Whether you are hoping to grow your family through adoption or are considering placing your child for adoption, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to adopt in Kansas. Read on for resources, agencies and information about how to adopt in Wichita, Overland Park, Topeka and beyond.
Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Adopting a Child in Kansas
Each state has different laws regarding who can adopt and how they can adopt. If you are interested in adopting a child in Kansas, the following guidelines will help you better understand the adoption process, laws and qualifications in your state.
What are the laws and qualifications for adopting a child in Kansas?
Any single adult or married couple jointly may be eligible to adopt. Prospective parents must complete a home study, including criminal background checks, as well as family preparation training. See “Home Study and Post-Placement Requirements in Kansas” for more information.
What adoption expenses can be paid by adoptive families in Kansas?
Every state regulates the expenses that can be paid by adoptive parents during the adoption process. In Kansas, the adoptive parents may pay:
- Birth parent expenses, including:
- Medical expenses related to pregnancy and birth
- Medical expenses of the child
- Reasonable living expenses incurred during or as a result of the pregnancy
- Reasonable legal or professional fees and services related to the arrangement of the adoption. (Note: if these services are performed outside of Kansas, compensation for these services should be comparable to similar services performed within the state).
- Fees charged by the state department or child-placing agency, including:
- Reasonable agency fees
- Necessary expenses connected to the placement of the child or the adoption proceeding
- The costs of making the adoption assessment and report (these may be considered court costs)
In accordance with Kansas law, the court may not allow adoptive families to make the following payments:
- Birth parent expenses other than those specified above, or expenses that are clearly excessive
- Fees for legal and professional services performed outside of Kansas that exceed the customary fees for similar services performed in the state
- Except as authorized by law, no person can request or receive any payments for relinquishing a child
When a petition for adoption is filed with the court, it will need to include a detailed accounting of all payments that will be made related to the adoption. The court will disallow any expenses that are determined to be unreasonable or in violation of the above guidelines, and may order reimbursement of those expenses when necessary.
What are the laws to become a foster parent in Kansas?
The approval process to become a foster parent in Kansas includes:
- Standard background checks
- Completion of PS-MAPP, a 30-hour training course
- Home study
What are the requirements to finalize an international adoption in Kansas?
Kansas will recognize foreign adoption decrees that have been issued in compliance with the laws of the United States and the country that granted the adoption when the decree is filed with a Kansas court. Adoptive parents must register their child’s foreign adoption decree or petition the court for validation of the decree.
Once the adoption decree is filed with the court, the adoptive parents may request a birth certificate for the child. To request a birth certificate for a child who was adopted in Kansas or who was adopted abroad and whose adoption decree was filed and entered in Kansas, submit to the state registrar a certified copy of the adoption decree (or similar documents that evidence the finalization of the adoption abroad), the report of adoption form and proof of the date and place of the child’s birth.
The birth certificate will show the new name of the child as specified in the submitted adoption decree, as well as information about the adopting parents, the true country of the child’s birth and the child’s date of birth.
Is it legal to use advertising or facilitators to adopt in Kansas?
Yes, it is legal for prospective adoptive parents to advertise for birth parents in Kansas. However, Kansas strictly prohibits the use of any facilitators or intermediaries.
Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Placing a Baby for Adoption in Kansas
If you are considering adoption for your child, you likely have several questions about the rules and regulations of placing a baby for adoption in Kansas. The following will help answer some of your questions about Kansas adoption law.
When and how can birth parents consent to the adoption?
In Kansas, the birth mother can give her consent to the adoption 12 hours after the baby’s birth. The birth father can consent any time within six months before birth.
Consent must be given in writing and acknowledged before a judge or an authorized officer. If consent is acknowledged before a judge of the court, it is the duty of the court to explain the consequences of consent to the consenting parent.
Can minors consent to adoption in Kansas?
Minors must be advised by independent legal counsel about the consequences of consenting to adoption prior to giving consent, and the attorney that provides this counsel must be present at the time of consent. The adoptive parents or child-placing agency will be responsible for providing and paying for the attorney.
Who must consent to the adoption?
In Kansas, consent must be given by:
- The child’s living parents
- One of the child’s parents if the other’s consent is found unnecessary
- The legal guardian if both parents are dead or their consent is found unnecessary
(See “What rights does the father of the baby have in Kansas adoptions?” for more information about when parental consent may not be necessary.)
In an agency adoption, if the child-placing agency has the authority to consent to the adoption, consent may be given by an authorized representative of the agency.
In a stepparent adoption, if a mother consents to the adoption of a child who has a presumed or legitimate father, the father must also consent to the adoption. The father will not need to consent if he has not fulfilled the duties of a parent for two consecutive years prior to filing the adoption petition, or if he is incapable of giving consent.
In an older child adoption, the child must give consent to the adoption if he or she is 14 or older and of sound intellect.
When does the birth parents’ consent become irrevocable? If a birth parent revokes consent, is the child automatically returned to the birth parent?
Consent is irrevocable at the time of signing, unless it is proven that the consent was not given voluntarily. In the case that consent is revoked, return to the parents is automatic.
What rights does the father of the baby have in Kansas adoptions?
