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4 Important Hawaii Adoption Laws to Understand

Will These HI Adoption Laws Impact Your Family?

Adoption laws differ from state to state, so understanding the exact regulations for your home state can be a daunting task. As a hopeful adoptive parent, you probably have quite a few questions about the requirements and the adoption process, so we’ve compiled this guide in the hopes that it helps you in your research. Please keep in mind that, while this information is certainly intended to help you learn more about some basic laws concerning adoption in Hawaii, it does not serve as legal advice or take the place of a licensed attorney.

If you're ready to talk to an adoption specialist about adoption in Hawaii, reach out to us via our free online form.

Who can adopt a child in Hawaii?

 Adoption in Hawaii laws state that any of the following residents may adopt:

  • An unmarried adult

  • A child’s legal parent’s spouse (as in a stepparent adoption)

  • A husband and wife together

There are no adoption age limits mentioned in Hawaii’s statutes, but please note that American Adoptions typically works with adoptive families who are between the ages of 22 and 50. You can learn more about American Adoptions’ requirements, as well as our exception process, by calling 1-800-ADOPTION.

Hawaii Adoption Laws About Birth Parent Expenses

Adoption laws in Hawaii do not address prospective birth parent expenses, so it’s important that you speak with an adoption specialist to understand what may be allowed in your individual situation. Many states allow adoptive parents to pay for a prospective birth mother’s living expenses during her pregnancy, such as rent and utilities, as well as pregnancy-related medical expenses.

Hawaii Adoption Home Study Requirements

For a family to be eligible to adopt a child in Hawaii — or anywhere else in the United States — they must first pass an adoption home study. An adoption home study is essentially an assessment of a family’s readiness to adopt and includes three phases: a documentation stage that includes background checks, a home inspection, and interviews with each family member living in the home. It can be scary, but we like to remind the families we work with that your home study professional is only there to help you on your road to adopting a child. To help prepare for your home study, we recommend gathering some of the documents you’ll need to present to your provider:

  • Birth certificates

  • Marriage certificates

  • Driver’s licenses

  • Physical health statements

  • Mental health statements

  • Background checks

  • Financial statements

  • Autobiographical statements

  • Contact information for potential references

The Hawaii Adoption Consent Process

It’s critical that consent to an adoption is given properly; otherwise, the adoption cannot be finalized. In Hawaii, the birth parents can file a petition for relinquishment at any point after the mother has reached at least six months in her pregnancy. After the child is born, the birth parents must reaffirm their desire to relinquish their parental rights. According to Hawaii adoption laws, the birth parents must be given at least 10 days’ notice of a proposal for a judgement, in addition to an opportunity to be heard at that hearing.

In Hawaii, consent may be required from:

  • The mother

  • The legal father

  • An adjudicated father, if the court has determined his relationship with the child

  • A presumed father

  • A natural father who has demonstrated interest, concern or responsibility during the child’s first 30 days, prior to the child’s mother giving consent, or prior to placement with the adoptive parents

  • Any person that has legal custody of the child

  • The court that has jurisdiction over the custody of the child if the legal guardian or custodian cannot consent

  • The child, if he or she is age 10 or older, unless the court determines that his or her consent is not needed

Under the adoption laws in Hawaii, consent to an adoption cannot be withdrawn after the child is placed with their adoptive parents, unless the court determines that revocation would be in the best interests of the child.

Hawaii Adoption Agencies

At American Adoptions, we help both prospective adoptive families and pregnant women along every step of the way of their adoption journeys. As a national, full-service adoption agency, we can help Hawaii citizens to both adopt and to understand the Hawaii adoption laws that may affect their process. To learn more about adoption with our agency, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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