§48-22-602. How notice is to be served.

(a) Notice shall be served on each person as required under the provisions of section 22-601, in accordance with rule 4 of the West Virginia rules of civil procedure, except as otherwise provided in this article.

(b) The notice shall inform the person, in plain language, that his or her parental rights, if any, may be terminated in the proceeding and that such person may appear and defend any such rights within the required time after such service. The notice shall also provide that if the person upon whom notice is properly served fails to respond within the required time after its service, said person may not appear in or receive further notice of the adoption proceedings.

(c) In the case of any person who is a nonresident or whose whereabouts are unknown, service shall be achieved: (1) By personal service; (2) by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, to the person's last known address, with instructions to forward; or (3) by publication. If personal service is not achieved and the person giving notice has any knowledge of the whereabouts of the person to be served, including a last known address, service by mail shall be first attempted as provided herein. Any service achieved by mail shall be complete upon mailing and shall be sufficient service without the need for notice by publication. In the event that no return receipt is received giving adequate evidence of receipt of the notice by the addressee or of receipt of the notice at the address to which the notice was mailed or forwarded, or if the whereabouts of the person is unknown, then the person required to give notice shall cause service of notice by publication as a Class II publication in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area shall be the county where the proceedings are had, and in the county where the person to be served was last known to reside, except in cases of foreign adoptions where the child is admitted to this country for purposes of adoptive placement and the United States immigration and naturalization service has issued the foreign-born child a visa or unless good cause is shown for not publishing in the county where the person was last known to reside. The notice shall state the court and its address but not the names of the adopting parents or birth mother, unless the court so orders.

(d) In the case of a person under disability, service shall be made on the person and his or her personal representative, or if there be none, on a guardian ad litem.

(e) In the case of service by publication or mail or service on a personal representative or a guardian ad litem, the person shall be allowed thirty days from the date of the first publication or mailing or of such service on a personal representative or guardian ad litem in which to appear and defend his or her parental rights.

Bill History For §48-22-602