Nevada

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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.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. § 127.040

Written consent to the specific adoption proposed by the petition or for relinquishment to an agency authorized to accept relinquishments is required from:

  • Both parents if both are living
  • One parent if the other is deceased
  • The guardian of the child appointed by the court

Consent of Child Being Adopted Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.020

The consent of a child age 14 or older is required.

When Parental Consent Is Not Needed Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.090; 127.040

Consent is not required of a parent who has been adjudged insane for 2 years if the court is satisfied by proof that such insanity is incurable.

Consent of a parent to an adoption shall not be necessary when parental rights have been terminated by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

When Consent Can Be Executed Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.070

All releases for and consents to adoption executed by the mother before the birth of a child or within 72 hours after the birth of a child are invalid.

Release for or consent to adoption may be executed by the father before the birth of the child if the father is not married to the mother.

How Consent Must Be Executed Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.053; 127.043; 127.057

No consent to a specific adoption is valid unless it:

  • Identifies the child to be adopted by name (if any), sex, and date of birth
  • Is in writing and signed by the person consenting to the adoption
  • Is acknowledged by the person signing the consent to adoption in the manner and form required for conveyances of real property
  • Contains, at the time of execution, the name of the person or persons to whom consent to adopt the child is given
  • Is attested by at least two competent, disinterested witnesses who sign their names to the consent in the presence of the person consenting

If neither the petitioner nor the spouse of a petitioner is related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity, then one of the witnesses must be a social worker employed by:

  • An agency that provides child welfare services
  • An agency licensed in this State to place children for adoption
  • A comparable State or county agency of another State
  • An agency authorized under the laws of another State to place children for adoption if the natural parent resides in that State

Revocation of Consent Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.070; 127.080

A release executed by the father who is not married to the mother becomes invalid if:

  • The father of the child marries the mother of the child before the child is born.
  • The mother of the child does not execute a release for or consent to adoption of the child within 6 months after the birth of the child.
  • No petition for adoption of the child has been filed within 2 years after the birth of the child.

A minor parent may execute a relinquishment for adoption and cannot revoke it upon coming of age.

Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents

Requirements for Foster Parents Rev. Stat. § 424.033; Admin. Code §§ 424.190; 424.195

Each applicant for a foster care license, licensee, employee of the applicant or licensee, or resident of a foster home who is age 18 or older, other than a resident who is under court jurisdiction, must submit to the licensing authority a complete set of fingerprints and written permission authorizing the licensing authority to:

  • Forward the fingerprints to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History for submission to the FBI for its report
  • Conduct a child abuse and neglect screening

For each applicant, the licensing authority shall conduct a child abuse and neglect screening of the person in every State in which the person has resided during the immediately preceding 5 years.

In regulation: Any applicant who has been investigated by an agency that provides child welfare services and regarding whom a finding of substantiated abuse or neglect of a child has been made by that agency, or whose own children have been in foster care or otherwise placed outside of the home for the purpose of adoption or foster care, must be denied a license to operate a foster home. A license will be denied if the applicant:

  • Has been convicted of a crime involving harm to a child
  • Has charges pending against him or her for a crime involving harm to a child
  • Has been arrested and is awaiting final disposition of the charges pending against him or her for a crime involving harm to a child
  • Has a felony conviction, charges pending for a felony conviction, or has been arrested and is awaiting final disposition of the charges pending for a felony conviction for:
    • Child abuse or neglect
    • Spousal abuse
    • Any crime against children, including child pornography
    • Any crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including any other physical assault or battery
    • Physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, if the offense was committed within the past 5 years

Requirements for Adoptive Parents Rev. Stat. § 127.281; Admin. Code §§ 127.235; 127.240

Fingerprint-based FBI and State criminal history records checks are required for prospective adoptive parents as part of the adoption investigation.

In regulation: The agency shall evaluate applicants to determine their suitability for becoming adoptive parents. Such an evaluation must include:

  • A review of any reports and investigations made regarding the abuse or neglect of a child by the applicant or any member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older
  • A review of any information concerning the applicant and any member of the applicant's household who is age 18 or older maintained by local agencies of law enforcement
  • A review of any records of criminal history regarding the applicant and any member of the applicant's household who is age 18 or older

An application to adopt must be denied if, based upon a substantiated investigation, the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older:

  • Has been convicted of or has charges pending for a crime involving harm to a child
  • Has been arrested and is awaiting final disposition of the charges pending for a crime involving harm to a child
  • Has felony charges pending or has been arrested and is awaiting final disposition of possible or pending charges involving:
    • Child abuse or neglect
    • Spousal abuse
    • Any crime against children, including child pornography
    • Any crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery
    • Physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, if the offense was committed within the past 5 years

Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Rev. Stat. §§ 128.105; 128.106; 432B.393

The primary consideration in any proceeding to terminate parental rights must be whether the best interests of the child will be served by the termination. The grounds for termination of parental rights include:

  • A finding that reasonable efforts to reunite the child with the parent are not required because the parent has:
    • Committed, aided, or abetted in the commission of, or attempted, conspired, or solicited to commit murder or voluntary manslaughter
    • Caused the abuse or neglect of a child that resulted in substantial bodily harm
    • Caused abuse or neglect that was so extreme or repetitious that any plan to return the child home would result in an unacceptable risk to the health or welfare of the child
    • Abandoned the child for 60 or more days
    • Failed to contact or communicate with the child
    • Had his or her parental rights to another child terminated by a court order upon any basis other than the execution of a voluntary relinquishment
    • Had a child who had been previously removed from the home, returned home, and subsequently removed as a result of additional abuse or neglect
    • Failed to established his paternity
    • Had the child delivered to a provider of emergency services pursuant to § 432B.630
  • A finding that the parent has demonstrated at least one of the following:
    • Abandonment or neglect of the child
    • Unfitness as a parent
    • Failure of parental adjustment
    • Risk of serious physical, mental, or emotional injury to the child if he or she were returned to, or remains in, the home of the parent
    • Only token efforts by the parent to support or communicate with the child, to prevent neglect of the child, or to eliminate the risk of serious physical, mental, or emotional injury to the child

In determining neglect by or unfitness of a parent, the court shall consider, without limitation, the following conditions that may diminish suitability as a parent:

  • Emotional illness, mental illness, or mental deficiency
  • Conduct toward a child of a physically, emotionally, or sexually cruel or abusive nature
  • Excessive use of intoxicating liquors, controlled substances, or dangerous drugs
  • Repeated or continuous failure by the parent, although physically and financially able, to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, or other care
  • Conviction of the parent for commission of a felony that indicates the unfitness
  • Unexplained injury or death of a sibling of the child
  • Inability of appropriate public or private agencies to reunite the family despite reasonable efforts on the part of the agencies

Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights Rev. Stat. § 128.107

If a child is not in the physical custody of the parent or parents, the court, in determining whether parental rights should be terminated, shall consider, without limitation:

  • The services provided or offered to the parents to facilitate a reunion with the child
  • The physical, mental, or emotional condition, the needs of the child, and the child’s desires regarding the termination, if the court determines the child is of sufficient capacity to express his or her desires
  • The effort the parents have made to adjust their circumstances, conduct, or conditions to make it in the child’s best interests to return the child to his or her home after a reasonable length of time, including, but not limited to:
    • The payment of a reasonable portion of substitute physical care and maintenance, if financially able
    • The maintenance of regular visitation or other contact with the child that was designed and carried out in a plan to reunite the child with the parents
    • The maintenance of regular contact and communication with the custodian of the child
  • Whether additional services would be likely to bring about lasting parental adjustment enabling a return of the child to the parents within a predictable period

For purposes of this section, the court shall disregard incidental conduct, contributions, contacts, and communications.

Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights Rev. Stat. §§ 128.170; 128.190

A child who has not been adopted and whose natural parents have had their parental rights terminated or have relinquished their parental rights, or the legal custodian or guardian of such a child, may petition a court for the restoration of the parental rights of the natural parents of the child.

The natural parents for whom restoration of parental rights is sought to be restored must consent in writing to the petition.

If a valid petition is filed, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether to restore the parental rights of the natural parent or parents. Before granting a petition for the restoration of parental rights, the court must find that:

  • If any child who is the subject of the petition is age 14 or older, the child consents to the restoration of parental rights.
  • The natural parents for whom restoration of parental rights is sought have been informed of the legal obligations, rights, and consequences of the restoration of parental rights and the natural parents are willing and able to accept such obligations, rights, and consequences.

If the court finds the necessary facts, the court shall order the restoration of parental rights if the court further finds by a preponderance of the evidence that:

  • The child is not likely to be adopted.
  • Restoration of parental rights of the natural parent or parents is in the best interests of the child.

If the court restores the parental rights of the natural parents of a child who is younger than age 14, the court shall specify in its order the factual basis for its findings that it is in the best interests of the child to restore the parental rights of the natural parents.

Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption

Who Must Be Studied Citation: Admin. Code §§ 127.235; 127.395

The applicants for adoption and any member of the applicants’ household who is age 18 and older must be included in the study.

Agency or Person Conducting the Study Citation: Admin. Code §§ 127.235; 127.395

The study may be conducted by either a child-placing agency or an agency that provides child welfare services.

Qualifications for Adoptive Parents Citation: Admin. Code §§ 127.239; 127.240; 127.415; 127.420

The agency shall select an adoptive home for a child based on the ability of the members of that home to meet the needs of that child. To be approved as a prospective adoptive parent, the applicant must demonstrate his or her capacity to be a parent and to meet the needs of an adopted child, including his or her ability to:

  • Provide the child with conditions and opportunities to promote the healthy personality growth and development of the potential of the child
  • Assume responsibility for the safety, care, support, education, and character development of the child
  • Offer a reasonably happy and secure family life with love, understanding, guidance, and companionship

Elements of a Home Study Citation: Admin. Code §§ 127.235; 127.395

A person who wishes to have his or her home studied for the purpose of adoption must:

  • Make a written application
  • Submit a copy of his or her fingerprints
  • Sign a release of information
  • Cooperate with the agency by providing other information as necessary to evaluate the home

Upon receiving an application, the agency shall evaluate the applicant to determine his or her suitability for becoming an adoptive parent. Such an evaluation must include:

  • An interview and assessment of the applicant(s)
  • An assessment that must include, without limitation, an inquiry into any factor that the caseworker determines is necessary to assess the ability of the applicant to meet the needs of the adopted child
  • A visit to and assessment of the home of the applicant, including a fire and safety inspection
  • A request for and review of any reports and investigations regarding the abuse or neglect of a child by the applicant or any member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older
  • A request for and review of any information concerning the applicant and any member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older maintained by local law enforcement agencies
  • A request for and review of any State and Federal records of criminal history regarding the applicant and any member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older
  • The receipt and review of at least five satisfactory references from persons who have known the applicant for no less than 2 years; no more than two of the references may be from family members
  • A medical examination of the applicant and each member of his or her household
  • Verification of the marital status of the applicant, including the review of any applicable records regarding marriage, divorce, and the death of a spouse

Grounds for Withholding Approval Citation: Admin. Code §§ 127.240; 127.420

An application to adopt must be denied if:

  • The applicant has submitted false information or has withheld relevant information.
  • The applicant refuses or fails to provide information requested by the agency.
  • Two persons who are applying to adopt a child jointly are not legally married to each other.
  • The marriage of two persons legally married to each other who are applying to adopt a child jointly is determined by the agency to be unstable.
  • The applicant is married and his or her spouse has not joined in the application.
  • The applicant’s housing is inadequate to accommodate an additional child.
  • The applicant has not demonstrated financial responsibility.
  • The applicant has not adequately prepared to provide ongoing physical and emotional care to the child.
  • The agency has, based on its evaluation of the applicant, concerns relating to the applicant’s moral character, mental stability, or motivation for adopting a child.
  • The applicant or a member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older has been convicted, arrested, or has charges pending for a crime involving harm to a child.
  • The applicant or a member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older has charges pending for a felony conviction, or has been arrested and is awaiting final disposition of possible or pending charges involving:
    • Child abuse or neglect
    • Spousal abuse
    • Any crime against children, including child pornography
    • Any crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault or homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery
    • Physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense that was committed within the past 5 years
  • The agency has concerns and reasonable doubts, based on any other relevant information, about the safety or well-being of the child, if the child is placed with the applicant.

When Studies Must Be Completed Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.280; Admin. Code §§ 127.238; 127.410

A child may not be placed in the home of prospective adoptive parents before the home study investigation has been completed.

In regulation: The home study must be updated annually until a child has been placed with the applicant or the applicant requests removal of his or her name from the waiting list.

An updated study of a prospective adoptive home must include:

  • All the changes that have occurred since the previous study
  • A request for and review of any reports and investigations regarding the abuse or neglect of a child by the applicant or any member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older
  • A request for and review of any information concerning the applicant or any member of the applicant’s household who is age 18 or older maintained by local law enforcement agencies

Postplacement Study Requirements Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.120; Admin. Code §§ 127.256; 127.455

After an adoption petition is filed, the agency shall make an investigation and report to the court. The report must contain a specific recommendation for or against approval of the petition, a statement of whether the child is known to be an Indian child, and any other information regarding the child or proposed home that the court requires.

In regulation: After the placement of the child in an adoptive home, the agency shall:

  • In the case of a child with special needs, make at least one supervisory visit to the adoptive home:
    • Per week during the month following the initial placement
    • Per month until the adoption becomes final
  • For a child with no special needs, make at least one supervisory visit per month until the adoption becomes final
  • Document all contacts with the prospective adoptive family, child, and other persons who know or have contact with the child
  • Provide consultation with or referral to such community resources as necessary to meet the child’s needs
  • Assist the prospective adoptive parent(s) to develop any skills related to parenting that may be needed to meet the specific needs of the adopted child

If the agency has concerns regarding the placement of a child, the agency may contact teachers, babysitters, counselors, providers of medical care, government agencies, and any other persons who know or have contact with the child for the purpose of ensuring that the specific needs of the child are being met.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.120

If one petitioner or the spouse of a petitioner is related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity, the court may, in its discretion, waive the investigation by the agency. A copy of the order waiving the investigation must be sent to the nearest office of the agency by the petitioners within 7 days after the order is issued.

Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.330

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

The child shall not be sent into the receiving State until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving State notify the sending agency, in writing, that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.

Foster to Adopt Placements Citation: Admin. Code § 127.450

If the foster parent of a child who is currently living with that foster parent is chosen as the adoptive parent of that child, before the child’s permanent placement in that home, in addition to meeting the applicable requirements of this chapter and any other applicable laws, the agency that provides child welfare services shall:

  • Review the licensing records of the foster parents
  • Update the study of the prospective adoptive home
  • Request and review any reports and investigations regarding the abuse or neglect of a child by the applicant or any member of the prospective adoptive family and household who is age 18 or older and any records of criminal history of such persons
  • Determine whether the adoptive family is eligible for financial or other assistance

Infant Safe Haven Laws

Infant’s Age Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.630

A child who is or appears to be no more than 30 days old may be surrendered.

Who May Relinquish the Infant Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.630

A parent of the child may voluntarily deliver the child to an emergency services provider.

The parent shall leave the child:

  • In the physical possession of a person who the parent has reasonable cause to believe is an employee of the provider
  • On the property of the provider in a manner and location that the parent has reasonable cause to believe will not threaten the physical health or safety of the child and shall immediately contact the provider, through the local emergency telephone number or otherwise, and inform the provider of the delivery and location of the child

Who May Receive the Infant Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.630

A provider of emergency services shall take immediate possession of a surrendered child. The term ‘provider of emergency services’ includes:

  • A hospital, an obstetric center, or an independent center for emergency medical care
  • A public firefighting agency
  • A law enforcement agency

Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.630

A provider of emergency services who takes possession of a child shall perform any act necessary to maintain and protect the physical health and safety of the child. If the provider is a public firefighting agency or a law enforcement agency, the provider shall immediately arrange the safe delivery of the child to a hospital, an obstetric center, or an independent center for emergency medical care.

As soon as reasonably practicable but no later than 24 hours after the provider takes possession of the child, the provider shall report that possession to an agency that provides child welfare services and, if the provider is not a law enforcement agency, to a law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency shall notify the clearinghouse of missing and exploited children and investigate further, if necessary, using any other resources to determine whether the child has been reported as a missing child. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the law enforcement agency shall inform the agency that provides child welfare services of its determination. The agency that provides child welfare services shall maintain that information for statistical and research purposes.

A parent who delivers a child to a provider of emergency services shall be deemed to have given consent to the performance of all necessary emergency services and care for the child.

Immunity for the Provider Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.630

A provider of emergency services is not liable for any civil damages as a result of any harm or injury sustained by a child after the child is left on the property of the provider and before the provider is informed of the delivery and location of the child or the provider takes physical possession of the child, whichever occurs first.

Protection for Relinquishing Parent Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 432B.630; 200.508; 201.110

A parent who surrenders a child:

  • Must not be required to provide any background or medical information regarding the child but may do so voluntarily
  • Unless there is reasonable cause to believe that the child has been abused or neglected, excluding the mere fact that the parent has surrendered the child:
    • Must not be required to disclose any identifying information but may do so voluntarily
    • Must be allowed to leave at any time
    • Must not be pursued or followed

A person does not commit abuse, neglect, or endangerment of a child by virtue of the sole fact that he or she delivers or allows the delivery of a child to a provider of emergency services.

