Nebraska Adoption Guide

Everything you need to know for adoption in Nebraska.

Kylee Hooper July 23, 2016

Welcome, prospective adoptive parents! This Nebraska adoption guide was written to provide you with a single place to find information about adoption in Nebraska. It will walk you through everything from laws that will impact your adoption to reviews of adoption service providers in Nebraska.

We’ve divided this guide into five parts: first, general information about adopting in Nebraska, then sections dedicated to domestic infant adoption (starting in Slide 6), foster adoption (Slide 18),  international adoption (Slide 26), and stepparent adoption (Slide 30). And don’t miss our slide filled with links to helpful adoption resources (Slide 33).

Are you interested in growing your family through domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with an adoption professional who can answer your questions.

 

Please note:
1. Please note:

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the information provided in this slideshow guide, you should not rely on it to make decisions. Instead, you should rely on licensed professionals in making decisions relative to adoption. The information in this guide is subject to change without notice. Adoption.com is not responsible for the consequences of relying on this information. In no event shall Adoption.com be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or incidental damage resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with the use of this information.

Did You Know?
2. Did You Know?

The popular drink mix Kool-Aid was invented in Nebraska, and Arbor Day also originated from this great state.

For more fun facts about Nebraska, click here.

Adoption in Nebraska at a Glance 
3. Adoption in Nebraska at a Glance 

Kids in foster care available for adoption in 2012: 1,322  Foster adoptions completed in 2012: 418     
International adoptions completed in 2012: 59     

Can I Adopt in Nebraska?
4. Can I Adopt in Nebraska?

Adoption requirements in the state of Nebraska are as follows:

Age: Must pass pre-placement home study
Marital Status: Can be either married or single.    
Finances: Must have enough money to be able to provide the child with food, shelter, and clothing.    
Housing:  Must have a safe place to live.         
Personality: Must be willing to consider children in state custody   
Other Requirements in State:  Must be physically and mentally able to parent a child.     

DISQUALIFYING CRIMES: You will not be allowed to adopt in this state if you have been convicted of homicide, assault, drug abuse, sexual assault, or any other crime that would be considered harmful to children.

Source

Developing a Support System
5. Developing a Support System

It’s essential to have a good network of family, friends, and neighbors to support you through your adoption process.

It’s also important to connect with other adoptive parents. You can begin making these connections in our forums. You may also want to consider joining a support group for adoptive parents.

Domestic Infant Adoption in Nebraska
6. Domestic Infant Adoption in Nebraska

Before you get started, click here to learn more about the overall process of adopting an infant in the United States. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back to get the details about adoption in Nebraska.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help
7. Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help

You can adopt through any private adoption agency that is licensed in Nebraska.

Some people pursuing a private adoption find it beneficial to work with a professional adoption facilitator, an individual or organization that matches birth parents with adoptive parents in exchange for a fee. It is legal to use and adoption facilitator in Nebraska. Adoption facilitators in this state do not need to be registered.  

You can browse and read reviews about adoption service providers in Nebraska here

For more information about picking an adoption agency, learn about the Top Fifteen Things to Look for In An Adoption Agency.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study
9. Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study

Regardless of whether you complete your adoption, you will need to complete an adoption home study.

Your home study social worker will help educate you about adoption and ensure that you (and your partner, if applicable) meet the requirements outlined on slide four.

Click here to learn more about the Home Study process.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word
10. Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word

Advertising is allowed in Nebraska.    

One of the most important things you can do while waiting for an adoption match is to let everyone know about your hope to adopt. Many adoption connections are made through word-of-mouth referrals.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles
11. Domestic Infant Adoption: Parent Profiles

If advertising is allowed in your state, creating a profile on Adoption.com Parent Profiles allows you to easily share your story with those considering placing their child for adoption. Features like videos and photos, posts, Pinterest-like favorites, and recommendations and endorsements make it easy to create a profile as unique as you are, increasing the likelihood that you will stand out and connect with that right person.

Rich communication options like video chat and instant messaging make connecting easy. A mobile-responsive design means that you will never be out of reach.
What’s more, Adoption.com receives over 650,000 monthly visits, which means your profile will receive unparalleled exposure. You can even view and monitor your progress through a detailed statistics page.

Ready to get started? Click here

Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption Navigators
12. Domestic Infant Adoption: Adoption Navigators

Adoption Navigators provides you with quality expertise in sharing your dream of adopting. We provide unparalleled adoption marketing and one-on-one coaching to beautifully show expectant parents who you are and tell your story. With Adoption Navigators you receive premier advertising exposure on Adoption.com, assistance building your profile and creating a video, and expanded reach through social media and search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Adoption.com has more than 16 years of experience helping families connect with potential birth parents.

Let us help you increase your exposure to potential birth parents and decrease your adoption wait time.

Click here to get started.

 Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment
13. Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment

Relinquishment of parental rights must happen both in writing and before a judge. Consent cannot be signed until 48 hours after the birth of the child.

The birth mother must be offered 3 hours of counseling and a separate adoption attorney in the case of an agency adoption.

Consent is final upon signing in a private adoption, final upon agency acceptance in an agency adoption. The birth parent must prove that the revocation of consent is in the child's best interest in order to revoke consent.

If a Native American child is involved, consent to the adoption must be given at least 10 days after the birth of the child (on the 11th day).

Source

Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights
14. Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights

Nebraska does keep a putative father registry, and men are able to establish paternity for children born outside of marriage. The father must file to receive notice of adoption proceedings within 5 business days of the birth of the child or from the notice that he received that he could be a possible father, whichever comes later.

