Consent to Adoption - New York

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Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Dom. Rel. Law §§ 111; 113

Consent to adoption shall be required from the following persons or entities:

  • The parents or surviving parent, whether adult or minor, of a child conceived or born in wedlock
  • The mother, whether adult or minor, of a child born out of wedlock
  • The father, whether adult or minor, of a child born out-of-wedlock and placed with the adoptive parents more than 6 months after birth, but only if that father has maintained substantial and continuous or repeated contact with the child
  • The father, whether adult or minor, of a child born out-of-wedlock and placed with the adoptive parents less than 6 months after birth, but only if the father:
    • Openly lived with the child or the child's mother for a continuous period of 6 months immediately preceding the placement of the child for adoption
    • Openly held himself out to be the father of such child during such period
    • Paid a fair and reasonable sum, in accordance with his means, for the medical, hospital, and nursing expenses incurred in connection with the mother's pregnancy or with the birth of the child
  • Any person or authorized agency having lawful custody of the adoptive child

An authorized agency may consent to the adoption of a minor whose custody and guardianship has been transferred to that agency.

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Dom. Rel. Law § 111

Consent to adoption shall be required of the adoptive child who is age 14 or older unless the judge or surrogate in his or her discretion dispenses with that consent.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Dom. Rel. Law § 111

Consent shall not be required of a parent or of any other person having custody of the child, as follows:

  • Who evinces an intent to forego his or her parental or custodial rights and obligations as manifested by his or her failure for a period of 6 months to visit the child and communicate with the child or person having legal custody of the child, although able to do so
  • Who has surrendered the child to an authorized agency
  • For whose child a guardian has been appointed
  • Who, by reason of mental illness or intellectual disability, is presently and for the foreseeable future unable to provide proper care for the child
  • Who has executed an affidavit, which shall be irrevocable, denying the paternity of the child

When Consent Can Be Executed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Dom. Rel. § 115-b; Soc. Serv. Law. § 384

A consent to adoption executed by a person who is in foster care shall only be executed before a judge of the family court.

A consent to a private placement adoption may be executed or acknowledged before any judge or surrogate having jurisdiction over adoption proceedings in this State. Such consent shall state that it is irrevocable upon such execution or acknowledgment.

At the time that a parent appears before a judge or surrogate to execute or acknowledge a consent to adoption, the judge or surrogate shall inform the parent of the consequences of that act, including informing the parent of the right to be represented by legal counsel of the parent's own choosing and of the right to obtain supportive counseling. The judge or surrogate shall give the parent a copy of such consent upon the execution thereof.

In any case in which a consent is not executed or acknowledged before a judge or surrogate, that consent shall be executed or acknowledged before a notary public or other officer authorized to take proof of deeds. A copy of the consent shall be given to the parent upon the execution thereof.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Dom. Rel. § 115-b

A judicial consent shall state that it is irrevocable upon such execution or acknowledgment.

An extrajudicial consent shall become irrevocable 45 days after the execution of the consent unless written notice of revocation thereof is received by the court in which the adoption proceeding is to begin within the 45 days. The notice of revocation shall go into effect only if the adoptive parents fail to oppose such revocation or if they oppose such revocation and the court has determined that the best interests of the child will be served by giving force and effect to such revocation.

Nothing contained in this section shall bar actions or proceedings brought on the ground of fraud, duress, or coercion in the execution of an adoption consent.