A person does not commit contributory neglect of a child by virtue of the sole fact that he or she delivers or induces the delivery of a child to a provider of emergency services.

Effect on Parental Rights Citation: Rev. Stat. § 432B.630

A provider of emergency services who takes possession of a child shall, whenever possible, inform the parent of the child that:

  • By allowing the provider to take possession of the child, the parent is presumed to have abandoned the child.
  • By failing or refusing to provide an address where the parent can be located, the parent waives any notice of the [protective custody] hearing to be conducted pursuant to § 432B.470.
  • Unless the parent contacts the local agency that provides child welfare services, action will be taken to terminate his or her parental rights regarding the child.

Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.287(3)

A person may pay the medical and other necessary living expenses related to the birth of a child of another as an act of charity as long as the payment is not contingent upon the natural parent’s placement of the child for adoption or consent to, or cooperation in, the adoption of the child.

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.285; 127.290

An attorney may not receive payment for finding children for adoption or finding adoptive parents but may receive reasonable compensation for any legal services provided.

No person who does not have a license to operate a child-placing agency may request or accept, directly or indirectly, any compensation or thing of value for placing, arranging the placement of, or assisting in placing or arranging the placement of any child for adoption or permanent free care. A licensed child-placing agency may accept fees for operational expenses.

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.287

It is unlawful for any person to pay or offer to pay money or anything of value to the natural parent of a child in return for the natural parent’s placement of the child for adoption or consent to, or cooperation in, the adoption of the child.

It is unlawful for any person to receive payment for medical and other necessary expenses related to the birth of a child from a prospective adoptive parent with the intent of not consenting to or completing the adoption of the child.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.275; Admin. Code § 127.190

An agency that provides child welfare services may charge reasonable fees for the services provided in placing any child for adoption and for conducting any required investigation.

A fee must not be charged for services related to the adoption of a child with special needs. An agency may waive or reduce any fee if the agency determines that the adoptive parents are not able to pay the fee or the needs of the child require a waiver or reduction of the fee.

In regulation:Any fees charged by a child-placing agency for the placement of a child for adoption must be imposed pursuant to a sliding schedule of fees established by the agency that:

  • Sets forth a minimum and maximum fee
  • Provides for a gradual reduction in the fee based on the financial resources of adoptive parents

An agency may waive any part or all of its fees in appropriate cases.

An agency shall not accept any compensation for the placement of a child for adoption in excess of its average expenses for those services. The maximum fee a particular agency may charge must be set by the agency. The agency may consider the following expenses when it sets its maximum fee:

  • Investigation of prospective adoptive homes
  • Medical care of the birth mother
  • Financial support of the birth mother before and for a reasonable time after the birth of the child
  • Medical and other care of children awaiting adoption
  • Legal services relating to the termination of the birth parent’s parental rights
  • Counseling of birth parents, adoptive parents, and children awaiting adoption
  • Administrative costs and any other relevant expenses

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.127

The petitioners shall file with the court, within 15 days of filing the adoption petition or 5 months after the child begins to live in the home, whichever is later, an affidavit listing all fees, donations, and expenses paid by them in connection with the adoption.

The Rights of Unmarried Fathers

Legal Definition of Father Rev. Stat. §§ 128.016; 127.151; 126.021; 126.051

The term ‘putative father’ means a person who is or is alleged or reputed to be the father of an illegitimate child.

The term ‘parent and child relationship’ means the legal relationship existing between a child and his natural or adoptive parents on which the law confers or imposes rights, privileges, duties and obligations. It includes the mother and child relationship and the father and child relationship.

A man is presumed to be the natural father of a child if:

  • He and the child’s mother are or have been married to each other and the child is born during the marriage, or within 285 days after the marriage is terminated.
  • He and the child’s mother were cohabiting for at least 6 months before the period of conception and continued to cohabit through the period of conception.
  • Before the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother have attempted to marry each other, although the attempted marriage is invalid or could be declared invalid, and:
    • If the attempted marriage could be declared invalid only by a court, the child is born during the attempted marriage, or within 285 days after its termination.
    • If the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order, the child is born within 285 days after the termination of cohabitation.
  • While the child is a minor, he receives the child into his home and openly holds out the child as his natural child.

A conclusive presumption that a man is the natural father of a child is established if tests for the typing of blood or tests for genetic identification show a probability of 99 percent or more that he is the father. That presumption may be rebutted if he establishes that he has an identical sibling who may be the father.

