Nebraska Revised Statute 43-101
Children eligible for adoption.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, any minor child may be adopted by any adult person or persons and any adult child may be adopted by the spouse of such child's parent in the cases and subject to sections 43-101 to 43-115, except that no person having a spouse may adopt a minor child unless the spouse joins in the petition therefor. If the spouse so joins in the petition therefor, the adoption shall be by them jointly, except that an adult spouse may adopt a child of the other spouse whether born in or out of wedlock.
(2) Any adult child may be adopted by any person or persons subject to sections 43-101 to 43-115, except that no person having a spouse may adopt an adult child unless the spouse joins in the petition therefor. If the spouse so joins the petition therefor, the adoption shall be by them jointly. The adoption of an adult child by another adult or adults who are not the stepparent of the adult child may be permitted if the adult child has had a parent-child relationship with the prospective parent or parents for a period of at least six months next preceding the adult child's age of majority and (a) the adult child has no living parents, (b) the adult child's parent or parents had been deprived of parental rights to such child by the order of any court of competent jurisdiction, (c) the parent or parents, if living, have relinquished the adult child for adoption by a written instrument, (d) the parent or parents had abandoned the child for at least six months next preceding the adult child's age of majority, or (e) the parent or parents are incapable of consenting. The substitute consent provisions of section 43-105 do not apply to adoptions under this subsection.
- Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, see section 43-1501.
Adoption proceedings are special proceedings. In re Adoption of David C., 280 Neb. 719, 790 N.W.2d 205 (2010).
For an adoption to be valid under Nebraska's adoption statutes, the record must show the following factors: (1) the existence of an adult person or persons entitled to adopt, (2) the existence of a child eligible for adoption, (3) compliance with statutory procedures providing for adoption, and (4) evidence that the proposed adoption is in the child's best interests. Reading the adoption statutes in their entirety, it is clear that aside from the stepparent adoption scenario, the parents' parental rights must be terminated or the existing nonterminated parent or parents must relinquish in order for the child to be eligible for adoption by any adult person or persons under this section. In re Adoption of Luke, 263 Neb. 365, 640 N.W.2d 374 (2002).
Husband and wife should join in petition for adoption. Hiatt v. Menendez, 157 Neb. 914, 62 N.W.2d 123 (1954).