Consent to Adoption - Hawaii

Date: October 2021

Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2(a)

Written consent to a proposed adoption must be executed by the following:

  • The mother of the child
  • A legal father
  • An adjudicated father whose relationship to the child has been determined by a court
  • A presumed father
  • A concerned natural father who is not the legal, adjudicated, or presumed father but who has demonstrated a reasonable degree of interest, concern, or responsibility as to the welfare of a child as follows:
    • During the first 30 days after the child's birth
    • Prior to the execution of a valid consent by the mother of the child
    • Prior to the placement of the child with adoptive parents
  • Any person or agency having legal custody of the child or legally empowered to consent
  • The court having jurisdiction of the custody of the child if the legal guardian or legal custodian of the person of the child is not empowered to consent to adoption

A petition to adopt an adult may be granted only if written consent to adoption has been executed by the adult and the adult's spouse, if the adult is married.

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2(a)(8)

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

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2

Consent is not required from the following:

  • A parent who has deserted a child for a period of 90 days without affording means of identification
  • A parent who has voluntarily surrendered the care and custody of the child to another for a period of 2 years
  • A parent whose child is in the custody of another, who has failed for a period of at least 1 year to communicate with the child or provide for the care and support of the child when able to do so
  • A natural father who was not married to the child's mother at the time of the child's conception or birth and has not established paternity
  • A parent whose parental rights have been judicially terminated
  • A parent judicially declared mentally ill, mentally retarded, or incapacitated from giving consent
  • Any legal guardian or custodian who is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably
  • A parent of a child who has been in the custody of a petitioner for at least 1 year and who entered the United States as a consequence of extraordinary circumstances in the child's country of origin, by reason of which the existence, identity, or whereabouts of the child's parents is not reasonably ascertainable or there is no reasonable means of obtaining suitable evidence of the child's identity or availability for adoption
  • Any parent of the adopted person if the adopted person is an adult eligible for adoption under this section
  • A parent whose parental and custodial duties and rights have been divested by an award of permanent custody pursuant to § 587A-33

When Consent Can Be Executed

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 571-61

The petition for relinquishment may be filed at any time following the mother's sixth month of pregnancy. No judgment may be entered upon a petition concerning an unborn child until after the birth of the child, the petitioners have filed a written reaffirmation of their desires to relinquish, and the petitioners have been given no less than a 10-day notice of a proposal for the entry of judgment and an opportunity to be heard in connection with that proposal.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 571-61

A parent who desires to relinquish his or her parental rights to any natural or adopted child and thus make the child available for adoption or readoption may petition the family court of the circuit in which he or she resides or the circuit in which the child resides or was born for the entry of a judgment of termination of parental rights.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-2(f)

Consent cannot be withdrawn after the child is placed with prospective adoptive parents unless the court finds it would be in the child's best interests.

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