Consent (to An Adoption)

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consent (to an adoption)

Voluntary agreement of those with PARENTAL RIGHTS to make an adoption plan. Who may give legal consent for an adoption varies from state to state.

If the birthmother was married at the time of the conception or birth of the child, both she and her husband must consent to any adoption, even if the husband is not the biological father. If the mother is unmarried, her consent is necessary. In most states, consent of the PUTATIVE FATHER is also necessary if he fulfills certain statutory criteria. Often these criteria are modeled after the Stanley v. Illinois case. (See BIRTHFATHER.)

An adoption agency that was asked to help arrange the adoption may also consent to the adoption by writing a report to the court.

Consent may be waived if the state has terminated parental rights of the person whose consent would otherwise be required. In most states, parental rights may be terminated only on "fault" grounds (such as abuse, neglect, abandonment) or for serious incapacity (such as severe mental retardation or serious and incurable mental illness). (See also PREBIRTH CONSENT and TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS.)

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