Every year, many adoptive families and prospective birth mothers look to begin the adoption process in the Cornhusker State. If this describes your situation, then you will need to be aware of the laws, processes, and adoption professionals in Nebraska. By viewing the information below, you will have the information you need to begin your Nebraska adoption.
Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Adopting a Child in Nebraska
In order to adopt a child, you must follow the regulations set forth by your state. In the following sections, you can learn about Nebraska’s unique adoption laws for adoptive parents.
What are the laws and qualifications for adopting a child in Nebraska?
Any adult individual may adopt a child. Except in the case of a stepparent adoption, married couples must adopt jointly.
What adoption expenses can be paid by adoptive families in Nebraska?
Nebraska’s laws do not state any specifics on the type or amount of birth parents that may be covered. Speak with your adoption professional to determine if you will be able to provide financial aid to a birth mother.
What are the laws to become a foster parent in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, foster and adoptive parents must complete a 27-hour PRIDE training program. Through this orientation, you will learn to care for children with a variety of needs, help to nurture relationships between members of the household, and provide a safe and secure home environment.
What are the requirements to finalize an international adoption in Nebraska?
While Nebraska laws do not detail the process of finalizing an adoption or completing a re-adoption, they do state how families can obtain a U.S. certificate for their internationally adopted child. When you submit your application and adoption decree to a Nebraska court, your child will receive a new birth certificate containing:
- Sex and date of birth
- The child’s new name
- The probable place of birth
- Information for the adoptive family
Is it legal to use advertising or facilitators to adopt in Nebraska?
Aside from the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act, no person or entity may facilitate or advertise for an adoption unless approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Placing a Baby for Adoption in Nebraska
If you are pregnant and considering adoption in Nebraska, then the state has laws in place to protect you throughout the process. Read below to understand your rights as a prospective birth parent in Nebraska.
When and how can birth parents consent to the adoption?
Nebraska law requires a birth mother to wait for 48 hours after giving birth before she gives legally binding consent. An authorized officer and at least one witness must be present when consent is executed.
Who must consent to the adoption?
In Nebraska, consent must be given by:
- A Nebraska court
- The surviving parents of a child born in marriage
- An unmarried mother
- An unmarried and present father
When is consent not needed?
The consent of birth parents will not be required if:
- They have already given written consent
- They have abandoned the child for 6 months immediately before the adoption
- Their parental rights have been terminated by a court
- They are unable to give consent
When does the birth parents’ consent become irrevocable?
Nebraska’s statutes do not specify guidelines for the revocation of consent. Speak to your adoption professional for any questions you may have.
What rights does the father of the baby have in Nebraska adoptions?
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has a biological registry, where fathers can register to protect their parental rights. A Nebraska court may deem a man to be the biological father of a child, and from there the court will determine the father’s rights in the adoption process. The registry must include the following information:
- Information on the father
- The name and address of the mother
- The expected date of the child’s birth
- The case name and the name of the court overseeing the case
- A liability statement from the presumed father
The following individuals can register for paternity in Nebraska:
- A man determined by the court to be the biological father of a child born out of wedlock
- A presumed father who files for registry before receiving a notice of adoption
- A presumed father who files for registry after receiving notice of an adoption with the intent of claiming custody of the child
A mother or guardian may also call for a civil court proceeding to establish paternity to an alleged father.
Home Study and Post-Placement Requirements in Nebraska
For adoptive families, the home study is one of the greatest landmarks of the adoption process, as it signifies that you are ready to adopt a child. To learn about the home study process in Nebraska, see the following sections.
What is included in the Nebraska home study process?
The Nebraska home study will contain the following elements:
- One or more home inspections
- Interviews with members of the household
- An overall study in writing
- A self-study for families to complete
- Background checks
- Criminal record checks
- Medical information for the members of the household
- At least three references
While all Nebraska home studies must meet the state requirements, each provider may conduct the process slightly differently. Speak to your home study professional if you have any questions.
Who is included in the home study process?
Nebraska requires that the home study reviews the hopeful parents, any children they have, and anyone else who lives in the home where the child will be raised.
Who will conduct the home study?
Nebraska home studies are provided by either a licensed child-placing agency or the Department of Health and Human Services.
On what grounds will the home study not be approved in Nebraska?
A home study may be declined at the discretion of your home study provider. If it is not approved, you will be notified and given reasons for the decision.
When should the home study be completed? When must the home study be renewed?
A Nebraska home study is valid for one year. In order to adopt, you must do so during this time or renew your home study.
What is a post-placement study in the adoption process? What are the post-placement study requirements for Nebraska?
Post placement studies will occur after you have received placement of a child and before adoption finalization. These assessments ensure that the family is adjusting well to the adoption. A post-placement study will include:
- Supervision of the adoptive family
- Home visits with the parents
- Individual visits with the child
- Contact with other members of the household
- Assistance with welcoming a new child into the home and preparing for finalization
Post-placement supervision must take place for at least 6 months before an adoption can be finalized.
What are the home study requirements for stepparent or relative adoptions in Nebraska?
Unless a court requires it, a home study will not be required for stepparent or relative adoptions. These parents will still need to undergo background checks and receive approval from the court.
What are the home study requirements to adopt a child from another state?
The adoption agency must send a request for approval to the state where the child will be living. Before a child can be adopted into Nebraska or to another state from Nebraska, an agency must provide.
What are the requirements to adopt a child that is currently in my care?
Foster parents who wish to adopt a child in their care will not need to complete a home study. If you adopt a child from foster care, you will still need to undergo a post-placement assessment at least one week before your adoption hearing.
If you are looking to begin your home study in Nebraska, contact one of the following state-licensed providers:
- Adoption Consultants
Adoption Consultants has licensed social workers located in every area of Nebraska, with over 50 years of combined experience between them. See their website for more contact information.
- Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc.
LFS works with contracted home study providers to help you complete your Nebraska home study, whether or not you choose to work with their agency.
- Jewish Family Service
Located in Omaha, this agency will conduct your home study and post-placement assessments regardless of your religious affiliation.
Nebraska Adoption Professionals
Many families choose to work with an adoption agency because of the numerous benefits they provide. Here, you can find a list of Nebraska agencies and other professionals:
- American Adoptions
- Holt International
- Bethany Christian Services
- Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
- Avalon Center
- Catholic Charities Omaha
- Nebraska Children’s Home Society
- Child Saving Institute
- Nebraska Adoption Attorney
Things to do in Nebraska
If you are adopting in Nebraska, you may find yourself in the state to visit a birth mother or to wait for ICPC clearance. While you’re there, you can see some of the following Nebraska attractions: