In re Adoption of Chase T.Annotate this Case
Lindsay and Jennifer were involved in a committed relationship for several years but were never married. During their relationship, Lindsday gave birth to a son conceived by artificial insemination using an anonymous donor. After Lindsay and Jennifer separated, they continued to coparent Chase. Lindsay later married Jessica. Jennifer subsequently filed a complaint seeking to establish custody of Chase. Thereafter, Lindsay and Jennifer filed a petition for stepparent adoption. Jennifer sought to intervene in the adoption proceeding and also to stay the adoption proceeding pending resolution of the district court custody action. The county court denied relief. Jennifer appealed and moved to stay the adoption proceeding pending the outcome of her appeal. The court of appeals sustained the motion. The Supreme Court vacated the county court’s order, holding (1) the adoption statutes require that necessary consents, including the consent of the district court involved in a custody case involving the same child, be filed before a county court entertains the merits of any issue in the adoption proceeding; and (2) because the record in this case does not reflect the district court’s consent, the county court lacked the statutory authority to exercise jurisdiction over the adoption proceeding and lacked authority to rule on the merits of Jennifer’s intervention claim. Remanded.