Consent to Adoption - Oregon

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Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.321; 109.323; 109.325

Consent in writing to the adoption of a minor child is required to be given by the following:

  • The parents of the child or a surviving parent
  • The guardian of the child if the child has no living parent
  • The next of kin in this State if the child has no living parent and no guardian
  • Some suitable person appointed by the court to act in as next friend of the child to give or withhold consent if the child has no living parent, guardian, or next of kin qualified to consent

If the legal custody of the child has been awarded in marital dissolution proceedings, except as provided in § 109.330(8) if the child is an Indian child, the written consent of the person to whom custody of the child has been awarded may be held sufficient by the court.

The Department of Human Services or an approved child-caring agency, acting in loco parentis, may consent to the adoption of a child who has been:

  • Surrendered to it for the purpose of adoption
  • Permanently committed to it by order of a court of competent jurisdiction
  • Surrendered to it for the purpose of adoption by one parent and permanently committed to it by a court of competent jurisdiction having jurisdiction of the other parent

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.328; 109.329

If the child is age 14 or older, the adoption shall not be made without the consent of the child.

Any person may petition the circuit court to adopt a person who is age 18 or older or who is legally married. The petition shall be accompanied by the written consent of each petitioner and the written consent of the person to be adopted.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.322; 109.324; 109.326; 109.330(8)

Except as provided in § 109.330(8), regarding an Indian child, an adoption may be granted without the consent of the parent if any of the following apply:

  • A parent has been adjudged mentally ill or mentally deficient and remains so at the time of the adoption proceedings.
  • A parent is incarcerated for a term of no less than 3 years.
  • A parent has willfully deserted the child or neglected without just and sufficient cause to provide proper care for the child for 1 year immediately prior to the filing of the adoption petition.
  • The mother of a child was married at the time of the child's conception or birth, and it has been determined that her husband is not the father of the child; in this case, the husband's consent is not required.

Effective January 2, 2022: The court may not enter a judgment of adoption of an Indian child without the consent of the parent unless the following apply:

  • The parties have had the opportunity to participate in mediation.
  • If requested by the Tribe, an agreement is in place to maintain connection between the Indian child and the Indian child's Tribe.
  • Evidence, including the testimony of one or more qualified expert witnesses, establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the continued custody of the Indian child by the nonconsenting parent is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child and that active efforts to reunite the Indian family did not eliminate the necessity for termination of the nonconsenting parent's parental rights.

The evidence must show a causal relationship between the conditions in the Indian child's home and the likelihood of serious emotional or physical damage to the child. Community or family poverty, isolation, single parenthood, custodian age, inadequate housing, substance abuse, or nonconforming social behavior does not, by itself, establish a causal relationship.

When Consent Can Be Executed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 109.321; 109.346; 418.270

Consent must be in writing and have its validity attested to by the court or an authorized person.

A birth parent consenting to an adoption shall receive notice of the birth parent's right to payment for three adoption-related counseling sessions prior to surrender or relinquishment of the child for adoption and three sessions of adoption-related counseling after surrender or relinquishment of the child for adoption.

Notice of the right to adoption-related counseling shall be in writing and shall be provided to the consenting birth parent by either the attorney for the birth parent, the agency representative taking the birth parent's consent, or the attorney for the prospective adoptive parent. Before entry of a judgment of adoption, the agency or attorney providing the written notice shall submit verification to the court that the notice was given to the consenting birth parent.

A parent may execute consent or surrender to a child-placing agency for the purpose of placing the child for adoption by that agency.

Effective January 2, 2022: If the agency has reason to know that a child being released or surrendered is an Indian child, the following apply:

  • The release, surrender, or certificate of irrevocability and waiver must be executed before a court.
  • The agency shall petition the court to hold a hearing in which the child's parent may execute the release, surrender, or certificate of irrevocability and waiver.

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 109.321

A person who gives consent to adoption may agree concurrently or subsequently to the giving of such consent that the consent shall be or become irrevocable and may waive such person's right to a personal appearance in court by a duly signed and attested certificate. The certificate of irrevocability and waiver shall be in effect when the following are completed:

  • The child is placed for the purpose of adoption in the physical custody of the person or persons to whom the consent is given.
  • The person or persons to whom consent for adoption is given have filed a petition to adopt the child in a court of competent jurisdiction.
  • The court has entered an order appointing the petitioner or some other suitable person as guardian of the child.
  • A home study has been filed with the court approving the petitioners as potential adoptive parents.
  • Information about the child's social, medical, and genetic history has been provided by the person giving consent to the adoption.
  • The person signing the certificate of irrevocability and waiver has been given an explanation of the consequences of signing the certificate.

Upon the fulfillment of the conditions above, the consent for adoption may not be revoked unless fraud or duress is proved with respect to any material fact.

A certificate of irrevocability is not valid for a child who is subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act.