Unregulated Custody Transfers of Adopted Children - Northern Mariana Islands

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Definitions

Citation: Commonwealth Law Tit. 8, §§ 1401; 1420

The term 'abandonment' means conduct that demonstrates an intent to forego all parental duties.

A person commits the offense of 'child trafficking' when they give or receive or offer to give or receive a minor, born or unborn, for adoption in exchange for money or anything of value, including personal services.

A person commits the offense of 'adoption for pay' when they adopt another or intentionally induce a person to adopt another in exchange for money or anything of value, including personal services.

Prohibited or Required Actions Regarding Custody

Citation: Commonwealth Law Tit. 8, § 1418

All rights of a parent with reference to a child, including the right to receive notice of a hearing on a petition for adoption, may be relinquished and the relationship of parent and child terminated by writing, signed by the parent, regardless of the age of the parent, as follows:

  • In the presence of a representative of an agency taking custody of the child
  • In the presence and with the approval of a judge of a court of record
  • In any other situation, if the petitioner has had custody of the minor for 2 years, but only if notice of the adoption proceeding had been given to the parent and the court finds, after considering the circumstances of the relinquishment and the long-continued custody by the petitioner, that the child's best interests require the granting of the adoption

Exceptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Consequences

Citation: Commonwealth Law Tit. 8, § 1420

The commission of 'child trafficking' or 'adoption for pay' shall constitute a felony and shall be punishable by 1 year imprisonment or a $10,000 fine, or both.