Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. Adoption Policy and Procedures


42-1-103. Definitions. As used in this title, unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Adoptee" means an adopted person or a person who is the subject of adoption proceedings that are intended to result in the adoptee becoming the legal child of another person.

(2) "Adoption" means the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child when it does not exist genetically.

(3) "Adoptive parent" means an adult who has become the mother or father of a child through the legal process of adoption.

(4) "Agency" means a child placement agency licensed by the state of Montana pursuant to Title 52, chapter 8, that is expressly empowered to place children preliminary to a possible adoption.

(5) "Birth parent" means the woman who gave birth to the child or the father of genetic origin of the child.

(6) "Child" means any person under 18 years of age.

(7) "Confidential intermediary" means a person certified by the department and under contract with or employed by a nonprofit entity with expertise in adoption.

(8) "Court" means a court of record in a competent jurisdiction and in Montana means a district court or a tribal court.

(9) "Department" means the department of public health and human services, provided for in 2-15-2201.

(10) "Direct parental placement adoption" means an adoption in which the parent of the child places the child with a prospective adoptive parent personally known and selected by the parent independent of an agency.

(11) "Extended family member" means a person who is or was the adoptee's parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, or child.

(12) "Identifying information" means information that directly reveals or indirectly indicates the identity of a person and includes the person's name or address.

(13) "Nonidentifying information" means information that does not directly reveal or indirectly indicate the identity of a person, including:

(a) medical information and information related to general physical characteristics;

(b) family information, including marital status and the existence of siblings;

(c) religious affiliation;

(d) educational background information that does not reveal specific programs or institutions attended;

(e) general occupation;

(f) hobbies; and

(g) photographs provided by any of the parties involved that were specifically intended to be provided to another party.

(14) "Parent" means the birth or adoptive mother or the birth, adoptive, or legal father whose parental rights have not been terminated.

(15) "Placing parent" means a parent who is voluntarily making a child available for adoption.

(16) "Preplacement evaluation" means the home study process conducted by the department or a licensed child-placing agency that:

(a) assists a prospective adoptive parent or family to assess its own readiness to adopt; and

(b) assesses whether the prospective adoptive parent or family and home meet applicable standards.

(17) "Records" means all documents, exhibits, and data pertaining to an adoption.

(18) "Relinquishment" means the informed and voluntary release in writing of all parental rights with respect to a child by a parent to an agency or individual.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 480, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 20, Ch. 504, L. 2003.