An adoption is a joyous time to celebrate a new addition to a family. Adoptions warm the heart and put a smile on the faces of not only parents and children involved in the adoption but also the Judge. In fact, Clark County Courts celebrate adoptions each year with a special event called Adoption Day. Many of the Judges in Clark County take photographs with the family and try to make the adoption process a fun filled event.
A biological Father, who is not married to the child’s biological Mother, may execute the Consent to Adoption at anytime during the pregnancy. The Consent to Adoption signed by the biological Father is valid unless one of the following occurs: the biological Father and the biological Mother marry before the child is born, the biological Mother does not execute a Consent to Adoption within six (6) months after the child’s birth; or the Petition for Adoption is not filed within two (2) years after the child’s birth.
Unlike the biological Father, the biological Mother cannot execute the Consent to Adoption until the child is born. In addition, the Consent to Adoption may not be signed until seventy-two (72) hours after the child’s birth.
In order to proceed with an adoption, the parental rights of the natural parents must be terminated (click here for more information on termination of parental rights). Once the termination occurs, a Petition for Adoption is filed which sets forth the requirements for the adoption. Some of the requirements are as follows:
- The person adopting must be a resident of the State of Nevada for a period of six (6) months prior to petitions for adoption. If the person adopting is married, their spouse must either join in the Petition for Adoption or sign a Consent to Adoption.
- The child being adopted must have lived with the person who is adopting in their home for thirty (30) days.
- The person adopting must be at least ten (10) years older than the child who is being adopted.
- If a child is over the age of fourteen (14), consent of the child is required.
- The person adopting must prove that they are “fit and proper” to adopt the child and that they are financially able to provide for the child.
- A home study must be completed if the child is not related to the person adopting of their spouse within the third degree of consanguinity.
The adoption process is relatively straight forward. The steps to complete an adoption are as follows:
- File a Petition;
- Complete a Setting Slip;
- Request Waiver of Investigation or, if required, complete Home Study;
- Request Waiver of Affidavit Setting Forth Fees or, if required, complete an Affidavit Setting Forth Fees;
- Attend a Prove-Up Hearing;
- Decree of Adoption;
- Notice of Entry of the Decree of Adoption; and
- Report of Adoption.
Adoption of Adults
Not only are children adopted, Nevada also permits the adoption of adults. A person over the age of majority may be adopted by another adult so long as the person adopting is not their spouse.
The biological parents of the person being adopted are not required to sign a Consent to Adoption. In most cases, the biological parents are not required to be provided with service of the Petition for Adoption, it is up to the discretion of the Judge hearing the matter.
Our experienced attorneys can further walk you through this process once becoming a client of the firm. Do not navigate this complicated process alone – we can help. Call our office today at (702) 474-7007.