During the court hearing to establish paternity the court receives evidence of fatherhood and must also determine if the father is fit, proper, and suitable for the child. The court decides if consent from the father will not be necessary under the following conditions:

-The father abandoned or neglects the child after receiving knowledge of child's birth
-The father is not fit, proper, suitable for the child
-The father failed to provide reasonable financial support for mother and child
-After learning of pregnancy the father abandoned the mother
-The father knew of the pregnancy and failed to provide support for birth mother during pregnancy
-The child was conceived due to non consensual sex act
-The father received notice of the adoption but failed to file objection to adoption and intent to obtain custody
-The father executed valid relinquishment of rights or consent
-The man is not biological father of child

Fathers can revoke their claim to paternity at any time.

SOURCE: nebraskalegislature.gov

dhs.ne.gov

  Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses
15. Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

Hopeful adoptive parents and/or an adoption agency may provide legal and living expenses for an expectant mother. There are, however, requirements governing such support.

Nebraska does not address any birth parent expenses within its state statutes. All fees will be discussed with your adoption agency. This is due to a 1984 court case where birth parents received insurance money during pregnancy as well as funds from other parties.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements
16. Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements

Post-adoption contact agreements establish the amount of contact between adoptive and birth parents after adoption finalization.

The best interests of the child are the highest priority with post-adoption contact agreements. In Nebraska contact agreements are legally enforceable as of July 20th, 2016. While a broken contact agreement never nullifies an adoption order, a petitioner can file a civil action.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization
17. Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization

Adoptions can be finalized after 6 months.

Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Nebraska from Out-of-State
18. Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Nebraska from Out-of-State

With private (usually domestic infant) adoptions, it is always possible to adopt a child within Nebraska, even if you live in a different state.

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC here.

Foster Adoption in Nebraska  
19. Foster Adoption in Nebraska  

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of adopting children through foster care. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about foster adoption in Nebraska.    

Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Nebraska
20. Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Nebraska

There are thousands of children in foster care in Nebraska. Nebraska does not currently feature children in our photolisting.  

Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help
21. Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help

You must be a licensed foster family in Nebraska before you can adopt any of the children in foster care.
For a list of foster care licensing agencies, click here.

You will still need to complete a home study as part of this process.

Becoming Part of the Foster Care System
22. Becoming Part of the Foster Care System

After you become licensed as a foster family and are listed as an adoptive family, you will be able to start the process of adopting through foster care. Children who are listed in a sibling group must be adopted together.

In Nebraska, there are children who are considered "legal risk" placements. This means that the parental rights for the child have not been relinquished and there is a chance that the child will return to his/her birth family.

Finalization
23. Finalization

It takes six months to finalize and adoption in Nebraska. You will need to attend a court hearing with your attorney and the children you are adopting in order to officially finalize adoption in Nebraska.

 Post Adoption Contact Agreements
24. Post Adoption Contact Agreements

Post-adoption contact agreements are legally enforceable in the state of Nebraska. They are two year contracts that are renewable and must be signed by the birth parents, the adoptive parents, and the state department.

A post-adoption contact agreement is a voluntary agreement that can be entered into by adoptive and birth families. The agreement outlines details about how much contact the birth and adoptive families will have after the adoption is finalized.

In instances in which the child’s biological parents’ rights have been involuntarily terminated, the well-being of the child needs to be first and foremost in everyone’s minds if a post-adoption contact agreement is created. Caseworkers and therapists should be consulted in making decisions about contact after adoption.

Adoption Assistance
25. Adoption Assistance

Nebraska offers adoption assistance for families who adopt children with special needs. You can receive a maximum of $1,500 per child for a non-recurring expense.

Foster Adoption – A Note About the ICPC
26. Foster Adoption – A Note About the ICPC

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC here.

International Adoption in Nebraska
27. International Adoption in Nebraska

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of international adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about international adoption in Nebraska.

International Adoption - Photolisting
28. International Adoption - Photolisting

There are millions of beautiful children across the world who are hoping to find a forever family.

Click here to meet some of them through our Photolisting.

International Adoption - Get Professional Help
29. International Adoption - Get Professional Help

With international adoptions, your only choice is to complete your adoption through an agency. Because of the Universal Accreditation Act, all adoption agencies completing international adoptions are required to be credentialed according to federal standards. Make sure to check with any agency before working with them to ensure they have this accreditation in place!

In selecting an international adoption agency, there are Four Essential Criteria you should probably consider. Click  here to browse through reviews of adoption agencies in Nebraska.

In order to be approved to adopt internationally, you will need to complete an international adoption-specific home study.

International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements
30. International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements

You can finalize your international adoption out of country. You must apply for a U.S. birth certificate for your child.

Read more about post-adoption requirements: here

Stepparent Adoption in Nebraska
31. Stepparent Adoption in Nebraska

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of stepparent adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about stepparent adoption in Nebraska.

Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights
32. Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights

In order for you to adopt the child of your spouse, the corresponding biological parent’s rights will first need to be terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

You will need to consult with an adoption attorney about your desire to adopt. He/she can help you decide if it’s likely that the biological parent would be willing to relinquish rights OR if it would be feasible to pursue involuntary termination of his/her parental rights.

Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt
33. Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt

Once parental rights have been terminated, you can file a petition to adopt with the courts. You and your spouse will both testify in court regarding the stability of your marital relationship, the bond you’ve developed with your stepchild, and your desire to become the legal parent of your stepchild.

You will generally not be required to complete a background check or home study as part of the stepparent adoption process.

Adoption Resources
34. Adoption Resources

Forums        

Nebraska Wiki    

Parent Profiles

Adoption Stories

author image

Kylee Hooper

Kylee Hooper is not quite a mother, but she adores babies, and hopes to be able to either foster or adopt someday. When she isn't writing, reading, or editing; she is normally playing her harp or creating an adventure.


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