In Kansas, a man is presumed to be a child’s father, and therefore has parental rights, if:
- He is or was married to the child’s mother and the child is/was born during the marriage or within 300 days of the end of the marriage
- He and the child’s mother attempted to legally marry each other before the child’s birth, but the marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days of the end of the marriage
- He and the child’s mother attempted to legally marry each other before the child’s birth, but the marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage or cohabitation has ended
- He has acknowledged his paternity of the child in writing
- He gives consent to be named as the child’s father on the birth certificate
- He makes a written voluntary promise of support or is ordered to support the child by a court
- A genetic test indicates a 97 percent chance or higher that he is the father
When a mother decides to pursue an adoption plan for her baby, a petition will be filed with the district court to terminate the father’s parental rights. The court may terminate the father’s parental rights without his consent if:
- He abandoned or neglected the child after having knowledge of the child’s birth
- He is unfit as a parent or incapable of giving consent
- He has made no reasonable efforts to support or communicate with the child
- He knew about the pregnancy and failed without reasonable cause to provide support for the mother during her last six months of pregnancy
- He abandoned the mother after learning of the pregnancy
- The birth of the child was a result of rape
- He failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent for two consecutive years prior to the filing of the petition
The court may take into consideration the best interests of the child and disregard incidental visitations, contacts, communications or contributions when deciding whether parental rights will be terminated. These guidelines are also true for the mother, when applicable.
Home Study and Post-Placement Requirements in Kansas
Before you will be eligible to adopt or foster in Kansas, you must complete a pre-placement and post-placement home study. The home study is an assessment of prospective parents that evaluates your ability to provide a stable, nurturing home to a child.
What is included in the Kansas home study process?
During the home study process, an investigator will visit the home, verify financial information, clarify the genetic and medical history provided by the applicants, and clear the applicants with the child abuse and neglect registry.
The adoptive family will be required to submit an application detailing information about their family, home and financial status and will undergo a social study, which includes face-to-face interviews with each member of the household.
The investigator will compile a written home study assessment addressing areas including:
- Parents’ motivation for adoption
- Family’s attitude toward accepting an adopted child
- Emotional stability and physical health
- Parents’ ability to cope with stress, frustration, crisis and loss
- Medical or health information that could affect the applicants’ ability to parent
- Convictions other than minor traffic violations
- Parents’ ability to provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs
- Information on any children already living in the household, including their school reports
- Parents’ capacity to give and receive affection
- The types of children desired and kinds of handicaps accepted
- The types of children who would not be appropriate for the family
- Recommendations about the number, age, characteristics, special needs and sex of children that would best be served by the family
Who is included in the home study process?
In Kansas, all household members, regardless of age, must be included in the home study.
Who will conduct the home study?
The home study may be performed by any of the following, as long as they are court-approved and licensed:
- Social worker
- Marriage and family therapist
- Professional counselor
- Psychologist or psychotherapist
- Child-placing agency
What are the qualifications to complete a home study?
Any unmarried adult or husband and wife jointly petitioning to adopt a child may apply for a home study in the state of Kansas. The home study professional will provide orientation to prospective adoptive parents to explain the agency’s policies and practices, the time the assessment will take, eligibility standards and more.
On what grounds will the home study not be approved in Kansas?
In Kansas, the home study may not be approved if:
- A member of the household has been convicted of a felony crime against another person, such as murder, manslaughter, assault, battery or kidnapping
- A member of the household has been convicted of a sex offense, such as rape, sexual battery or sexual exploitation of a child
- A member of the household has been convicted of any crime affecting family relationships or children, including incest, abuse, abandonment or endangerment of a child
- Within the past five years, a member of the household has been convicted of a felony violation of any provision of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, or a similar conviction
When should the home study be completed? When must the home study be renewed?
A child may not be placed in a prospective adoptive home until the home study is completed. The pre-placement home study must be completed no more than one year prior to filing a petition for adoption, the home study will need to be updated annually.
What is a post-placement study in the adoption process? What are the post-placement study requirements for Kansas?
After a child has been placed in a home in Kansas, the agency worker will establish a time schedule for post-placement visits to the adoptive family to make recommendations for the finalization of the adoption.
What are the home study requirements for stepparent or relative adoptions in Kansas?
The home study assessment and report may be waived by the court if a relative of the child files a petition requesting these requirements be waived.
What are the home study requirements to adopt a child from another state?
Any placement of a child outside of Kansas is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), an agreement between all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands that regulates interstate adoption placements.
For Kansas parents adopting a child from another state: the adopted child cannot travel to Kansas until his or her birth state receives written notice that the proposed placement does not appear to conflict with the interests of the child.
For nonresidents adopting a child in Kansas: the home study assessment and report must be completed in the adoptive parents’ state of residence by a person authorized in that state. The report must be filed with the court no less than 10 days before the hearing on the petition for adoption.
What are the pre-placement requirements to adopt a child that is currently in my care?
Foster-to-adopt placements are not addressed in Kansas statutes and regulations. For more information about adopting children from foster care, contact the Department for Children and Families at 785-368-8180.
In Kansas, you are required to obtain a home study performed by a court-approved licensed professional. To get started, contact one of these trusted Kansas home study providers:
- American Adoptions
American Adoptions is one of the largest domestic adoption agencies in the country and is licensed to provide home study services in Kansas. They perform both international and domestic home studies.
Kansas Adoption Professionals
When you are ready to begin your adoption journey, your adoption professional can help guide you through the process. These licensed professionals are experienced in completing local adoptions and can help ensure that you meet all Kansas legal and home study requirements:
- American Adoptions
- Adoption & Beyond
- Adoption Centre of Kansas
- Christian Family Services
- Holt International
For more information about foster care in Kansas, visit:
Things to do in Kansas
If you find yourself spending some time in Kansas, whether you are waiting for ICPC clearances so you can return to your home state, or you are visiting a prospective birth mother in her home state of Kansas, here are a few fun things you can enjoy while in the sunflower state:
- Schlitterbahn Waterpark (Kansas City)
- Sedgwick County Zoo (Wichita)
- Kansas State Capitol (Topeka)
- Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (Strong City)
- Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (Hutchinson)
For more information about traveling to Kansas, visit travelks.com.