43-104. Adoption; consent required; exceptions; petition requirements; private adoption; requirements.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section and in the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act, no adoption shall be decreed unless written consents thereto are filed in the county court of the county in which the person or persons desiring to adopt reside or in the county court in which the juvenile court having jurisdiction over the custody of the child is located and the written consents are executed by:

(a) The minor child, if over fourteen years of age; and

(b) 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, or both the mother and father of a child born out of wedlock as determined pursuant to sections 43-104.08 to 43-104.24.

(2) A written consent or relinquishment for adoption under this section shall not be valid unless signed at least forty-eight hours after the birth of the child.

(3) A petition for adoption shall attest that, at the time of filing:

(a) There were no pending motions in any other court having jurisdiction over the minor child; and

(b) If a juvenile court has jurisdiction over the child, that adoption is the permanency goal in proceedings in juvenile court.

(4) Consent shall not be required of any parent:

(a) Who relinquished the child for adoption by a written instrument;

(b) Who abandoned the child for at least six months next preceding the filing of the adoption petition;

(c) Whose parental rights to such child have been terminated by the order of any court of competent jurisdiction; or

(d) Who is incapable of consenting.

(5) Consent shall not be required of a putative father who has failed to timely file:

(a) A Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody pursuant to section 43-104.02 and, with respect to the absence of such filing, a certificate has been filed pursuant to section 43-104.04; or

(b) A petition pursuant to section 43-104.05 for the adjudication of such father's objection to the adoption and a determination of whether his consent to the adoption is required and the mother of the child has timely executed a valid relinquishment and consent to the adoption pursuant to such section.

(6) Consent shall not be required of an acknowledged or adjudicated father who has failed to timely file a petition pursuant to section 43-104.05 for the adjudication of such notice and a determination of whether his consent to the adoption is required and the mother of the child has timely executed a valid relinquishment and consent to the adoption pursuant to such section.

(7) Consent shall not be required of an acknowledged father, an adjudicated father, or a putative father who is not required to consent to the adoption pursuant to section 43-104.05 or 43-104.22.

(8) The validity of a relinquishment and consent for adoption is not affected by the fact that a relinquishing person is a minor.

(9)(a) In private adoptions not involving relinquishment of a child to the state or to a licensed child placement agency, a parent or parents who relinquish a child for adoption shall be provided legal counsel of their choice independent from that of the adoptive parent or parents. Such counsel shall be provided at the expense of the adoptive parent or parents prior to the execution of a written relinquishment and consent to adoption or execution of a communication and contact agreement under section 43-166, unless specifically waived in writing.

(b) In private adoptions and adoptions involving relinquishment of a child to a licensed child placement agency other than the state, a parent or parents contemplating relinquishment of a child for adoption shall be offered, at the expense of the adoptive parent or parents or the agency, at least three hours of professional counseling prior to executing a written relinquishment of parental rights or written consent to adoption. Such relinquishment or consent shall state whether the relinquishing parent or parents received or declined counseling.

Source:Laws 1943, c. 104, § 4(1), p. 350; R.S.1943, § 43-104; Laws 1951, c. 127, § 1, p. 546; Laws 1967, c. 248, § 1, p. 652; Laws 1971, LB 329, § 1; Laws 1973, LB 436, § 1; Laws 1975, LB 224, § 2; Laws 1983, LB 146, § 3; Laws 1984, LB 510, § 3; Laws 1985, LB 255, § 20; Laws 1988, LB 790, § 22; Laws 1995, LB 712, § 20; Laws 1996, LB 1296, § 19; Laws 1998, LB 1041, § 7; Laws 1999, LB 594, § 10; Laws 2002, LB 952, § 2; Laws 2003, LB 148, § 100; Laws 2007, LB247, § 5; Laws 2022, LB741, § 6.
Effective Date: July 21, 2022

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