Section 26-10A-14

Withdrawal of consent or relinquishment.

(a) The consent or relinquishment, once signed or confirmed, may not be withdrawn except:

(1) As provided in Section 26-10A-13; or

(2) At any time until the final decree upon a showing that the consent or relinquishment was obtained by fraud, duress, mistake, or undue influence on the part of a petitioner or his or her agent or the agency to whom or for whose benefit it was given. After one year from the date of final decree of adoption is entered, a consent or relinquishment may not be challenged on any ground, except in cases where the adoptee has been kidnapped.

(3) Upon dismissal of the adoption after a contested hearing as provided in Section 26-10A-24.

(b) The withdrawal of consent or relinquishment as provided in Section 26-10A-13(a) shall be effected by the affiant signing and dating the withdrawal form provided pursuant to Section 26-10A-12(c) or other written withdrawal of consent containing the information set forth in Section 26-10A-12(c), and by delivering the withdrawal to the court or having the withdrawal postmarked within five days of the child's birth or of signing the consent or relinquishment, whichever comes last.

(c) The petition to withdraw consent or relinquishment must be in writing, signed by the person seeking to withdraw the consent or relinquishment, dated, and signed by two witnesses.

(d) In adjudicating a petition to withdraw a consent or relinquishment, the person seeking to withdraw the consent or relinquishment shall establish the facts necessary to withdraw the consent or relinquishment by a preponderance of the evidence. The court shall not apply any presumption or preference in favor of the natural parents in reviewing an action brought under this section.

(e) If the court directs that the consent or relinquishment be withdrawn, the court shall order the minor restored to the custody of his or her parent or parents, the Department of Human Resources or a licensed child placing agency; otherwise, the court shall deny the withdrawal and declare that the consent or relinquishment is final and binding. Any order made by the court upon a petition to withdraw consent or relinquishment under this section shall be deemed a final order for the purpose of filing an appeal under Section 26-10A-26.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-554, p. 912, §14; Act 2002-417, p. 1061, §1.)