Paternity Registry Rev. Stat. §§ 440.280; 440.283; 126.053

If the mother was unmarried at the time of her child’s birth, the name of the father may be entered on the original certificate of birth if the mother and father of the child have signed a declaration for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity developed by the Board pursuant to § 440.283.

Before providing a declaration for the acknowledgment of paternity to the mother of a child or a person who wishes to acknowledge the paternity of the child, the hospital or other entity shall ensure that the mother and the person who wishes to acknowledge paternity are given notice, orally and in writing, of the rights, responsibilities and legal consequences of, and the alternatives to, signing the declaration for the acknowledgment of paternity.

After the expiration of the period described below, a declaration for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity shall be deemed to have the same effect as a judgment or order of a court determining the existence of the relationship of parent and child if the declaration is signed in this or any other State by the mother and father of the child. A declaration for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity that is signed pursuant to this subsection is not required to be ratified by a court of this State before the declaration is deemed to have the same effect as a judgment or order of a court determining the existence of the relationship of parent and child.

Alternate Means to Establish Paternity Rev. Stat. §§126.71; 126.131

A child, his natural mother, a man presumed or alleged to be his father or an interested third party may bring an action pursuant to this chapter to declare the existence or nonexistence of the father and child relationship.

Evidence relating to paternity may include:

  • Evidence of sexual intercourse between the mother and alleged father at any possible time of conception
  • An expert’s opinion concerning the statistical probability of the alleged father’s paternity based upon the duration of the mother’s pregnancy
  • The results of any test for the typing of blood or taking of specimens for genetic identification that is:
    • Of a type acknowledged as reliable by an organization approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services
    • Performed by a laboratory that is accredited by such an organization
  • An expert’s opinion concerning the results of a blood test or test for genetic identification, weighted in accordance with evidence, if available, of the statistical probability of the alleged father’s paternity
  • Medical or anthropological evidence relating to the alleged father’s paternity of the child based on tests performed by experts
  • All other evidence relevant to the issue of paternity of the child

Bills or receipts for the costs of medical care received during the pregnancy, the birth of the child, or tests for the typing of blood or taking of specimens for genetic identification to determine the paternity of the child are prima facie evidence of the amounts incurred for those services and are admissible as evidence without the foundational testimony of a third party.

Required Information Rev. Stat. § 126.163(2)

Within 10 days after a court issues an order establishing the paternity of a child, each party to the cause of action shall file with the court that issued the order and with the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services:

  • His Social Security number
  • His residential and mailing addresses
  • His telephone number
  • His driver’s license number
  • The name, address, and telephone number of his employer

Each party shall update the information filed with the court and with the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services within 10 days after that information becomes inaccurate.

Revocation of Claim to Paternity Rev. Stat. § 126.053(2)

A person who signs an acknowledgment of paternity in this State may rescind the acknowledgment:

  • Within 60 days after the acknowledgment is signed by both persons
  • Before the date on which an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child begins if that person is a party to the proceeding, whichever occurs earlier

After the expiration of the period during which an acknowledgment may be rescinded, the acknowledgment may not be challenged except upon the grounds of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact. The burden of proof is on the person challenging the acknowledgment to establish that the acknowledgment was signed because of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.

Except upon a showing of good cause, a person’s obligation for the support of a child must not be suspended during a hearing to challenge a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

Access to Information Rev. Stat. § 440.280

The State Registrar’s file of orders and declarations must be sealed, and the contents of the file may be examined only upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction or at the request of the father or mother or the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services of the Department of Health and Human Services as necessary to carry out the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 654a.

Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements

Use of Advertisement Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.283; 127.310

An agency that provides child welfare services or any child-placing agency may publish in any newspaper published in this State or broadcast by television a photograph or any relevant personal information concerning any child who is difficult to place for adoption.

A child-placing agency shall not publish or broadcast:

  • Any personal information that reveals the identity of the child or his parents
  • A photograph or personal information of a child without the prior approval of the agency having actual custody of the child

No person or organization other than an agency that provides child welfare services may advertise in any periodical or newspaper or by radio or other public medium that he or she will place children for adoption or accept, supply, provide, or obtain children for adoption or cause any advertisement to be published soliciting, requesting, or asking for any child for adoption, unless he or she holds a valid license to place children for adoption.

