Alternate Service in Adoption

It is always necessary to give all interested parties proper notice of pending adoption proceedings. A copy of the adoption petition should be served on all interested parties, e.g. persons with parental rights to the minor child(ren) involved. If you do not have a good address for an interested party, there are other alternatives to provide notice. First, you will need to demonstrate a need for an alternate method of service and petition the court to get permission. The usual method of alternate service in a situation where the current whereabouts of a party are unknown is publication in the newspaper where the party was last known to reside.

The court’s order permitting publication would dictate for how many weeks the notice must be published in the newspaper. You should be careful to include all necessary information in the publication so that the court can accept the publication as acceptable method of alternate service. The newspaper subsequently provides an affidavit confirming the publication. This affidavit should be submitted to the court as proof that the required publication was completed. Using publication as an alternate method of service does increase the costs of the adoption matter as it can cost several hundred dollars to publish in the newspaper.  By April M. Townsend