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Nebraska

Adoption Laws

Notice: The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.

Consent to Adoption

Who Must Consent to an Adoption Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-104; 43-105

Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, no adoption shall be decreed unless written consents are executed by:

  • Any district court, county court, or separate juvenile court having jurisdiction of the custody of a minor child by virtue of proceedings that occurred in any court in Nebraska or by virtue of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
  • 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
  • Both the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock as determined pursuant to §§ 43-104.08 to 43-104.24

If consent is not required of both parents for the reasons listed below, substitute consents shall be filed as follows:

  • 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.
  • When a parent has relinquished a minor child for adoption to any child-placing agency licensed or approved by the department, consent to the adoption of such child may be given by such agency.
  • In all other cases, consent shall be given by the guardian or guardian ad litemof the minor child.

Consent of Child Being Adopted Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-104

A written consent must be executed by the minor child if over age 14 or the adult child.

When Parental Consent Is Not Needed Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-104; 43-105

Consent shall not be required of any parent who:

  • Has relinquished the child for adoption by a written instrument
  • Has abandoned the child for at least 6 months immediately prior to the filing of the adoption petition
  • Has been deprived of his or her parental rights to the child by the order of any court of competent jurisdiction
  • Is incapable of consenting

When Consent Can Be Executed Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-104

A written consent or relinquishment for adoption shall not be valid unless signed at least 48 hours after the birth of the child.

How Consent Must Be Executed Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-106

Consents must be acknowledged before an officer authorized to acknowledge deeds and signed in the presence of at least one witness as well as the officer.

Revocation of Consent

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents

Requirements for Foster Parents Rev. Stat. § 71-1903; Admin. Code Tit. 474, §§ 6-003.14; 6-003.25B-25B3

Before the foster care placement of any child in Nebraska by the department, the department shall require a national fingerprint-based criminal history record check of the prospective foster parent and each member of the prospective foster parent’s household who is age 18 or older.

In regulation:Each household member, as appropriate, must be checked with the State central register of child protection cases, the Adult Protective Services central registry, the Sex Offenders Registry, and the FBI.

The department shall deny licensure to any applicant currently charged, indicted, or convicted for any of the following crimes:

  • Aggravated or armed robbery
  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Child abandonment, abuse, neglect, or molestation
  • Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Criminal nonsupport
  • Domestic violence
  • Exploitation of a minor involving drug offenses
  • Felony controlled substances offenses
  • Felony violation of custody
  • Incest
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Sexual abuse of a minor
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor, including child pornography
  • Voluntary manslaughter

The department shall deny licensure to any applicant convicted in the past 5 years of any of the following crimes:

  • Burglary
  • Driving under the influence
  • Misdemeanor controlled substances offenses
  • Misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a child

Each household member age 13 or older must be cleared against the central register. The department shall deny licensure if any household member is identified as a perpetrator on the central register.

Each household member age 18 or older must be cleared against the Adult Protective Services central registry. The department shall deny licensure if any household member is identified as a perpetrator on the Adult Protective Services central registry.

Requirements for Adoptive Parents Rev. Stat. § 43-107

An adoptive home study shall not be required when the petitioner is a stepparent of the adopted person unless required by the court, except that for petitions filed on or after January 1, 1994, the judge shall order the petitioner to request the Nebraska State Patrol to file a national criminal history record information check and to request the department to conduct a check of the central register for any history of the petitioner of behavior that 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.

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

The preplacement or postplacement adoptive home study shall be performed as prescribed in the 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 for any history of the petitioner or petitioners of behavior injurious to or that may endanger the health or morals of a child.

