contact between the relative and the adopted person has been arranged or has occurred. If the relative has not been located, the report shall set forth the efforts made to identify and locate the relative.

 

Section 43-146.16
Forms; notarized; filing.

The forms provided by sections 43-146.06 and 43-146.08 shall be notarized and filed with the Department which shall keep such forms with all other records of the adopted person.

 

Section 43-146.17.  Heir of adopted person; access to information; when; fee.

(1) Notwithstanding sections 43-119 to 43-146.16 and except as otherwise provided in this section, an heir twenty-one years of age or older of an adopted person shall have access to all information on file at the Department, the Department, and the Department related to such adopted person, including information contained in the original birth certificate of the adopted person, if: (a)(i) The adopted person is deceased, (ii) both biological parents of the adopted person are deceased or, if only one biological parent is known, such parent is deceased, and (iii) each spouse of the biological parent or parents of the adopted person, if any, is deceased, if such spouse is not a biological parent; or (b) at least one hundred years has passed since the birth of the adopted person.

(2) The following information relating to an adopted person shall not be released to the heir of such person under this section: (a) Tests conducted for the human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; (b) the revocation of a license to practice medicine in the State of Nebraska; (c) child protective services reports or records; (d) adult protective services reports or records; (e) information from the central register of child protection cases and the Adult Protective Services Central Registry; or (f) law enforcement investigative reports.

(3) The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure, and the Department of Health and Human Services Finance and Support shall provide a form that an heir of an adopted person may use to request information under this section. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure, and the Department of Health and Human Services Finance and Support may charge a reasonable fee in an amount established by rules and regulations of each department to recover expenses incurred by the department in carrying out this section. Such fee may be waived if the requesting party shows that the fee would work an undue financial hardship on the party. When any information is provided to an heir of an adopted person under this section, the disclosure of such information shall be recorded in the records of the adopted person, including the nature of the information disclosed, to whom the information was disclosed, and the date of the disclosure.

(4) For purposes of this section, an heir of an adopted person means a direct biological descendent of such adopted person.

(5) The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department, and the Department may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out this section.

 

Section 43-147
Legislative findings.

The Legislature finds that:

(1) Finding adoptive families for children for whom state assistance is provided pursuant to sections 43-117 and 43-118 and assuring the protection of the interests of the children affected during the entire assistance period require special measures when the adoptive parents move to other states or are residents of another state; and

(2) Providing medical and other necessary services for children, with state assistance, is more difficult when the services are provided in other states.

 

Section 43-148
Purposes of sections.

The purposes of sections 43-147 to 43-154 are to:

(1) Authorize the department to enter into interstate agreements with agencies of other states for the protection of children on whose behalf adoption assistance is being provided by the department; and

(2) Provide procedures for interstate children's adoption assistance payments, including medical payments.

 

Section 43-149
Terms, defined.

As used in sections 43-147 to 43-154, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) Adoption assistance state shall mean the state that is signatory to an adoption assistance agreement in a particular case;

(2) Department shall mean the Department of Health and Human Services; and

(3) State shall mean a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or a territory or possession of or administered by the United States.

 

Section 43-150
Interstate compact; department; powers; effect.

The department may develop, participate in the development of, negotiate, and enter into one or more interstate compacts on behalf of this state with other states to implement one or more of the purposes set forth in sections 43-147 to 43-154. When entered into and for so long as it shall remain in force, such a compact shall have the force and effect of law.

 


Section 43-151
Interstate compact; requirements.

