Australia Finance

Jun 7 2018

Adoption Consent

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A consent to place a child for adoption may be accepted from any mentally competent parent of a child who is in the care, custody and control of the Department.

A consent to place a child for adoption is irrevocable, unless obtained by fraud, duress or undue influence. (ARS §8-106)

A consent to place a child for adoption shall not be accepted prior to 72 hours after the child’s birth and will be invalid if given before 72 hours. (ARS §8-107)

A consent to place a child for adoption is required from the father married to the child’s mother at the time of conception or any time between conception and the child’s birth unless his paternity is excluded or another man’s paternity is established pursuant to ARS §25-801 et seq. [ARS §8-106(A)(2)(a)]

The Department shall provide verbal and written information to ensure parents understand the meaning of consent, its implications for the child and parents, and information regarding access to non-identifying information in adoption records.

A parent may choose to consent only for specific person(s) to adopt his or her child. However, if the specified individual(s) do not adopt the child, the consent may be deemed void and a new consent (or a severance procedure) may be necessary to allow for adoption of the child. Use of a direct consent shall be approved by a supervisor.

A dependency petition shall be filed on every child for whom a consent for adoption is accepted.

Prior to accepting a consent or completing a termination action, the Department shall provide the birth parents with accurate information regarding the release of identifying information.

The Department whenever possible will obtain from a birth parent whose parental rights have been terminated, a statement that grants or withholds consent for the child who is subject of the action to review adoption records when the child reaches the age of 21 or older.

Birth parents shall be informed that the Department cannot assure that the adoptive parents will agree to share specific identifying information.

Considering Adoption Consent

To decide whether to seek or accept a voluntary consent for adoption, consider these factors:

  • the availability of the parent;
  • the willingness of the parent to consent to the adoption; and
  • the mental competence of the parent.

When considering mental competence, ask these questions:

  • Does the parent appear to have or alleged to have limited intellectual or verbal capacity?
  • Is the parent known to have, appear to have or alleged to have a substance abuse problem?
  • Is there any indication or allegation of significant emotional, psychological or behavioral problems?
  • Does the parent appear to be confused or disoriented?

If there is any question of mental competency, consult with your supervisor before accepting consent.

Prior to discussing consent with a parent, notify the parent’s attorney. Invite the parent’s attorney to any meetings involving this matter. If a parent’s attorney or GAL objects, do not proceed with discussing consent. Seek to resolve the objection concerns by coordinating with the AAG and parent’s attorney, as appropriate.

If, after providing written and verbal information, a mentally competent parent wishes to consent to the adoption of the child, gather all the necessary information by using the following forms:

  • Consent to Place a Child for Adoption;
  • Birth Parent’s Release of Identifying Information; and
  • Affidavit of Potential Fathers.

Inform a mother consenting to adoption that:

  • being untruthful, incomplete or inaccurate on the Affidavit of Potential Fathers, is a class 6 felony (ARS §8-128);
  • all legal and potential fathers named will be served, informed of their rights and responsibilities, and will have 30 days to initiate paternity proceedings (ARS §8-106);
  • she may write a letter to the court asking her address be omitted from the affidavit if there is concern for her safety,
  • state law permits communication among the child, birth parents and adoptive parents after finalization of the adoption. See Communication Agreements .

For a parent who lives in another state or county:

  • Send a letter to the appropriate DES office or state social service agency requesting they provide verbal and written information on consents to the relinquishing parent and accept the consent.
  • Send a packet with the following forms and instructions:
  • Consent to Place a Child for Adoption;
  • Birth Parent’s Release of Identifying Information; and
  • Affidavit of Potential Fathers.
  • Consent to Place a Child for Adoption – Have the parent sign two originals. Each must be witnessed by two people over age 18 and notarized.
    • Use one original to accompany a severance petition to court, if needed and use one original to accompany an adoption petition to court.
  • Make four copies of the Consent to Place a Child for Adoption. Keep two copies in the child’s record and give one to the parent(s). If the child is in another county or state, send one copy for their record.
  • Birth Parent’s Release of Identifying Information. Place the form in the child’s record until the agency consents are processed or it is determined the adoptive placement will be finalized; then forward the form to the supervising adoptions DCS Specialist or contract agency case manager to place in the child’s adoptive case record.
  • Affidavit of Potential Fathers – For children born after July 17, 1994, the parent(s) must sign three originals and have them notarized. Make four copies and distribute the originals and copies as follows:
    • Send one original to the Attorney General’s Office with the letter requesting omission of the mother’s address, if applicable.
    • Send one original to the Putative Father’s Registry (c/o Department of Health Services, Vital Records, P.O. Box 3887, Phoenix, AZ 85030.
    • Keep one original in the child’s record to accompany a termination of parental rights petition or motion to court, if requested by the Assistant Attorney General.
    • Keep one copy in the child’s record to accompany the adoption petition to court.
    • If the child is placed in another county or state, send one copy to the supervising DCS Specialist. contract agency case manager or other state’s case manager.
    • Keep one copy permanently in the child’s case record.
    • Give one copy to the birth mother.
  • For children born before July 17, 1994, obtain only the original Affidavit of Potential Fathers, and place it in the child’s record.

Effective Date. December 10, 2015

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