Do biological parents have to consent to adoption?

Posted by Lauren S. CohenJun 02, 20210 Comments

Your family has decided to adopt a child. The commitment to add a new member to your family is courageous and challenging. You may have many concerns about the adoption process, including the steps the biological parents need to take to see the adoption through. 

One essential question you may have is: must biological parents consent to the adoption? 

Adoption laws

Consent to an adoption is an agreement by a parent or agency to give up a child for adoption and release all rights and duties to that child. New York laws have specific consent requirements. Adoption processes typically fall into two categories: 

  • Agency adoption: A foster care agency or private adoption agency consents to the adoption of the child in its care and guardianship 
  • Private adoption: Private individuals need to give their consent before a child can go through adoption 

Private placement adoption consent

Private placement adoption may require consent from biological parents, including: 

  • If birth parents are married, both must consent 
  • If birth parents are not married, the mother must consent to the adoption. Consent by the father is requisite if his contact with the child has been consistent 
  • If birth parents abandoned the child, the court may determine that the parents' consent is not necessary 

Adopting a child can be a profound and joyous event. Every adoption is unique, but it is important that the adoption follows consent laws. Having all the facts regarding your specific situation can ensure a safe and stable outcome for your family and your adopted child.