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- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 25. Marital and Domestic Relations
- Chapter 23. Adoption
- Section 180. Relinquishment and Termination of Parent and Child Relationships.
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AS 25.23.180. Relinquishment and Termination of Parent and Child Relationships.
- (a) The rights of a parent with reference to a child, including parental right to control the child or to withhold consent
to an adoption, may be relinquished and the relationship of parent and child terminated in or before an adoption
proceeding as provided in this section.
- (b) All rights of a parent with reference to a child, including the right to receive notice of a hearing on a petition for
adoption, may be relinquished and the relationship of parent and child terminated by a writing, signed by the parent,
regardless of the age of the parent, a copy of which shall be given to the parent,
- (1) in the presence of a representative of an agency taking custody of the child, whether the agency is within or outside
of the state or in the presence and with the approval of a court within or outside of this state in which the minor was
present or in which the parent resided at the time it was signed, which relinquishment may be withdrawn within 10 days
after it is signed or the child is born, whichever is later; and the relinquishment is invalid unless it states that
the parent has this right of withdrawal; or
- (2) in any other situation if the petitioner has had custody of the minor for two years, but only if notice of the
adoption proceeding has been given to the parent and the court finds, after considering the circumstances of the
relinquishment and the long continued custody by the petitioner, that the best interest of the child requires the
granting of adoption.
- (c) The relationship of parent and child may be terminated by a court order issued in connection with a proceeding under
this chapter or a proceeding under AS 47.10 on the grounds
- (1) specified in AS 47.10.080
(o) or 47.10.088;
- (2) that a parent who does not have custody is unreasonably withholding consent to adoption, contrary to the best interest
of the minor child; or
- (3) that the parent committed an act constituting sexual assault or sexual abuse of a minor under the laws of this state
or a comparable offense under the laws of the state where the act occurred that resulted in conception of the child and
that termination of the parental rights of the biological parent is in the best interests of the child.
- (d) For the purpose of an adoption proceeding under this chapter, a decree issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in
this or another state terminating all rights of a parent with reference to a child or the relationship of parent and
child dispenses with the required
- (1) consent by that parent to an adoption of that child; and
- (2) notice of a proceeding to that parent unless otherwise required by this section.
- (e) A petition for termination of the relationship of parent and child made in connection with an adoption proceeding or
in an independent proceeding for the termination of parental rights on grounds set out in (c)(3) of this section may be
- (1) either parent if termination of the relationship is sought with respect to the other parent;
- (2) the petitioner for adoption, the guardian of the person, the legal custodian of the child, or the individual standing
in parental relationship to the child;
- (3) an agency; or
- (4) another person having a legitimate interest in the matter.
- (f) Before the petition is heard, notice of the hearing on the petition and opportunity to be heard shall be given the
parents of the child, the guardian of the person of the child, the person having legal custody of the child, and, in
the discretion of the court, a person appointed to represent any party.
- (g) Notwithstanding the provisions of (b) of this section, a relinquishment of parental rights with respect to a child,
executed under this section, may be withdrawn by the parent, and a decree of a court terminating the parent and child
relationship on grounds set out in (c)(1) and (2) of this section may be vacated by the court upon motion of the
parent, if the child is not on placement for adoption and the person having custody of the child consents in writing to
the withdrawal or vacation of the decree.
- (h) The respondent to a petition filed for the termination of parental rights on grounds set out in (c)(3) of this section
is entitled to representation in the proceedings by an attorney. If the respondent is financially unable to employ an
attorney, the court shall appoint the office of public advocacy to represent the respondent in the proceedings.
- (i) Proceedings for the termination of parental rights on the grounds set out in (c)(3) of this section do not affect the
rights of a victim of sexual abuse of a minor or incest to obtain legal and equitable civil remedies for all injuries
and damages arising out of the perpetrator's conduct.
- (j) In a relinquishment of parental rights executed under (a) of this section, a parent may
retain privileges with respect to the child, including the ability to have future contact, communication, and visitation
with the child. A retained privilege must be stated in writing with specificity. Not less than 10 days after the
relinquishment is signed, the court may enter an order terminating parental rights if the court finds that termination
of parental rights under the terms of the agreement is in the child's best interest. If a parent has retained one or
more privileges, the court shall incorporate the retained privileges into the termination order with a recommendation
that the retained privileges be incorporated in an adoption or legal guardianship decree.
- (k) A voluntary relinquishment may not be withdrawn and a termination order may not be vacated
on the ground that a retained privilege has been withheld from the relinquishing parent or that the relinquishing parent
has been unable, for any reason, to act on a retained privilege, except as provided in Rule 60(b), Alaska Rules of Civil
- (l) After a termination order is entered, a person who has voluntarily relinquished parental
rights under this section may request a review hearing, upon a showing of good cause, to seek enforcement or
modification of or to vacate a privilege retained in the termination order. The court may modify, enforce, or vacate the
retained privilege if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that it is in the best interest of the child to
- (m) After a termination order is entered and before the entry of an adoption or legal
guardianship decree, a prospective adoptive parent or a guardian of a child who is the subject of an adoption decree may
request, after providing notice as specified under this subsection, that the court decline to incorporate a privilege
retained in a termination order and recommended for incorporation in an adoption or guardianship decree under (j) of
this section. The request made under this subsection may only be considered by the court after providing at least 20
days' notice by certified mail to the last known address of the person who has voluntarily relinquished parental rights
to the child. The notice under this subsection must describe the request and explain that the recipient of the notice
may submit a written statement under penalty of perjury to the court that the recipient either agrees with or opposes
the request. The notice must also include the deadline for submitting the statement and the mailing address of the
court. The court may decline to incorporate a retained privilege if the person who retained the privilege agrees with
the request or if the court finds that it is in the child's best interest.
- (n) A person who relinquished parental rights is entitled to the appointment of an attorney if a
hearing is requested under (l) or (m) of this section to the same extent as if the parent's rights had not been
terminated in a child-in-need-of-aid proceeding.
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