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How to Adopt in Nevada

Whether you considering adopting, fostering, or making an adoption plan for your baby, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about adoption in Nevada. Learn more about Nevada adoption and foster care services, agencies, and adoption laws in Las Vegas, Reno, and anywhere else in the state.

Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Adopting a Child in Nevada

The laws and process to adopt are determined by the state. If you are considering adopting a baby in Nevada, read on to learn more about Nevada adoption qualifications and regulations.

What are the laws and qualifications for adopting a child in Nevada?

To adopt a child in Nevada, you must be at least 10 years older than the child you are adopting. If you are married, you must petition to adopt jointly.

What adoption expenses can be paid by adoptive families in Nevada?

Prospective adoptive parents may pay medical and living expenses related to the birth of a child as an act of charity. An attorney may receive compensation for legal services but may not be paid to find children for adoption or to find adoptive parents. Only licensed child-placing agencies may accept fees for operational expenses in connection with assisting or arranging the placement of a child.

What are the laws to become a foster parent in Nevada?

In Nevada, foster parents must be legal residents and at least 21 years old. Foster parents must have a landline phone and sufficient income to cover their financial needs. All foster parents should be of good character; prior arrests or convictions may prevent licensing. If you have a spouse or partner, he or she will also need to participate in the home study and attend required trainings.

What are the requirements to finalize an international adoption in Nevada?

When the state registrar receives a certified report of international adoption for a child who is a citizen of the United State and adoptive parents who are residents of Nevada, the state registrar will prepare and file a supplementary birth certificate and seal and file the report.

Is it legal to use advertising or facilitators to adopt in Nevada?

Child-placing agencies may publish or broadcast a photograph or other relevant personal information concerning a child who is difficult to place for adoption. However, the agency cannot publish or broadcast any information that reveals the identity of the child or his or her parents and must get prior approval from the agency having actual custody of the child before publication.
Only agencies providing child welfare services may advertise that they will place children for adoption. Child-placing agencies must include in any advertisements a statement that they hold a valid, unrevoked license issued by the division and indicate the agency’s license number. No one without a license to operate a child-placing agency may request or accept any compensation or thing of value for placing or assisting in the placement of a child for adoption. An attorney may not be compensated for assisting in finding children for adoption or finding parents to adopt children.
This does not prohibit a parent or guardian from placing or arranging placement of a child for adoption.

Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Placing a Baby for Adoption in Nevada

As an expectant mother considering adoption in Nevada, you may be wondering about the laws and your rights in the Nevada adoption process. The following section includes answers to common questions about Nevada adoption requirements.

When and how can birth parents consent to the adoption?

A mother’s consent can be given 72 hours after the child’s birth. Unmarried fathers may consent prior to the birth of the child.

Who must consent to the adoption?

In Nevada, written consent must be given by both parents (or one parent if the other is deceased) or the guardian of the child appointed by the court. If the child being adopted is age 14 or older, his or her consent is also required.

When is consent not needed?

Consent is not necessary when a parent has been adjudged insane for two years if the court is satisfied by evidence that the insanity is incurable. Consent is not required of a parent whose rights have been terminated by the court.

When does the birth parents’ consent become irrevocable?

An unmarried father’s consent becomes invalid if he marries the child’s mother before the child is born, if the mother of the child does not consent to adoption within six months of the child’s birth, or if an adoption petition has not been filed within two years of the child’s birth.

What rights does the father of the baby have in Nevada adoptions?

A putative father is a man who is alleged or reputed to be the father of a child born out of wedlock. A parent and child relationship is the legal relationship between a child and his or her parents on which the law confers or imposes rights, privileges, duties and obligations.
A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:

  • He and the child’s mother are or were married to each other when the child is born or within 285 days prior to the child’s birth
  • He and the child’s mother were cohabiting for at least six months prior to conception and continued to cohabit through the period of conception
  • Before the child’s birth, he and the child’s mother attempted to marry each other, though the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the marriage or within 285 days after it is terminated by the court or 285 days after termination of cohabitation
  • He receives the child into his home and openly claims the child as his own
  • Genetic testing shows at least a 99 percent probability that he is the father

Paternity can be established if the child’s mother and the father sign a declaration for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.
A child, his or her mother, a presumed or alleged father or an interested third party may bring an action to declare the existence or nonexistence of the father and child relationship. Evidence of paternity may include evidence of sexual intercourse between the mother and alleged father at any possible time of conception, an expert’s opinion concerning the statistical probability of paternity based on the duration of the mother’s pregnancy, the results of any genetic testing performed by an approved organization, and more.

