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Who Must Consent:
  • The mother.
  • The father if he is married to the mother or has otherwise established paternity.
  • A guardian ad litem must be appointed for a minor parent.
Consent of Adoptee:
A child 12 years or older must consent to the adoption.

When Parental Consent is Not Needed:
A parent:
  • Has abandoned or failed to support the child.
  • Has inflicted serious injury or allowed the child to be sexually abused.
  • Has had parental rights to another child terminated.
  • Has been adjudicated as mentally disabled.
When Relinquishment Can Be Signed:
Consent is invalid if given prior to 72 hours after the child's birth.

How Relinquishment Must Be Signed:
A petition for voluntary termination of parental rights shall be filed in the circuit court of the county where petitioner resides.

Time for Revocation:
Consent shall become final 20 days after placement approval or 20 days after execution if placement approved prior to signing of the consent.

• Glossary of Terms
• Legal Considerations in Adoption
• Parental Rights
• Putative Father Registries: What They Are and How To Use Them
• Resources for Expectant/Placing Parents

Relinquishment Summaries by State: Index

Source: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse. Reprinted with permission.

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