Confirming Consent to Adoption
If the natural parent(s) agree to the adoption and are signing off on their rights, prospective parents may file a petition to confirm their consent to finalize the voluntary termination of their parental rights. In this scenario, the child is usually already in the care of the prospective parent(s). The prospective parent must consent to accept custody of the child until such time as the child is adopted. The prospective parent(s) would also need to file a report of intention to adopt with the court.
The natural parents should appear at the hearing to offer testimony regarding their consent. The court needs to verify the consent was entered knowingly and voluntarily. If the natural parents are not present, the parties who served as witnesses at the time the consent was executed may be called to testify as well as any notary that notarized the document. After the hearing, the court may enter a decree terminating parental rights if satisfied that the consents were properly executed and there was no duress or fraud. The prospective parent(s) would still need to appear at subsequent hearing to finalize the adoption. Hearings for confirmation of consent are to be confidential such that the identities of the parties involved is not disclosed.