45.0402 Relinquishment procedure-Petition-Hearings.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 45.0402]

(a) Any parent desiring to relinquish his child petitions the Court upon forms supplied by the Court, giving the following information: name of both natural parents, if known; name of the child, if named; ages of all parties concerned; race and religion of both natural parents, if known; and why relinquishment is desired.

(b) Upon receipt of the petition, the Court sets it for hearing.

(c) The parental rights of a parent may not be terminated by relinquishment proceedings unless the parent join in the petition.

(d) The Court does not issue an order of relinquishment until it is satisfied that the relinquishing parent has been counseled and fully advised of the consequences of his act.

(e) If the Court believes after the hearing that it is in the best interests of the parties concerned that no relinquishment be granted, the Court enters an order dismissing the action.

(f) If the Court is satisfied after the hearing that the relinquishing parent or parents have been counseled under (d) above and that the relinquishment would best serve the interests of all parties concerned, it enters an order of relinquishment.

(g) If the Court is not satisfied that the relinquishing parents have been offered proper and sufficient counsel and advice it continues the matter for a time the Court considers necessary.

History: 1980, PL 16-71 § 1.

Case Notes:

When natural parents desire to relinquish their own rights in order that some other person can adopt their child, the statutory procedure is a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights. A.S.C.A. § 45.0402. In re Three Minor Children (Mem.), 3 A.S.R.2d 4 (1986).

The territorial statute dealing with voluntary relinquishment of parental rights requires that the natural parents be present in court. A.S.C.A. § 45.0402. In re Three Minor Children (Mem.), 3 A.S.R.2d 4 (1986).

When purpose of action for relinquishment of parental rights was to allow the child to live with his grandmother, purpose could be achieved without the necessity of formal relinquishment and adoption, and the grandmother proposing to adopt was less well-equipped than natural parents to support the child throughout the period of his minority, petition to relinquish would be denied. A.S.C.A. § 45.0402. In re A Minor Child, 6 A.S.R.2d 123 (1987).

Court will not order relinquishment of parental rights until it is satisfied that the relinquishing parent has been counseled and fully advised of the consequences of relinquishment. A.S.C.A. § 45.0402(d). In re Two Minor Children, 8 A.S.R.2d 75 (1988).

In a petition to relinquish parental rights to a child, a court is required to first consider the best interest and welfare of the child, as well as the best interest of all concerned. A.S.C.A. §§ 45.0102, 45.0402. In re Two Minor Children, 19 A.S.R.2d 32 (1991).

A petition to relinquish parental rights to a child is not ordinarily favored unless the evidence is clear and convincing that the prospective adopting parents are in a better position to secure the best interest and welfare of the minor. A.S.C.A. §§ 45.0102, 45.0402. In re Two Minor Children, 19 A.S.R.2d 32 (1991).

Petitions of healthy, young, natural parents to relinquish their parental rights and obligations in favor of elderly relatives have been consistently rejected by the High Court. A.S.C.A. §§ 45.0102, 45.0402. In re A Minor Child, 19 A.S.R.2d 97 (1991).

Relinquishment of parental rights must be predicated on the best interests of all concerned, but disruption of natural family relationships may not be in the children's long-term best interests. A.S.C.A. § 45.0402(e). In re Three Minor Children, 23 A.S.R.2d 113 (1993).

Relinquishment of parental rights must be based in very substantial part on the best interests of all persons concerned; as such, the court refused to legally sever a minor's relationships with his natural family to have him raised by an older, single parent who is in poor health. A.S.C.A. § 45.0402(e). In re a Minor Child, 23 A.S.R.2d 129 (1993).

When natural parents desire to relinquish their own rights in order that some other person can adopt their child, the statutory procedure is a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights. A.S.C.A. § 45.0402. In re Three Minor Children (Mem.), 3 A.S.R.2d 4 (1986).

Research Guide: CRS 194-102.