Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Nebraska

Date: May 2019

Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-102; 43-103; 43-109

Any person or persons desiring to adopt a minor child or an adult child shall file a petition for adoption signed and sworn to by the person or persons desiring to adopt.

Upon the filing of the petition for adoption, the court shall fix a time for a hearing. The hearing shall be held not less than 4 weeks nor more than 8 weeks after the filing of such petition unless any party for good cause shown requests a continuance of the hearing or all parties agree to a continuance. The court may require notice of the hearing to be given to the child, if over age 14; to the natural parent or parents of the child; and to such other interested persons as the judge may, in the exercise of discretion, deem advisable.

If, at the hearing, the court finds that such adoption is in the best interests of the child, a decree of adoption shall be entered. No decree of adoption shall be entered unless the court determines the following:

  • It appears that the child has resided with the petitioners for at least 6 months.
  • The medical histories required by § 43-107(2) have been made a part of the court record.
  • The court record includes an affidavit or affidavits signed by the relinquishing birth parent or parents, if both are available.

The court may decree such change of name for the adopted child as the petitioner or petitioners may request.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-104.07

The petition for adoption of a child born in a foreign country shall be accompanied by the following:

  • A document or documents from a court, official department, or government agency of the country of origin stating that the parent has consented to the adoption, stating that the parental rights of the parents of the child have been terminated, or stating that the child to be adopted has been abandoned or relinquished by the natural parents and that the child is to immigrate to the United States for the purpose of adoption
  • Written consent to the adoption of the child from a child-placing agency licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services or the agency's duly authorized representative that placed the child with the adopting person or persons

The consent shall be signed and acknowledged before an officer authorized to acknowledge deeds in the State where the consent is signed and shall not require a witness.

Any document in a foreign language shall be translated into English by the Department of State or by a translator who shall certify the accuracy of the translation.

A guardian shall not be required to be appointed to give consent to the adoption of any child born in a foreign country when the consent requirements of this section have been met.

Background Studies

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 43-107

For adoption placements occurring on or after January 1, 1994, a preplacement adoptive home study shall be filed with the court prior to the hearing. The study is completed by the Department of Health and Human Services or a licensed child-placing agency within 1 year before the date on which the adoptee is placed with the petitioners and indicates that the placement of a child for adoption would be safe and appropriate.

The judge shall order the petitioner or his or her attorney to request the Nebraska State Patrol to file a national criminal history records information check by submitting two sets of fingerprint cards or an equivalent electronic submission for a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and to request the department to conduct and file a check of the central registry for any history of the petitioner of behavior injurious to or which may endanger the health or morals of a child. An adoption decree shall not be issued until such records are on file with the court.

The preplacement or postplacement adoptive home study shall be performed as prescribed in rules and regulations of the department and shall include at a minimum an examination into the facts relating to the petitioner or petitioners as may be relevant to the propriety of such adoption.

Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, the judge shall require that a complete medical history be provided on the child, except that in the adoption of a child by a stepparent, biological grandparent, or step-grandparent who is married to the biological grandparent at the time of the adoption if both are adopting the child, the provision of a medical history shall be discretionary. On and after August 27, 2011, the complete medical history or histories required under this subsection shall include the race, ethnicity, nationality, or other cultural history of both birth parents, if available. A medical history shall be provided, if available, on the birth mother and father and their families, including, but not limited to, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, unless the child is foreign born or was abandoned.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Admin. Code Tit. 390, § 6-002.08

Postplacement services are provided before the finalization of adoption. Those services include supervision through regular family contact, home visits with both parents, visits alone with the child, and contact with other persons living in the home. A minimum of 6 months of postplacement supervision is provided. For a child with special needs, 1 year is recommended.

The department also will provide family-centered support services to do the following:

  • Assist the family with the integration of the child into the family and the creation of a new family unit
  • Provide assessment of progress and the need for other services
  • Help the family plan for services the family will desire after finalization

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 43-110; 43-111

After a decree of adoption is entered, the usual relation of parent and child and all the rights, duties, and other legal consequences of the natural relation of child and parent shall thereafter exist between the adopted child and the person or persons adopting the child and his, her, or their kindred.

After a decree of adoption has been entered, the natural parents of the adopted child shall be relieved of all parental duties toward and all responsibilities for the child and have no rights over the adopted child or to his or her property by descent and distribution.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 71-626; 71-627.02

For each adoption of a Nebraska-born or foreign-born person decreed by any court of this State, the court shall require the preparation of a report of adoption on a form prescribed and furnished by the department. The report shall be prepared as follows:

  • Include the original name, date, and place of birth and the name of the parent or parents of the person
  • Provide information necessary to establish a new certificate of birth of the person adopted
  • Provide the name and address of the child-placing agency, if any, that placed the child for adoption
  • Identify the decree of adoption and be certified by the clerk of the court

Information in the possession of the petitioner that is necessary to prepare the report of adoption shall be furnished with the petition for adoption by each petitioner or his or her attorney. The social or welfare agency or other person concerned shall supply the court with such additional information in his or her possession as may be necessary to complete the report. The supplying of such information shall be a prerequisite to the issuance of a decree.

Upon receipt of a report of adoption or a certified copy of a decree of adoption issued by any court of competent jurisdiction in the State of Nebraska as to any foreign-born person, the department shall prepare a birth certificate in the new name of the adopted person. The birth certificate specifically shall show the following:

  • The new name of the adopted person
  • The date of birth and sex of the adopted person
  • Statistical information concerning the adoptive parents in place of the natural parents
  • The true or probable place of birth, including the city or town and country