Court Jurisdiction and Venue for Adoption Petitions - Vermont

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Jurisdiction

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 3-101

The probate division of the superior court has jurisdiction over an adoption proceeding if any of the following apply:

  • Immediately before commencement of the proceeding, the minor lived in the State with a parent, guardian, prospective adoptive parent, or another person acting as parent for at least 6 consecutive months, including periods of temporary absence, or, in the case of a minor under 6 months of age, lived with any of those persons from soon after birth.
  • An agency placed the minor for adoption, and it is in the best interests of the minor that a court of this State assume jurisdiction because the minor and his or her parents, or the minor and the prospective adoptive parent, have a significant connection with the State, and substantial evidence is available in concerning the minor's care.
  • The minor and the prospective adoptive parent are physically present in the State, and the minor has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the minor from abuse or threatened abuse or neglect.
  • It appears that no other State would have jurisdiction, or another State has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this State is the more appropriate forum to hear a petition for adoption of the minor, and it is in the best interests of the minor that a court of this State assume jurisdiction.

A court of this State may not exercise jurisdiction over an adoption if, at the time the petition is filed, a proceeding concerning the custody or adoption of the minor is pending in a court of another State exercising jurisdiction substantially in conformity with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act or this title, unless the proceeding is stayed by the court of the other State.

Venue

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 3-102

A petition for adoption may be filed in the probate division of the superior court in the district in which a petitioner resides or has legal residence at the time of filing, the adopted person resides, or an office of an agency or the department that placed the adopted person is located.

A consent or petition for relinquishment or termination of parental rights may be filed in the probate division of the superior court in the district in which the minor resides, a relinquishing parent resides, or the agency or person receiving the relinquishment has its principal place of business.