New York Consolidated Laws, Domestic Relations Law - DOM § 112. General provisions relating to adoption from authorized agencies

In an adoption from an authorized agency the following requirements shall be observed:

1. The adoptive parents or parent and the adoptive child must appear for examination before a judge or surrogate of the county specified in section one hundred thirteen of this title.  The judge or surrogate, however, may in his discretion dispense with the personal appearance of the adoptive child or of an adoptive parent who is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

2. The adoptive parents or parent and the adoptive child if over eighteen years of age must present to such judge or surrogate (a) a petition stating the names and place of residence of the petitioners;  whether they are of full age;  whether they are married or unmarried and, if married, whether they are living together as husband and wife;  the first name, date and place of birth of the adoptive child as nearly as the same can be ascertained;  a statement on information and belief that there will be annexed to the petition a schedule verified by a duly constituted official of the authorized agency as required by this section;  the religious faith of the petitioners;  the religious faith of the adoptive child and his or her parents as nearly as the same can be ascertained;  the manner in which the adoptive parents obtained the adoptive child;  whether the child was placed or brought into the state of New York from out of state for the purpose of adoption, whether the placement was subject to the provisions of section three hundred seventy-four-a of the social services law and if the placement was subject to the provisions of such section, whether the provisions of such section were complied with;  the period of time during which the adoptive child has resided with the adoptive parents;  the occupation and approximate income of the petitioners, including support and maintenance, if any, to be received on behalf of the adoptive child from a commissioner of social services, pursuant to the social services law, and the new name, if any, by which the adoptive child is to be known;  whether the adoptive parent or parents has or have knowledge that an adoptive parent is the subject of an indicated report, as such terms are defined in section four hundred twelve of the social services law , filed with the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment pursuant to title six of article six of the social services law, or has been the subject of or the respondent in a child protective proceeding commenced under article ten of the family court act, which proceeding resulted in an order finding that the child is an abused or neglected child;  that no previous application has been made to any court or judge for the relief sought or if so made, the disposition of it and a statement as to whether the adoptive child had been previously adopted, all of which statements shall be taken prima facie as true;  (b) an agreement on the part of the adoptive parents or parent to adopt and treat the adoptive child as their or his or her own lawful child;  (c) the consents required by section one hundred eleven of this article.

2-a. In the petition provided for in subdivision two of this section, the adoptive parents or parent and the adoptive child if over eighteen years of age shall present to the judge or surrogate as nearly as can be ascertained the heritage of the parents, which shall include nationality, ethnic background and race;  education, which shall be the number of years of school completed by the parents at the time of the birth of the adoptive child;  general physical appearance of the parents at the time of the birth of the adoptive child, which shall include height, weight, color of hair, eyes, skin;  occupation of the parents at the time of the birth of the adoptive child;  health and medical history of the parents at the time of the birth of the adoptive child, including all available information setting forth conditions or diseases believed to be hereditary, any drugs or medication taken during the pregnancy by the child's mother;  and any other information which may be a factor influencing the child's present or future health, talents, hobbies and special interests of parents.  The petition shall also include the names and current addresses of the biological parents, if known.

3. The authorized agency must present to such judge or surrogate a schedule to be annexed to the petition which shall be verified by a duly constituted official of the authorized agency having custody of the adoptive child or actually placing the child for adoption and shall contain (1) the full name of the child, (2) the manner in which the authorized agency obtained custody of the adoptive child, (3) the facts, if any, which render unnecessary the consent of either or both of the parents of the adoptive child, (4) a statement whether either parent had ever requested the agency to return the child to the parent, within thirty days of the execution and delivery of an instrument of surrender to an authorized agency and, if so, all facts relating thereto.  If a request for return of the child to a parent be made after the presentation to the court of the petition and schedule, the authorized agency shall promptly report to the court in writing the facts relating thereto and (5) all available information comprising the child's medical history. If the child was placed into the state of New York for the purpose of adoption and such placement was subject to the provisions of section three hundred seventy-four-a of the social services law , the authorized agency shall attach to the petition a copy of the document, signed by New York's administrator of the interstate compact for the placement of children or his designee, which informs the agency or person who placed the child into the state that such placement complied with the provisions of the compact.

4. None of the papers in the proceeding shall state the surname of the child in the title and no petition, agreement, consent, affidavit, nor any other document which is required to be signed by the adoptive parents shall contain the surname of the adoptive child.

5. The petition must be verified, the agreement and consents executed and acknowledged and the proof given by the respective persons before such judge or surrogate;  but where the verification, agreement or necessary consent is duly acknowledged or proved and certified in form sufficient to entitle a conveyance to be recorded in this state, (except that when executed and acknowledged within the state of New York, no certificate of the county clerk shall be required), such judge or surrogate may grant the order of adoption without the personal appearance of such persons or parties or any of them for good cause shown, which reason shall be recited in the order of adoption.

6. Where the adoptive child is less than eighteen years of age, no order of adoption shall be made until such child has resided with the adoptive parents for at least three months unless the judge or surrogate in his discretion shall dispense with such period of residence and shall recite in the order the reason for such action.  When the adoptive parents are the foster parents in whose home the adoptive child has been placed out or boarded out for a period in excess of three months, such period shall be deemed to constitute the required period of residence.

7. Before making an order of adoption the judge or surrogate shall inquire of the department of social services and the department shall inform the court whether an adoptive parent is the subject of an indicated report, as such terms are defined in section four hundred twelve of the social services law , filed with the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment pursuant to title six of article six of the social services law and shall cause to be made an investigation by a disinterested person or by an authorized agency specifically designated by the judge or surrogate to examine into the allegations set forth in the petition and to ascertain such other facts relating to the adoptive child and adoptive parents as will give such judge or surrogate adequate basis for determining the propriety of approving the adoption.  A written report of such investigation shall be submitted before the order of adoption is made.  As used in this subdivision, “disinterested person” includes the probation service of the family court.  Such an inquiry shall not be required if the findings of such an inquiry made within the past twelve months is available to the judge or surrogate.

7-a. Any order subject to the provisions of this section shall include an adoption information registry birth parent registration consent form, stating whether or not such biological parent or parents whose consent is subject to the provisions of this section, consents to the receipt of identifying information by the child to be adopted upon registration with the adoption information registry established by section forty-one hundred thirty-eight-c of the public health law and upon the adoptee reaching the age of eighteen.  If such consent is made, it shall be revocable by either of the biological parents at any time.  The revocation of the consent by one of the parents shall revoke the consent of both parents.  The failure of a biological parent to complete the consent form shall have no effect on the finality of the consent to adoption.  A copy of the form required by this subdivision, shall be forwarded to the state adoption information registry for inclusion in the records maintained by such registry.  Any fees authorized to be charged by the state adoption registry for filing documentation with such registry shall be waived for the form required by this subdivision.

8. Rules of court shall permit the filing of a petition for adoption of a child whose custody and guardianship has not yet been committed to an authorized agency where a proceeding to terminate parental rights is pending.  Such adoption petition shall be filed in the court where the termination of parental rights proceeding is pending.  The clerk of such court shall accept the adoption petition for filing and processing and shall request such inquiries of the department of social services as are required by subdivision seven of this section, provided, however, that the petition, supporting documents and the fact of their filing shall not be provided to the judge before whom the petition for termination of parental rights is pending until such time as fact-finding is concluded under such petition.


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