An individual may voluntarily relinquish their parental rights by placing their child up for adoption. This requires a birth parent to give formal consent by providing a knowing and willful written signature.
Consent to adoption in Chattanooga is binding, meaning that the parent will not be able to regain their parental rights after singing the consent form. If you have questions about how to proceed in an adoption case involving this kind of consent, one of the qualified attorneys at our firm could help.
For a child to be eligible for adoption, both biological and/or legal parents have to give their consent. This means that the birth mother and father would have to be aware of the situation and choose to sign away their parental rights. If paternity cannot be established in a particular case, then there are no fathers’ rights to terminate, and the court can terminate parental rights and allow the child to be adopted.
When consenting to adoption, most birth parents in our area sign off on a termination of parental rights and adoption petition drafted by a local attorney. This petition must include specific language that ensures the birth parent fully understands the implications of their consent. In other words, they have to know that they are fully surrendering their parental rights and that unless they come to the court prior to the finalization of the adoption, their termination of parental rights will be final.
As long as that parent willfully and knowingly consents to the adoption by a notarized signature, their agreement is valid. Their consent can also be given in person in front of a judge, but it is most often done on paper.
If the adopting parents or their attorney know the identity of a birth parent, but the parent is unavailable and cannot be found, there are still ways to proceed with the adoption without their consent. The adopting parents must make their best efforts to locate that parent and file an affidavit with the court proving that they have done so. After that, the court can enter an adoption by default.
There are other circumstances where a child can be adopted without their birth parents’ consent, the most common of which in Chattanooga is abandonment. If a parent has failed to visit and/or financially support a child for a period of four months, then the court can terminate that parent’s rights.
Consent to adoption is necessary to adopt a child in Chattanooga. Sometimes, a birth or legal parent’s consent can be difficult to obtain, which can cause added stress in the adoption process. An experienced attorney could address any issues regarding parental consent that may arise in your case and ensure that every requirement is met. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.