Motion to Intervene in Adoption

Intervening in an adoption

An adoption terminates the rights of a parent. It means:

  • The parent would not have the right to see the child or make decisions for them
  • Someone else would be the child's legal parent

An adoption also terminates the rights of a guardian or conservator. If you do not want your rights terminated you must file a Motion to Intervene. The motion asks the court to let you be a part of the case and make arguments to the judge.

This webpage explains how to file a Motion to Intervene.

If you are representing an Indian tribe and want to be involved in an adoption case, see our page on Tribal Rights in Juvenile Court under ICWA.


Who can intervene

Whether or not you can intervene in an adoption case depends on your relationship with the child. Generally, the following people can intervene in the case:

  • The spouse of the petitioner (the person asking to adopt the child)
  • The child if they are older than 12
  • The child's parent (this can be the legal or biological parent)
  • The child's court-appointed guardian or conservator
  • Anyone living with the child who is acting as the child's father
  • Anyone married to the mother of the child

If you are unsure if you can intervene you might want to get legal advice. See our page on Finding Legal Help for more information.


How to ask to intervene

To ask to intervene in the adoption fill out a Motion to Intervene in Adoption and file it with the court and serve a copy on all parties in the case. The court might schedule a hearing. If the court schedules a hearing, plan to bring an Order on Motion to Intervene with you. These forms are in the forms section below.


If the court grants the motion

If the court grants your motion:

  • You will have access to information in the case, including the petition for adoption
  • You can look at the petition and then file an answer
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If the court denies the motion

If the court denies the motion you can file an appeal. This would be an appeal from the district court to the Court of Appeals. See our page on Appeals for more information.



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