Nebraska Revised Statute 43-104.05
Child born out of wedlock; notice; filed; petition for adjudication of paternity; trial; guardian ad litem; court; jurisdiction.
(1)(a) A putative, acknowledged, or adjudicated father objecting to a proposed adoption may file a petition objecting to the adoption and seeking a determination of whether the objecting father's consent to the proposed adoption is required. A putative father may only file such petition if he has timely filed a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody with the putative father registry pursuant to section 43-104.02.
(c)(i) Except as provided in subdivision (1)(c)(ii) of this section, the petition shall be filed in the county court in the county where such child was born or, if a juvenile court already has jurisdiction over the custody of the child, in the county court of the county in which such juvenile court is located.
(ii) If the child was not born in Nebraska, the petition shall be filed in the county court of the county where either the biological mother or objecting father resides.
(d) A timely petition objecting to the adoption must be filed by an objecting putative, acknowledged, or adjudicated father of a minor child born out of wedlock who is the subject of a proposed adoption.
(e) Such petition may be filed by and defended by a minor in the minor's own name.
(2) If a petition objecting to a proposed adoption is not filed within the deadline provided in subdivision (1)(b) of this section, and the mother of the child has executed a valid relinquishment and consent to the adoption within ninety days after the later of the birth of the child or the objecting father's receipt of notice under sections 43-104.12 to 43-104.14, the putative, acknowledged, or adjudicated father's consent to adoption of the child shall not be required, he is not entitled to any further notice of the adoption proceedings, his right to object to the adoption shall not be recognized thereafter in any court, and his parental rights to such child will be terminated upon entry of an adoption decree.
(3) After the timely filing of a petition objecting to a proposed adoption, the court shall set a trial date upon proper notice to the parties not less than twenty nor more than thirty days after the date of such filing. If the mother contests the objecting father's claim of paternity, the court shall order DNA testing to establish whether the objecting father is the biological father. The court shall assess the costs of such testing between the parties in an equitable manner. Whether the objecting father's consent to the adoption is required shall be determined pursuant to section 43-104.22, except that such consent is not required if the objecting father is not the biological father. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the child.
(4)(a) The county court or juvenile court having jurisdiction over the custody of the child shall have exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings under this section from the date of notice provided under section 43-104.12 or the last date of published notice under section 43-104.14, whichever notice is earlier, until thirty days after the conclusion of proceedings under this section, including appeals, unless such jurisdiction is transferred under subdivision (b) of this subsection.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (4)(c) of this section, the court shall, upon the motion of any party, transfer the case to the district court for further proceedings on the matters of custody, visitation, and child support with respect to such child if:
(i) Such court determines under section 43-104.22 that the consent of the objecting father is required for adoption of the minor child and the objecting father refuses such consent; or
(ii) The mother of the child, within ninety days after the conclusion of proceedings under this section, including appeals, has not executed a valid relinquishment and consent to the adoption.
(c) The court, upon its own motion, may retain the case for good cause shown.
Subsection (3) of this section does not authorize a county court to disestablish an acknowledged father's parental rights under another state's paternity determination. In re Adoption of Jaelyn B., 293 Neb. 917, 883 N.W.2d 22 (2016).
A putative father who intends to claim paternity and obtain custody of a child born out of wedlock must file notice with the biological father registry and adjudicate his claim within 30 days. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
Section 43-104.02 and this section do not apply to a putative father who has been previously determined to be the biological father. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
This section requires a "claimant-father" to petition the county court where the child was born to adjudicate his claim of paternity and right to custody within 30 days of filing notice under section 43-104.02. In re Adoption of Jaden M., 272 Neb. 789, 725 N.W.2d 410 (2006).
Although under this section a father who fails to petition for an adjudication of paternity in county court within 30 days after filing his notice of intent to claim paternity would be precluded from claiming paternity in an adoption proceeding, such father would not be precluded from seeking to establish paternity under the paternity statutes in district court where there is no consent or relinquishment by the mother and no adoption proceeding is pending. Bohaboj v. Rausch, 272 Neb. 394, 721 N.W.2d 655 (2006).
The 30-day filing requirement of this section does not facially violate substantive due process. In re Adoption of Baby Girl H., 262 Neb. 775, 635 N.W.2d 256 (2001).
A petition to adjudicate paternity filed pursuant to this section is a matter of adoption over which the district courts have no subject matter jurisdiction. Armour v. L.H., 259 Neb. 138, 608 N.W.2d 599 (2000).