A compact entered into pursuant to sections 43-147 to 43-154 shall include:

(1) A provision making it available for joinder by all states;

(2) A provision for withdrawal from the compact upon written notice to the parties, but with a period of one year between the date of the notice and the effective date of the withdrawal;

(3) A requirement that the protection afforded by or pursuant to the compact continue in force for the duration of the adoption assistance and be applicable to all children and their adoptive parents who on the effective date of the withdrawal are receiving adoption assistance from a party state other than the one in which they are residents and have their principal place of abode;

(4) A requirement that each instance of adoption assistance to which the compact applies be covered by an adoption assistance agreement in writing between the adoptive parents and the state child welfare agency of the state which undertakes to provide the adoption assistance and that any such agreement be expressly for the benefit of the adopted child and enforceable by the adoptive parents and the state agency providing the adoption assistance; and

(5) Such other provisions as may be appropriate to implement the proper administration of the compact.

 

Section 43-152
Interstate compact; discretionary provisions.

A compact entered into pursuant to sections 43-147 to 43-154 may contain provisions in addition to those required pursuant to section 43-151, including:

(1) Provisions establishing procedures and entitlements to medical, developmental, child care, or other social services for the child in accordance with applicable laws even though the child and the adoptive parents are in a state other than the one responsible for or providing the services or the funds to defray part or all of the costs thereof; and

(2) Such other provisions as may be appropriate or incidental to the proper administration of the compact.

 

Section 43-153
Child with special needs; medical assistance identification; how obtained; payment; violations; penalty.

(1) A child with special needs residing in this state who is the subject of an adoption assistance agreement with another state shall be entitled to receive a medical assistance identification from this state upon the filing with the department of a certified copy of the adoption assistance agreement obtained from the adoption assistance state. In accordance with rules and regulations of the department, the adoptive parents shall be required at least annually to show that the agreement is still in force or has been renewed.

(2) The department shall consider the holder of a medical assistance identification pursuant to this section the same as any other holder of a medical assistance identification under the laws of this state and shall process and make payment on claims on account of such holder in the same manner and pursuant to the same conditions and procedures as for other recipients of medical assistance.

(3) Any person who by means of a willfully false statement or representation or by impersonation or other device obtains or attempts to obtain or who aids or abets any other person in obtaining assistance under sections 43-147 to 43-154 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished pursuant to section 68-1017.

(4) This section shall apply only to medical assistance for children under adoption assistance agreements from states that have entered into a compact with this state under which the other state provides medical assistance to children with special needs under adoption assistance agreements made by this state. All other children entitled to medical assistance pursuant to adoption assistance agreements entered into by this state shall be eligible to receive it in accordance with the laws and procedures applicable thereto.

 

Section 43-154
State plan; administer federal aid.

Consistent with federal law, the department, in connection with the administration of sections 43-147 to 43-154 and any compact entered into pursuant to such sections, shall include in any state plan made pursuant to the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, Public Law 96-272, Titles IV(e) and XIX of the Social Security Act, and any other applicable federal laws, the provision of adoption assistance and medical assistance for which the federal government pays some or all of the cost. The department shall apply for and administer all relevant federal aid in accordance with law.

 

Section 43-155
Legislative intent.

The Legislature finds that there are children in temporary foster care situations who would benefit from the stability of adoption. It is the intent of the Legislature that such situations be accommodated through the use of adoptions involving exchange-of-information contracts between the department and the adoptive or biological parent or parents.

 

Section 43-156
Terms, defined.

For purposes of sections 43-155 to 43-160, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) Adoption involving exchange of information shall mean an adoption of a child in which one or both of the child's biological parents contract with the department for information about the child obtained through his or her adoptive family;

(2) Exchange-of-information contract shall mean a two-year, renewable obligation, voluntarily agreed to and signed by both the adoptive and biological parent or parents as well as the department; and

(3) Department shall mean the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Section 43-157
Determination by department.

The department may, when planning the placement of a child for adoption, determine whether the best interests of such child might be served by placing the child in an adoption involving exchange of information.

 

Section 43-158
Information included; effect on visitation.

