Chapter 127 of the Nevada Revised Statutes governs actions involving adoptions of minor children and adults. Nevada law allows for the adoption of both children and adults.
Adoption Of Children
Nevada is an “Agency State,” which means it is unlawful for any person or entity other than a licensed child-placing agency to facilitate an adoption or receive any compensation in assisting with an adoption. Nevada law allows a parent, guardian, or agency from placing or arranging the placement of any child for adoption.
Consent to adoption in Nevada must be given by: 1) Both parents, if living; 2) The living parent of the child if the other parent has died; or 3) The child’s legal court-appointed guardian. The Birth Mother can consent to the adoption 72 hours after the child’s birth. A Birth Father who is not married to the Birth Mother may consent to the adoption before the child is born. Once the Birth Mother and/or Birth Father relinquish his/her parental rights and consent to the adoption, consent is irrevocable, permanent, and cannot be set aside, changed, or modified. Nevada permits birth parents and prospective adoptive parents to enter into agreements for post-adoptive contact. Consent to adoption are not required of a parent whose parental rights have been terminated or who has been declared insane for 2 years by court and there is proof that the insanity is incurable.
Any adult person or any two (2) persons married to each other may petition to adopt a child. A petition for adoption of a child may be filed at any time after the child has lived in the home of the person(s) wishing to adopt the child for 30 days. Depending on the Judge, an “Agency” Adoption may not be finalized until the child has been in the prospective adoptive parents care for 6 months. The person adopting the child must be at least ten (10) years older than the child adopted, and the consent of the child, if the child is over the age of 14 years, is necessary to its adoption. If the child sought to be adopted is Native American, then the Indian Child Welfare Act governs.
Adoption Of Adults
Any adult person may adopt any other adult person younger than himself/herself, except the spouse of the adopting person. The adoption agreement must be in writing and must be signed by the person adopting and the person being adopted. The adoption agreement must state that the person adopting and the person being adopted agree to assume toward each other the legal relation of parent and child and to have all of the rights, duties and responsibilities of that relationship.
A married person not lawfully separated from his or her spouse may not adopt an adult person without the consents of the spouse of the adopting person. A married person not lawfully separated from his or her spouse may not be adopted without the consent of the spouse of the person to be adopted. The person to be adopted does not need the consent of the natural parents or of any other person to be adopted.
What is the adoption process in Nevada?
The process of adopting a child can be a daunting and confusing task for anyone. With an expert Adoption Attorney who is intricately familiar with Nevada Adoption Laws by your side, the process of adoption becomes less stressful and more efficient. We, at The Cooley Law Firm, will guide you through each step of the process according to current Child Adoption Laws.
- Prepare and file the Adoption Petition- The Petition for Adoption gives the judge a little information about the child being adopted and the person or people who wish to adopt the child. Potential adopters must file a Petition for Adoption and a Family Court Cover Sheet. Once you file those documents and paid a filing fee to the Court, then you have started the adoption process.
- Prepare and file additions supporting documentation- If the potential adopter is related to the child they wish to adopt, they will need to complete and file an Ex Parte Request Waiving the Child Welfare Investigation & Affidavit of fees. This explains that there is no need for a home study since the person adopting is related to the adoptee. The party adopting will need to complete an order that the judge signs waiving the home study and fee affidavit. If the adopting parties are not related to the child, then they must complete a home study and file it with the court.
- Consents need to be filed- You need to complete consent in writing from biological parents, if they agree to the adoption. Consent must be notarized and witnessed by two people unrelated to the adoption case. If the biological parents do not agree to adoption or if they cannot be found, then a separate case must be filed to terminate parental rights of biological parents. If the child is over the age of 14, they must also submit consent in writing.
- Attend adoption hearings- After you are sure that all paperwork has been filed, the potential adopters should schedule your adoption hearing by filling out and filing the hearing setting slip. The adoption petitioner, the child, and other family members are allowed to attend the adoption hearing. The judge will sign the Decree of Adoption, making the adoption legally official.
The above is the typical process for adopting a child in Nevada. The Adult Adoption Laws differ a bit from adopting a minor child. Consult with an Adult Adoption Lawyer at The Cooley Law Firm to get the answers to all your questions.
If you are considering adopting a child or an adult, your first step should be to contact and speak with an Adoption Lawyer. At The Cooley Law Firm, there is an expert Child Adoption Lawyer and Adult Adoption Lawyer who could answer all your questions and guide you through the entire adoption process. If you live in or near Las Vegas, NV, call (702) 265-4505 for a consultation today.
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