Home Study and Post-Placement Requirements in Nevada

Before a child will be placed in a foster or adoptive home in Nevada, prospective parents must complete the home study process and be approved for a foster license or adoptive placement. The home study evaluates the parents’ preparedness and ability to provide a safe home for a child. In this section, find more information about what to expect during the Nevada home study.

What is included in the Nevada home study process?

To begin the home study process in Nevada, prospective parents must complete a written application, submit a copy of their fingerprints, sign a release of information and provide necessary information to the agency to evaluate the home.
The agency’s evaluation will include an interview and assessment of the applicants, an inquiry into any factors that are necessary to determine the ability of the applicant to meet the child’s needs, a fire and safety inspection of the home, a review of any child abuse or neglect reports or investigations for any adult member of the household, criminal history checks for any adult member of the household, five satisfactory references, a medical examination of each member of the household and verification of the applicants’ marital status.

Who is included in the home study process?

The home study includes the adoptive applicants and any adult member of the household age 18 or older.

Who will conduct the home study?

The study must be completed by a child-placing agency or an agency that provides child welfare services.

On what grounds will the home study not be approved in Nevada?

The home study will be denied if:

  • The applicant submits false information or withholds relevant information
  • The applicant refuses or fails to provide requested information
  • Two people are petitioning to adopt jointly and are not legally married to each other
  • A married couple is applying to adopt jointly but the marriage is determined to be unstable
  • A married person is petitioning to adopt singly
  • The applicant’s housing is inadequate to accommodate an additional child
  • The applicant is not financially responsible
  • The applicant has not adequately prepared to provide ongoing physical and emotional care to a child
  • The agency has concerns about the applicant’s moral character, mental stability or motivations to adopt
  • A member of the household has been convicted, arrested, or has charges pending for a crime involving harm to a child
  • A member of the household has charges pending for a felony conviction or has been arrested and is awaiting final disposition of possible or pending charges involving:
    • Child abuse or neglect
    • Spousal abuse
    • A crime against children, including child pornography
    • A crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault or homicide
    • Physical assault, battery or a drug-related offense committed in the past five years
  • The agency has concerns about the safety or well-being of the child if the child is placed with the applicant

When should the home study be completed? When must the home study be renewed?

The home study must be completed prior to placement and must be updated annually until a child has been placed with the applicant.

What are the post-placement study requirements for Nevada?

After a child is placed in an adoptive home, the agency will make at least one supervisory visit per month until the adoption is finalized. In the case of a child with special needs, the agency will make a supervisory visit once per week during the month following placement and once per month until the adoption is finalized. The agency will document all contact made with the adoptive family, child, and other people knowing or having contact with the child and will provide consultation with or referral to community resources necessary to meet the child’s needs. If the agency has concerns about the placement, they may contact teachers, babysitters, counselors, medical care providers, government agencies or anyone else having contact with the child to ensure the child’s needs are being met.

What are the home study requirements for stepparent or relative adoptions in Nevada?

In the case of relative adoptions within the third degree, the court may waive the investigation by the agency.

What are the pre-placement requirements to adopt a child that is currently in my care?

If a child’s foster parent is chosen as the adoptive parent for that child, the agency providing child welfare services will review the parent’s licensing record, update the study of the prospective adoptive home, request and review any criminal history records or child abuse or neglect reports and determine whether the family is eligible for financial or other assistance.
To begin the home study process in Nevada, contact one of these trusted home study providers in your state:

  • Premier Adoption
    Premier Adoption Agency is a Nevada=licensed home study and full service adoption agency. Premier Adoption takes the guesswork out of the home study evaluation and adoption process.
  • Adoption Choices of Nevada
    Adoption Choices of Nevada is a Nevada licensed child-placing agency with staff in the Reno and Las Vegas areas that can provide services throughout the entire state. Adoption Choices of Nevada provides home study and post-placement services and can also counsel and match adoptive families and prospective birth parents.

Visit 1800HomeStudy.com to learn more about Nevada home study providers.

Nevada Adoption Professionals

Whether you are an expectant mother making an adoption plan or hopeful parents considering adoption, your adoption professional can help guide you through the process and offer more information about adoption in Nevada. These adoption professionals are experienced in completing Nevada adoptions and can help you reach your adoption goals:

For more information about foster care and foster-to-adopt in Nevada, visit The Adoption Exchange.  

Things to do in Nevada         

If you find yourself spending some time in the Natural State, whether you are waiting for ICPC clearances so you can return to your home state, or you are visiting a prospective birth mother in her home state of Nevada, here are a few fun things you can enjoy during your stay:

For more information about traveling to Nevada, visit http://travelnevada.com/.

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