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Rev. Stat. § 43-292

The court may terminate all parental rights when the court finds such action to be in the best interests of the child and one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • The parent has abandoned the child for 6 months or more.
  • The parent has substantially and continuously or repeatedly neglected the child or a sibling of the child.
  • The parent, being financially able, has willfully neglected to provide the child with the necessary subsistence, education, or other care or has neglected to pay for the child’s care when legal custody of the child is with others and such payment is ordered by the court.
  • The parent is unfit by reason of debauchery, habitual use of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs, or repeated lewd and lascivious behavior.
  • The parent is unable to discharge parental responsibilities because of mental illness or mental deficiency, and there are reasonable grounds to believe that such condition will continue for a prolonged indeterminate period.
  • Reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family have failed to rehabilitate the parent.
  • The child has been in an out-of-home placement for 15 or more of the most recent 22 months.
  • The parent has inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, serious bodily injury.
  • The parent has subjected the child or another minor child to aggravated circumstances, including, but not limited to, abandonment, torture, chronic abuse, or sexual abuse.
  • The parent has:
    • Committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent
    • Aided or abetted, attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit murder or voluntary manslaughter of the child or another child of the parent
    • Committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or another minor child of the parent
  • One parent has been convicted of felony sexual assault of the other parent.

Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights Rev. Stat. § 43-292.02

A petition shall not be filed to terminate the parental rights of the child’s parents if the basis for the petition is that:

  • The parent is financially unable to provide health care for the child.
  • The parent is incarcerated.

The petition is not required to be filed if:

  • The child is being cared for by a relative.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has documented in the case plan or permanency plan a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the best interests of the child.
  • The family of the child has not had a reasonable opportunity to avail themselves of the services deemed necessary in the case plan or permanency plan approved by the court if reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify the family are required by law.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption

Who Must Be Studied Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 390, § 7-001.06

The applicants, their children, and other persons living in the home shall be included in the study.

Agency or Person Conducting the Study Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-107

The study must be completed by the Department of Health and Human Services or a licensed child-placing agency.

Qualifications for Adoptive Parents Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 390, § 7-001.06

Applicants for providing adoptive care must meet at least the following requirements:

  • The applicant must be at least age 19. Generally, at least one parent should be within the normal childbearing age for the child to be placed.
  • An applicant must be in such physical and mental condition that it is reasonable to expect him or her to be able to fulfill parenting responsibilities. If there appears to be a health condition that might affect parenting ability, a medical report may be requested.
  • The application of all persons will be considered regardless of race, gender, ethnic group, or religion.
  • The applicant must be able to budget his or her financial resources in such a way that a child placed can be reasonably assured of minimum standards of nutrition, health, shelter, clothing, and other essentials.
  • Applicants must be willing to consider accepting children in the department’s custody or likely to enter the department’s custody.

Elements of a Home Study Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-107; Admin. Code Tit. 390, § 7-001.06

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. The rules and regulations shall require an adoptive home study to include a national criminal history records check and a check of the central register for any history of the petitioner or petitioners of behavior injurious to or that may endanger the health or morals of a child.

In regulation: The department will assess all persons who are interested in becoming adoptive parents. This process includes:

  • Home visits
  • Interviews with all the applicants, their children, and other persons living in the home
  • A written home study, using the department’s format
  • A self-study completed by the applicants
  • References from three persons
  • Background checks with the Adult Protective Services Central Registry and the Central Register of Child Protection Cases
  • A criminal records check
  • A medical summary for each family member

Grounds for Withholding Approval Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 390, § 7-001.06

A negative medical report may be the basis for denial of an application at any point in the home study process.

The department will consider all the information and take into consideration the needs of the children in the department’s custody to determine whether a family should become an adoptive family. The home study will include the recommendation.

When Studies Must Be Completed Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-107

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 on the adoption petition. The study must have been completed within 1 year before the date on which the child being adopted is placed with the petitioner.

Postplacement Study Requirements Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 390, § 6-002.08

Postplacement services are provided before the finalization of adoption. Those services include supervision through regular family contact, home visits with both parents, visits alone with the child, and contact with other persons living in the home. A minimum of 6 months of postplacement supervision is provided. For a special needs child 1 year is recommended.

