Nevada law allows for the adoption of both children and adults. Any adult person, or any two persons married to each other, who are at least ten years older than the person sought to be adopted, may petition to adopt a child. There are special statutes applicable to American Indian children.

Understanding Child Adoption in Nevada: The Role of Biological/Legal Parent Consent in Adoption

The child’s consent is necessary if the child is over the age of 14. Written consent must be given by the biological/legal parents, unless they are dead, adjudged insane, or their rights have been terminated. [See Termination of Parental Rights.] A written consent to a specific adoption by a birth mother must not be made until at least 72 hours after the birth of the child sought to be adopted. There are specific statutory requirements for a valid consent to adoption, but once validly made, it is irrevocable.

The Adoption Home Study Process in Nevada

The statutes provide for a home study to be completed by the Division of Child and Family Services, or a licensed adoption agency, but it can be waived if a petitioner or the spouse of the petitioner is related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity.

It is also possible for a parent to relinquish custody of a child to the Division of Child & Family Services, which is like a consent to adoption, but without reference to a specific person or persons to whom consent to adopt is given.

Termination of Parental Rights: A Precursor to Adoption

An adoption of a child cuts off all family ties to the natural parents’ other relatives (grandparents, etc.) unless those third parties had specific court-ordered rights established before the adoption was ordered. Any purported agreement between the natural parents and the adoptive parents are unenforceable unless set out in the decree of adoption.

Adult Adoption Laws in Nevada: How to Legally Adopt Someone Over 18

For adult adoptions, the statutes require that any adult person may adopt any other adult person younger than himself, except the spouse of the adopting person, by an agreement of adoption approved by a Decree of Adoption. No consent from a parent, third party, or agency is required for an adult adoption, but a consent is required from any spouse of both the adopting party and the adopted party, if either is married.

Adoption- The adopting person attains full parental rights. All obligations, including financial support, fall on the adopting adult. The adopting adult legally becomes the child’s parent.


Different types of adoptions:

  • stepparent
  • domestic partners
  • agency
  • independent
  • international

NRS 127.160 Rights and duties of adopted child and adoptive parents.

Upon the entry of an order of adoption, the child shall become the legal child of the persons adopting him, and they shall become his legal parents with all the rights and duties between them of natural parents and legitimate child. By virtue of such adoption he shall inherit from his adoptive parents or their relatives the same as though he were the legitimate child of such parents, and in case of his death intestate the adoptive parents and their relatives shall inherit his estate as if they had been his natural parents and relatives in fact. After a decree of adoption is entered, the natural parents of an adopted child shall be relieved of all parental responsibilities for such child, and they shall not exercise or have any rights over such adopted child or his property. The child shall not owe his natural parents or their relatives any legal duty nor shall he inherit from his natural parents or kindred.

Step-Parent and Common Law Adoptions in Nevada

Notwithstanding any other provisions to the contrary in this section, the adoption of a child by his stepparent shall not in any way change the status of the relationship between the child and his natural parent who is the spouse of the petitioning stepparent.

Navigating Contested and Uncontested Adoption Cases with Willick Law Group

WILLICK LAW GROUP has completed a number of adoption actions, involving both contested and uncontested cases.

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Marshal S. Willick
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