In re Adoption of N.P.M.Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Stepmother's petition for stepparent adoption of the minor child, N.P.M., holding that Step-grandmother had standing to object to Stepmother's petition and that the district court correctly applied Mont. Code Ann. 42-2-301 to require that all applicable consents be obtained prior to addressing the merits of Stepmother's petition.
The petition in this case included Mother's consent to adoption and waiver of parental rights and Father's consent to adoption. Step-grandmother, who was the primary physical custodian of the child, objected to the petition, arguing that she had a parental interest and that her consent to the adoption was required under section 42-2-301. The district court concluded that the plain language of section 42-2-301 required Step-grandmother's consent. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a person with a parental interest established by a court has standing to object to the child's adoption by a stepparent; (2) the district court correctly interpreted section 42-2-301 to require consent to adopt from a person whose parental rights have been established by a court; and (3) the district court did not err in its application of section 42-2-301.