A child-placing agency shall include in any advertisement concerning its services published in any periodical or newspaper or by radio or other public medium a statement that:

  • Confirms that the child-placing agency holds a valid, unrevoked license issued by the division
  • Indicates any license number issued to the child-placing agency by the division

Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.240; 127.290(1); 127.285(1)

Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person may place, arrange the placement of, or assist in placing or in arranging the placement of any child for adoption or permanent free care without securing and having in full force a license to operate a child-placing agency. This subsection applies to agents, servants, physicians, and attorneys of parents or guardians, as well as to other persons.

This section does not prohibit a parent or guardian from placing, arranging the placement of, or assisting in placing or in arranging the placement of any child for adoption or permanent free care.

This section does not prohibit an agency that provides child welfare services from placing, arranging the placement of, or assisting in placing or arranging the placement of any child for adoption or permanent free care.

This section does not prohibit a person, including a person acting in his or her professional capacity, from sharing information regarding an adoption if no money or other valuable consideration is paid.

Except as otherwise provided in §§ 127.275 and 127.285, no person who does not have in full force a license to operate a child-placing agency may request or accept, directly or indirectly, any compensation or thing of value for placing, arranging the placement of, or assisting in placing or arranging the placement of any child for adoption.

An attorney may not receive compensation for taking part in finding children for adoption or finding parents to adopt children.

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

Who May Adopt Citation: Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 127.020; 127.030; 127.190

The following persons may adopt:

  • An adult person at least 10 years older than the adopted minor person
  • Any adult who is older than the adult person that he or she is adopting

Married persons must adopt jointly.

Who May Be Adopted Citation: Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 127.020; 127.190

The following persons may be adopted:

Who May Place a Child for Adoption Citation: Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 127.040; 127.050

The parents or guardian of the child may consent to a specific adoption or relinquish the child to an agency authorized to accept relinquishments. An agency that provides child welfare services or a licensed child-placing agency may accept relinquishments and make adoptive placements.

Post-Adoption Laws

Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 127.007; 127.152

Information from the State register is available to:

  • The adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • The birth parents
  • Persons related within the third degree to the adopted person

Medical and sociological information shall be provided to the adoptive parents.

Access to Nonidentifying Information Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.152

The agency that provides child welfare services or a licensed child-placing agency shall provide the adopting parents with a report that includes:

  • A copy of any of the child’s medical records that are in the possession of the agency
  • Any information about the medical and sociological history of the child and the birth parents and any behavioral, emotional, or psychological problems that the child may have
  • Information regarding any subsidies, assistance, and other services that may be available to the child if it is determined that he or she has any special needs

The report must exclude any information that would lead to the identification of the birth parent.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.007

The division shall maintain the State register for adoptions to provide information to identify adults who were adopted and persons related to them within the third degree of consanguinity. The State register for adoptions consists of:

  • Names and other information relating to persons who have released a child for adoption and who have submitted the information voluntarily to the division
  • Names and other necessary information of persons who are 18 years of age or older who were adopted and who have submitted the information voluntarily to the division
  • Names and other necessary information of persons who are related within the third degree of consanguinity to adopted persons and who have submitted the information voluntarily to the division

Any person whose name appears in the register may withdraw it by requesting in writing that it be withdrawn. The division shall immediately withdraw a name upon receiving the request and may not thereafter release any information to identify that person, including the information that such a name was ever in the register.

The division may release information about a person related within the third degree of consanguinity to an adopted perso or about an adopted person to a person related within the third degree of consanguinity if the names and information about both persons are contained in the register and if written consent for the release of such information is given by the birth parent.

Access to Original Birth Certificate Citation: Rev. Stat. § 440.310

The original birth certificate is available only upon order of the court.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Nevada Adoption Registry Services, Division of Child and Family Services

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.160

After an adoption decree is entered, the birth parents of an adopted child shall be relieved of all parental responsibilities for such child, and they shall not exercise or have any rights over an adopted child’s property. The child shall not owe his or her birth parents or their relatives any legal duty, nor shall he or she inherit from his or her birth parents or family.

The adoption of a child by his or her stepparent shall not in any way change the status of the relationship between the child and his or her birth parent who is the spouse of the petitioning stepparent.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Rev. Stat. § 127.160

By virtue of an adoption, an adopted person shall inherit from his or her adoptive parent(s) or their relatives as though he or she were the birth child of such parent(s).

If an adopted person dies intestate, the adoptive parents and their relatives shall inherit his or her estate.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will Citation: Rev. Stat. § 133.170

When the child of a testator or the issue of a deceased child of a testator is omitted from the testator’s will, it must be presumed that the omission was intentional. Should the court find that the omission was unintentional, the child, or the issue of the deceased child, is entitled to the same share in the estate of the testator as if the testator had died intestate.

Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families

What may be included in postadoption contact agreements? Rev. Stat. §§ 127.187; 127.1875

An agreement that provides for postadoptive contact is enforceable if the agreement is in writing and signed by the parties and is incorporated into an order or decree of adoption. The identity of a natural parent is not required to be included in the agreement if an agent who may receive court notices for the natural parent is provided in the agreement.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement? Rev. Stat. § 127.187

The natural parent or parents and the prospective adoptive parent or parents of a child to be adopted may enter into an enforceable agreement that provides for postadoptive contact between:

  • The child and his or her natural parent or parents
  • The adoptive parent or parents and the natural parent or parents
  • Any combination thereof

What is the role of the court in postadoption contact agreements? Rev. Stat. §§ 127.187; 127.188

A court that enters an order or decree of adoption that incorporates an agreement that provides for postadoptive contact shall retain jurisdiction to enforce, modify, or terminate the agreement that provides for postadoptive contact until the child reaches 18 years of age, the child becomes emancipated, or the agreement is terminated.

The establishment of an agreement that provides for postadoptive contact does not affect the rights of an adoptive parent as the legal parent of the child.

Each prospective adoptive parent of a child to be adopted who enters into an agreement that provides for postadoptive contact shall notify the court of the existence of the agreement as soon as practicable after the agreement is established, but not later than the time at which the court enters the order or decree of adoption of the child.

Before a court may enter an order or decree of adoption of a child, the court must address in person each prospective adoptive parent, the director of the licensed child-placing agency involved in the adoption proceedings, and any attorney representing a prospective adoptive parent, the child, or the agency involved in the adoption proceedings and inquire whether the person has actual knowledge that the prospective adoptive parent or parents of the child and the natural parent of parents of the child have entered into an agreement that provides for postadoptive contact.

If the court determines that the prospective adoptive parent or parents and the natural parent or parents have entered into an agreement that provides for postadoptive contact, the court shall order the prospective adoptive parent or parents to provide a copy of the agreement to the court and incorporate the agreement into the order or decree of adoption.

Are agreements legally enforceable? Rev. Stat. §§ 127.187; 127.1885

A natural parent who has entered into an agreement that provides for postadoptive contact may, for good cause shown:

  • Petition the court that entered the order or decree of adoption of the child to prove the existence of the agreement that provides for postadoptive contact and to request that the agreement be incorporated into the order or decree of adoption
  • During the period set forth below, petition the court to enforce the terms of the agreement that provides for postadoptive contact if the agreement complies with the requirements of § 127.187

An adoptive parent who has entered into an agreement that provides for postadoptive contact may:

  • During the period set forth below, petition the court that entered the order or decree of adoption of the child to enforce the terms of the agreement that provides for postadoptive contact if the agreement complies with the requirements of § 127.187
  • Petition the court to modify or terminate the agreement that provides for postadoptive contact in the manner set forth in § 127.1895

Any action to enforce the terms of an agreement that provides for postadoptive contact must be commenced no later than 120 days after the date on which the agreement was breached.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified? Rev. Stat. § 127.1895

An agreement that provides for postadoptive contact may only be modified or terminated by an adoptive parent petitioning the court that entered the order of decree that included the agreement. The court may grant a request to modify or terminate the agreement only if:

  • The adoptive parent petitioning the court for the modification or termination establishes that:
    • A change in circumstances warrants the modification or termination.
    • The contact provided for in the agreement is no longer in the best interests of the child.
  • Each party to the agreement consents to the modification or termination.

If an adoptive parent petitions the court for a modification or termination of an agreement pursuant to this section:

  • There is a presumption that the modification or termination is in the best interests of the child.
  • The court may consider the wishes of the child involved in the agreement.

Any order issued to modify an agreement that provides postadoptive contact:

  • May limit, restrict, condition, or decrease contact between the parties involved in the agreement
  • May not expand or increase the contact between the parties involved in the agreement or place any new obligation on an adoptive parent

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. § 440.310(3)

Whenever the State Registrar receives a certified report of adoption or amendment of adoption filed in accordance with the provisions of § 127.157 concerning a person born in a foreign country other than Canada, the State Registrar shall, if he or she receives evidence that the person being adopted is a citizen of the United States and the adoptive parents are residents of Nevada, prepare and file a supplementary certificate of birth and seal and file the report.

Source

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

References