Consent to Adoption - Alaska

Date: October 2021

Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.040

A petition to adopt a minor may be granted only if written consent to a particular adoption has been executed by the following:

  • The mother of the minor
  • The father of the minor, if the father was married to the mother at the time the minor was conceived or at any time after conception, the minor is the father's child by adoption, or the father has otherwise legitimated the minor
  • Any person lawfully entitled to custody of the minor or empowered to consent
  • The court having jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor if the legal guardian or custodian of the person of the minor is not empowered to consent to the adoption
  • The spouse of the minor to be adopted

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.040

A child age 10 or older must consent to the adoption unless, in the child's best interests, the court dispenses with consent.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.050

Consent to adoption is not required of the following:

  • A parent who has abandoned a child for a period of at least 6 months
  • A parent of a child in the custody of another if the parent, for a period of at least 1 year, has failed significantly without justifiable cause, including but not limited to indigence:
    • To communicate meaningfully with the child
    • To provide for the care and support of the child as required by law or judicial decree
  • The father if the father's consent is not required by § 25.23.040(a)(2)
  • A parent who has relinquished the right to consent
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by order of the court
  • A parent judicially declared incompetent or mentally defective if the court dispenses with the parent's consent
  • A parent of the adopted person if the adopted person is age 18 or older
  • A guardian or custodian who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent for a period of 60 days or who, after examination of the guardian's or custodian's written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably
  • The spouse of the adopted person if the requirement of consent to the adoption is waived by the court by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances constituting an unreasonable withholding of consent

When Consent Can Be Executed

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.060

The required consent to adoption shall be executed at any time after the birth of the child.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.060

The required consent to adoption shall be executed in the presence of the court or a person authorized to take acknowledgments. The consent is not valid unless the consent form states that the person consenting to the adoption has the right to withdraw that consent as provided in § 25.23.070(b) and unless the person consenting to the adoption acknowledges receipt of a copy of the consent form.

The person giving consent shall state in the consent form whether the child is a member of an Indian tribe or the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe, so that the court may determine whether the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 apply.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Alaska Stat. § 25.23.070

A consent to adoption may not be withdrawn after the entry of a decree of adoption.

A consent to adoption may be withdrawn before the entry of a decree of adoption, within 10 days after the consent is given, by delivering written notice to the person obtaining the consent. Consent may be withdrawn after the 10-day period if the court finds, after notice and opportunity to be heard is afforded to the petitioner, the person seeking the withdrawal, and the agency placing the child for adoption that the withdrawal is in the best interests of the person to be adopted, and the court orders the withdrawal.

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