2015 ORS 109.324¹
Consent when parent has deserted or neglected child

(1) If a parent is believed to have willfully deserted the child or neglected without just and sufficient cause to provide proper care and maintenance for the child for one year next preceding the filing of the petition for adoption, and if the parent does not consent in writing to the adoption, the petitioner, in accordance with ORS 109.330 (Notice to nonconsenting parent), shall serve on the parent a summons and a motion and order to show cause why the adoption of the child should not be ordered without the parent’s consent.

(2) Upon hearing or when the parent has failed to file a written answer as required in ORS 109.330 (Notice to nonconsenting parent) (3), if the court finds that the parent has willfully deserted the child or neglected without just and sufficient cause to provide proper care and maintenance for the child for one year next preceding the filing of the petition for adoption, the consent of the parent at the discretion of the court is not required and, if the court determines that the parent’s consent is not required, the court may proceed regardless of the objection of the parent.

(3) In determining whether the parent has willfully deserted the child or neglected without just and sufficient cause to provide proper care and maintenance for the child, the court may:

(a) Disregard incidental visitations, communications and contributions; and

(b) Consider, among other factors the court finds relevant, whether the custodial parent has attempted, without good cause shown, to prevent or to impede contact between the child and the parent whose parental rights would be terminated in an action under this section.

(4) This section does not apply when consent is given in loco parentis under ORS 109.325 (Consent by Department of Human Services or approved child-caring agency of this state) or 109.327 (Consent by organization located outside Oregon). [1957 c.710 §7 (109.312 to 109.329 (Adoption of person 18 years of age or older or legally married) enacted in lieu of 109.320); 2003 c.576 §147; 2003 c.579 §1; 2005 c.369 §6]

Notes of Decisions

"Neglected without just and sufficient cause" requires proof that parent failed to perform parental duties for re­quired statutory period and that neglect was voluntary. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. Draper, 7 Or App 497, 491 P2d 215 (1971), Sup Ct review denied

Proof of father's nonsupport and failure to visit was insufficient to allow adop­tion of child without father's con­sent under this sec­tion when nonsupport was based on agree­ment with mother. Mahoney v. Linder, 14 Or App 656, 514 P2d 901 (1973); Sayre v. Whitehead, 25 Or App 205, 548 P2d 521 (1976)

Where a parent is not ordered to pay child support and is denied visita­tion under a dissolu­tion decree it is necessary to consider predissolu­tion con­duct to determine whether the decree caused the neglect. Swarthout v. Reeves, 26 Or App 763, 554 P2d 617 (1976)

Willful neglect does not require proof that parent intended to abandon all parental rights, but is evaluated by presence or absence of minimal expressions of concern, ordinarily measured in terms of money pay­ments and per­sonal contacts. Chaffin v. Palumbo, 99 Or App 312, 781 P2d 1247 (1989); Pizano-Varela v. Gomez, 103 Or App 629, 798 P2d 724 (1990)

Contested adop­tion pro­ceed­ing requires clear and convincing standard of proof or persuasion. Chaffin v. Palumbo, 99 Or App 312, 781 P2d 1247 (1989); Zockert v. Fanning, 310 Or 514, 800 P2d 773 (1990)

Relevant time period for determining willful neglect is one-year period immediately preceding filing of peti­tion for adop­tion. Pizano-Varela v. Gomez, 103 Or App 629, 798 P2d 724 (1990)

Privileges and immunities pro­vi­sion of Oregon Constitu­tion requires that indigent parents be afforded assistance of counsel in contested adop­tion pro­ceed­ings as is re­quired in pro­ceed­ings to terminate parental rights. Zockert v. Fanning, 310 Or 514, 800 P2d 773 (1990)

Standard to determine if parent has wilfully neglected child is whether parent wilfully failed to manifest substantial expressions of concern which show parent has deliberate, inten­tional and good faith interest in maintaining parent-child rela­tionship. Eder v. West, 312 Or 244, 821 P2d 400 (1991)

First stage in adop­tion pro­ceed­ing determines whether to terminate natural parent's rights and interest in child based on parental con­duct, while sec­ond stage involves independent determina­tion applying best interest of child standard to issue of adop­tion. Eder v. West, 312 Or 244, 821 P2d 400 (1991)

Asser­tion that custodial parent has made or would make visita­tion difficult does not provide "just and sufficient cause" for neglect. Panter v. Ash, 177 Or App 589, 33 P3d 1028 (2001)

Willful deser­tion of child requires parent ac­tion or inac­tion that demonstrates inten­tional choice di­rected toward specific result of deserting child. C.R.H. v. B.F., 215 Or App 479, 169 P3d 1286 (2007), Sup Ct review denied

Finding of neglect requires evidence of deliberate decision by parent not to maintain parent-child rela­tionship. C.R.H. v. B.F., 215 Or App 479, 169 P3d 1286 (2007), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Cita­tions

71 OLR 507 (1992)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Change of name in public records, (1977) Vol 38, p 945

Chapter 109

Law Review Cita­tions

12 WLJ 569-589 (1976)


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 109—Parent and Child Rights and Relationships, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors109.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 109, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano109.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.