Adoptions in Hawaii generally occur for two (2) reasons: a) a parent voluntarily relinquishes his or her parental rights to someone in a better position to provide for the child; or b) a parent’s custodial rights are involuntarily terminated by the Family Court because he or she cannot provide an appropriate home environment for the child or has otherwise failed to show the concern for a child normally exhibited by a parent.
Pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 578-2(c), your parental rights can be terminated and your child adopted by another adult, if: a) you have deserted your child without affording means of identification for a period of 90 days; b) you have voluntarily surrendered care and custody of your child to another for a period of two (2) years; c) you fail to communicate with your child for a period of one (1) year when he/she is in the custody of another and you have the ability to communicate with the child; d) you are not adjudicated or presumed to be the child’s father and you have not shown a “reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility” for the child; or e) you fail to respond to a written request for consent to adoption within 60 days. There are additional reasons why your parental rights can be terminated, but many people are surprised to learn that their child can be adopted for the statutory causes cited above.
Regardless whether the adoption is consensual or involuntary, Farrell & Associates strongly recommends hiring a qualified attorney to help you navigate the process. If the adoption is voluntary, it still requires the parties to properly file substantial amounts of paperwork with the Court; errors in filing the appropriate documents can substantially delay the adoption proceedings. If the adoption is involuntary, you will need an experienced litigator to assist you – whether you are the parent seeking to adopt the child or you are the parent seeking to prevent the adoption. Call a Farrell & Perrault attorney today for a free consult regarding your potential adoption.