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General Information About Adoption

What is Adoption?

Adoption involves the termination of parental rights of a child’s natural mother and/or father and the establishment of those rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parent or parents.  A stepparent adoption is the adoption of a child by the spouse of one of the child’s legal parents.

A relative adoption is the adoption of a child who is a blood relative of the child or person.

Adoptive parents may be:

  • Any proper adult person who is not married. If the person is married, his/her spouse must also adopt the child(ren).
  • Any person married to the legal mother or father of the child(ren)
  • A husband or wife jointly

The appropriate consents have been obtained for the adoption and the adoption must be in the best interests of the child.

Consent Adoptions

Consent adoptions are adoptions where a birth mother or birth father agrees to have the child adopted. If the child is over 10 years old the child must also consent to the adoption.

Non-Consent Adoptions

Non-consent adoptions may be granted by the Family Court if all the following requirements are met:

  • The birth parent cannot be located or will not agree to sign the consent form
  • The birth parent has not paid support for the child for more than one year
  • The birth parent has not contacted the child for more than one year
  • The child has lived with the adopting adult for more than one year

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