The department also will provide family-centered support services to:

  • Assist the family with the integration of the child into the family and the creation of a new family unit
  • Provide assessment of progress and the need for other services
  • Help the family plan for services the family will desire after finalization

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-107

An adoptive home study shall not be required when the petitioner is a stepparent of the child being adopted unless required by the court, except that for petitions filed on or after January 1, 1994, the judge shall order the petitioner to request the Nebraska State Patrol to file a national criminal history record information check and to request the department to conduct a check of the central register for any history of the petitioner of behavior injurious to or that 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.

Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-1103; Admin. Code Tit. 390, § 9-001A

Prior to sending a child to a receiving State, the public child-placing agency shall submit a written request for assessment to the receiving State. The sending State and the receiving State may request additional information or documents prior to finalization of an approved placement.

Upon receipt of a request from the public child-placing agency of the sending State, the receiving State shall initiate an assessment of the proposed placement to determine its safety and suitability. If the proposed placement is a placement with a relative, the public child-placing agency of the sending State may request a determination for a provisional placement.

The public child-placing agency in the receiving State shall approve a provisional placement and complete or arrange for the completion of the assessment within the timeframes established by the rules of the Interstate Commission.

In regulation: No child will be placed from Nebraska into another State or from another State into Nebraska until:

  • A home study or adoptive study is completed
  • Approval to place is granted from the Interstate Compact Administrators in each State

Foster to Adopt Placements Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-107

A foster parent who later petitions the court to adopt his or her foster child shall be exempt from the requirements of a preplacement adoptive home study. The petitioner or petitioners shall have a postplacement adoptive home study completed by the department or a licensed child-placing agency and filed with the court at least 1 week prior to the hearing for adoption.

Infant Safe Haven Laws

Infant’s Age Citation: Rev. Stat. § 29-121

A child who is 30 days old or younger may be relinquished.

Who May Relinquish the Infant Citation: Rev. Stat. § 29-121

A person may leave the child at a licensed hospital.

Who May Receive the Infant Citation: Rev. Stat. § 29-121

The child may be left in the custody of an employee on duty at a hospital licensed by the State of Nebraska.

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider Citation: Rev. Stat. § 29-121

The hospital shall promptly contact appropriate authorities to take custody of the child.

Immunity for the Provider

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent Citation: Rev. Stat. § 29-121

No person shall be prosecuted for any crime based solely upon the act of leaving a child 30 days old or younger in the custody of an employee on duty at a hospital licensed by the State of Nebraska.

Effect on Parental Rights

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-107(1)(b)(vi)

Any adoptive home study required by this section shall be conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services or a licensed child-placing agency at the expense of the petitioner or petitioners unless such expenses are waived by the department or agency. The department or agency shall determine the fee or rate for the adoptive home study.

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

The Rights of Unmarried Fathers

Legal Definition of Father

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Paternity Registry Rev. Stat. § 43-104.01

The Department of Health and Human Services shall establish a biological father registry. The department shall maintain the registry and shall record the names and addresses of:

  • 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
  • Any putative father who has filed with the registry, prior to the receipt of notice under §§ 43-104.12 to 43-104.16, a request for notification of intended adoption with respect to such child
  • 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

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

A person who has been adjudicated by a Nebraska court 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 §§ 43-104.01 to 43-10405 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 § 43-104.22, as part of proceedings required under § 43-104 to obtain the court’s consent to such adoption.

Alternate Means to Establish Paternity Rev. Stat. §§ 43-1408.01; 43-1411

During the period immediately before or after the in-hospital birth of a child whose mother was not married at the time of either conception or birth of the child or at any time between conception and birth of the child, the person in charge of such hospital shall provide to the child’s mother and alleged father, if the alleged father is readily identifiable and available, the documents and written instructions for such mother and father to complete a notarized acknowledgment of paternity. Such acknowledgment, if signed by both parties and notarized, shall be filed with the Department of Health and Human Services at the same time the certificate of live birth is filed.