When the department determines that an adoption involving exchange of information would serve a child's best interests, it may enter into agreements with the child's proposed adoptive parent or parents for the exchange of information. The nature of the information promised to be provided shall be specified in an exchange-of-information contract and may include, but shall not be limited to, letters by the adoptive parent or parents at specified intervals providing information regarding the child's development or photographs of the child at specified intervals. Any agreement shall provide that the biological parent or parents keep the department informed of any change in address or telephone number and may include provision for communication by the biological parent or parents indirectly through the department or directly to the adoptive parent or parents. Nothing in sections 43-155 to 43-160 shall be interpreted to preclude or allow court-ordered parenting time, visitation, or other access with the child and the biological parent or parents.

 

Section 43-159
Alteration.

When, after placement of a child for adoption, it is determined by the department, in consultation with the adoptive parent or parents, that certain or all exchanges of information are no longer in the best interests of the child, the department may enter into an agreement with the biological parent or parents to alter the original contract made between the department and the biological parent or parents.

 

Section 43-160
Effect; enforcement.

The existence of any agreement or agreements of the kind specified in section 43-158 shall not operate to impair the validity of any relinquishment or any decree of adoption entered by a court of the State of Nebraska. The violation of the terms of any agreement or agreements of the kind specified in section 43-158 shall not operate to impair the validity of any relinquishment or any decree of adoption entered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The parties to an exchange-of-information contract shall have the authority to bring suit in a court of competent jurisdiction for the enforcement of any agreement entered into pursuant to section 43-158.

 

Section 43-161
Client records; maintained by Department of Health and Human Services; access.

All client records from the Nebraska Industrial Home at Milford shall be maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services as confidential records but shall be accessible as provided by statute or by the rules and regulations of the department.

 

Section 43-162
Communication or contact agreement; authorized; approval.

The prospective adoptive parent or parents and the birth parent or parents of a prospective adoptee may enter into an agreement regarding communication or contact after the adoption between or among the prospective adoptee and his or her birth parent or parents if the prospective adoptee is in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. Any such agreement shall not be enforceable unless approved by the court pursuant to section 43-163.

 

Section 43-163
Guardian ad litem; appointment; order approving agreement; considerations.

(1) Before approving an agreement under section 43-162, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem if the prospective adoptee is not already represented by a guardian ad litem, and the guardian ad litem of the prospective adoptee shall represent the best interests of the child concerning such agreement. The court may enter an order approving the agreement upon motion of one of the prospective adoptee's birth parents or one of the prospective adoptive parents if the terms of the agreement are approved in writing by the prospective adoptive parent or parents and the birth parent or parents and if the court finds, after consideration of the recommendations of the guardian ad litem and the Department of Health and Human Services and other factors, that such communication with the birth parent or parents and the maintenance of birth family history would be in the best interests of the prospective adoptee.

(2) In determining if the agreement is in the best interests of the prospective adoptee, the court shall consider the following factors as favoring communication with the birth parent or parents: Whether the prospective adoptee and birth parent or parents lived together for a substantial period of time; the prospective adoptee exhibits attachment or bonding to such birth parent or parents; and the adoption is a foster-parent adoption with the birth parent or parents having relinquished the prospective adoptee due to an inability to provide him or her with adequate parenting.

 

Section 43-164
Failure to comply with court order; effect.

Failure to comply with the terms of an order entered pursuant to section 43-163 shall not be grounds for setting aside an adoption decree, for revocation of a written consent to adoption after the consent has been approved by the court, or for revocation of a relinquishment of parental rights after the relinquishment has been accepted in writing by the Department of Health and Human Services as provided in section 43-106.01.

 

Section 43-165
Enforcement of order; modification; when.

An order entered pursuant to section 43-163 may be enforced by a civil action, and the prevailing party may be awarded, as part of the costs of the action, reasonable attorney's fees. The court shall not modify an order issued under such section unless it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the adoptee and (1) that the modification is agreed to by the adoptive parent or parents and the birth parent or parents or (2) exceptional circumstances have arisen since the order was entered that justify modification of the order.

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