A civil proceeding to establish the paternity of a child may be instituted, in the court of the district where the child is domiciled or found or, for cases under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, where the alleged father is domiciled, by:

  • The mother or the alleged father of such child, either during pregnancy or within 4 years after the child’s birth, unless:
  • The guardian or next friend of such child or the State, either during pregnancy or within 18 years after the child’s birth

Required Information Rev. Stat. § 43-104.01

A request filed with the registry shall include:

  • The putative father’s name, address, and Social Security number
  • The name and last-known address of the mother
  • The month and year of the birth or the expected birth of the child
  • The case name, court name, and location of any Nebraska court having jurisdiction over the custody of the child
  • A statement by the putative father that he acknowledges liability for contribution to the support and education of the child after birth and 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.

Revocation of Claim to Paternity Rev. Stat. § 43-104.01

Any putative father who files request for notification of intended adoption of 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.

Access to Information Rev. Stat. § 43-104.01

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.

Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements

Use of Advertisement Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-701

Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, no person other than a parent shall advertise a child for placement unless such person shall be duly licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services under such rules and regulations as the department shall prescribe.

Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-701

Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, no person, other than a parent, shall place, assist in placing, or give the care and custody of any child to any person or association for adoption or otherwise, unless such person shall be duly licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services under such rules and regulations as the department shall prescribe.

Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?

Who May Adopt Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-101

Any adult person may adopt. A husband and wife must adopt jointly unless the adoptive parent is a stepparent.

Who May Be Adopted Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-101

Any minor or adult child may be adopted.

Who May Place a Child for Adoption Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-104; 43-105

The following persons may consent to the adoptive placement:

  • The parents
  • The Department of Health and Human Services
  • A licensed child-placing agency
  • The child’s guardian or guardian ad litem

Post-Adoption Laws

Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-128; 43-130; 43-146.02; 43-146.04

Medical history shall be provided to:

Identifying information is available to:

  • An adopted person who is age 25 or older for adoptions finalized prior to September 1, 1998
  • An adopted person who is age 21 or older for adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1998

Access to Nonidentifying Information Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-128; 43-146.02

A child-placing 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 child and to the adopted person, upon his or her request, the available medical history of the adopted person and of the birth parents. The medical history shall not include the names of the birth parents, the child’s place of birth, or any other identifying information.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-131; 43-146.05

For adoptions finalized prior to September 1, 1998: Upon a request for information, the department shall check the records of the adopted person to determine whether a consent form has been signed and filed by any relative and whether an unrevoked nonconsent form is on file from a birth parent or an adoptive parent.

If the consent form has been signed and filed and not been revoked, and if no nonconsent form has been filed by an adoptive parent, the department shall release the information to the adopted person.

If no consent forms have been filed, or if the consent form has been revoked, and if no nonconsent form has been filed, the following information shall be released to the adopted person:

  • The name and address of the court that issued the adoption decree
  • The name and address of any child-placing agency involved in the adoption
  • The fact that an agency may assist the adopted person in searching for relatives

For adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1998: Upon a request for information, the department shall check the records of the adopted person to determine whether an unrevoked nonconsent form is on file from a birth parent. If no nonconsent form has been filed, the following information shall be released to the adopted person:

  • The name and address of the court that issued the adoption decree
  • The name and address of any child-placing agency involved in the adoption
  • The fact that an agency or the department may assist the adopted person in searching for relatives
  • A copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate
  • A copy of the adopted person’s medical history and any medical records on file

If an unrevoked nonconsent form has been filed, no information may be released to the adopted person except a copy of his or her medical history, if requested. The medical history shall not include the names of the birth parents or relatives of the adopted person or any other identifying information.

Access to Original Birth Certificate Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-130; 43-136; 43-143; 43-146.04

For adoptions finalized prior to September 1, 1998, an adopted person who is age 25 or older may file a written request for the original birth certificate. For adoptions finalized on or after September 1, 1998, an adopted person who is age 21 or older may request the original birth certificate. If a consent form has been signed and filed by both birth parents, or by the birth mother of a child born out of wedlock, and no nonconsent form has been filed, a copy of the adopted person’s original birth certificate shall be provided to the adopted person.

For adoptions finalized prior to July 20, 2002, an adoptive parent or parents may at any time file a notice of nonconsent 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.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Children and Family Services -- Adoption Searches

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-111; 30-2309

After an adoption decree has been entered, the birth parents of the adopted child shall be relieved of all parental duties toward and all responsibilities for such child and have no right to the adopted child’s property by descent and distribution.

If, for purposes of intestate succession, a relationship of parent and child must be established to determine succession by, through, or from a person, an adopted person is the child of an adopting parent and not of the birth parents, except that adoption of a child by the spouse of a birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and that birth parent.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Rev. Stat. § 30-2309

For purposes of intestate succession, a parent-child relationship exists between an adopted person and an adopting parent.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 30-2321; 30-2349

If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any child who was adopted after the execution of his or her will, the omitted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to that which he or she would have received if the testator had died intestate unless:

  • It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • When the will was executed, the testator had one or more children and gave substantially all his or her estate to the other parent of the omitted child.
  • The testator provided for the child by transfer outside the will in an amount equal to or greater than such child’s share had the testator died intestate.

Adopted individuals are included in class gift terminology and terms of relationship in accordance with rules for determining relationships for purposes of intestate succession.

Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families

What may be included in postadoption contact agreements? Rev. Stat. §§ 43-155; 43-156; 43-157; 43-158

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.

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.

An exchange-of-information contract is a 2-year, renewable obligation, voluntarily agreed to and signed by both the adoptive and biological parent or parents as well as the department.

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 §§ 43-155 to 43-160 shall be interpreted to preclude or allow court-ordered parenting time, visitation, or other access with the biological parent or parents and the child.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement? Rev. Stat. §§ 43-156; 43-162

An exchange-of-information contract is a 2-year, renewable obligation, voluntarily agreed to and signed by both the adoptive and biological parent or parents as well as the department.

If the prospective adoptee is in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, 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.

What is the role of the court in postadoption contact agreements? Rev. Stat. § 43-163

Before approving an agreement for postadoption contact, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litemto 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 child’s birth parents or one of the prospective adoptive parents if the terms of the agreement are approved in writing by the prospective adoptive parents and the birth parents and if the court finds, after consideration of the recommendations of the guardian ad litem, the department, 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 child.

In determining if the agreement is in the best interests of the child, the court shall consider the following factors as favoring communication with the birth parent or parents:

  • Whether the child and birth parent or parents lived together for a substantial period of time
  • Whether the child exhibits attachment or bonding to the birth parent or parents
  • Whether 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

Are agreements legally enforceable? Rev. Stat. §§ 43-160; 43-162; 43-165

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 § 43-158.

Any such agreement shall not be enforceable unless approved by the court pursuant to § 43-163.

An agreement that has been approved pursuant to § 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.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified? Rev. Stat. §§ 43-159; 43-165

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.

The court shall not modify an order issued under § 43-163 unless it finds that the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the adoptee, and:

  • The modification is agreed to by the adoptive parent or parents and the birth parent or parents.
  • Exceptional circumstances have arisen since the order was entered that justify modification of the order.

Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

Rev. Stat. § 71-627.02

Upon receipt of a report of adoption or a certified copy of a decree of adoption issued by any court of competent jurisdiction in the State of Nebraska as to any foreign-born person, the department shall prepare a birth certificate in the new name of the adoptee. The birth certificate shall show specifically:

  • The new name of the adoptee
  • The date of birth and sex of the adoptee
  • Statistical information concerning the adoptive parents in place of the natural parents
  • The true or probable place of birth including the city or town and country

Source

Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. [1]

References

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