Your Complete Guide to the Kansas Adoption Process
Are you considering adopting a child in Kansas? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Adoption is a life-changing journey. It can be full of unexpected challenges. There may be moments where you wonder if it’s worth it. But, when you hold your child for the first time, and you see the future of your family in their eyes, you’ll know that this is the best thing you’ve ever done.
If you are just getting started in your adoption journey, you probably have a lot of questions. How do you adopt a child in Kansas? We’re here to provide the most important information about how to adopt a child in Kansas so that you can begin your process.
But, before we get into any further into detail about the Kansas adoption process, there are some big questions you’ll need to answer. Your answers will shape your path to adoption, and, in turn, the rest of your life.
Wondering how to begin the adoption process in Kansas? Let’s get started.
Which Type of Adoption in Kansas Is Right for You?
Did you know there are several types of adoption? If you are considering adoption as a way to grow your family, this is the first big question you will need to answer. Each Kansas adoption process is different, and your answer will shape your journey. So, before learning about the process, let’s talk about the three primary ways of how to adopt in Kansas.
First, there’s domestic infant adoption. This type of adoption involves a prospective birth mother who voluntarily chooses adoption for her unborn or newborn baby. Working with a private adoption agency, she will create an adoption plan, select an adoptive family, and consent to the adoption after birth.
Do you dream of adopting a newborn from the U.S.? If so, then domestic infant adoption is your path to adopting a child from Kansas. You can read more about how to adopt a baby in Kansas from our complete guide on domestic adoption.
Next, there’s foster care adoption. Foster care adoption is another way to adopt a child in the U.S., but the process is very different. Children are placed in foster care when their home family’s situation is deemed unsafe. For most children, the goal is to return to the care of their biological family.
However, some parents lose all of their parental rights. For these children, adoption is the goal. When you think of adopting a child in Kansas, can you see yourself adopting an older child, a set of siblings or a child with special needs? If so, then foster care adoption might be the right way for you. Learn more about this way of adopting a child in Kansas from our guide on Kansas foster care.
Finally, there’s international adoption. Do you have a sense that your family’s journey will take you to another country? There are many children around the world waiting for families, and international adoption is a way to fulfill your dreams and meet the needs of a child.
Adopting a child in Kansas through international adoption can be a very complex, lengthy process. Could it be right for you? Check out our complete guide to international adoption in Kansas to learn more.
Which type of adoption is best for you? It’s a very personal decision. Take stock of your situation, your hopes for the process, and what feels right to you. Would speaking to a professional help? If so, contact us today.
Choosing a Kansas Adoption Professional
After choosing a type of adoption, you’ll need to choose a professional to work with. Adopting a child in Kansas is complicated, with many legal regulations and other requirements. In order to successfully complete an adoption, you’ll need support from experts.
Throughout any type of adoption journey, there are several different adoption professionals you could choose to work with. They are:
Adoption Agencies: Agencies are licensed organizations that provide vital services for adoptive parents. These services typically include:
- Locating adoption opportunities
- Assistance creating adoptive family profiles
- Support and counseling
- Administrative services
- Home study support and services
- Post-placement support
- And more
There are agencies of all shapes and sizes. When adopting a child in Kansas, you should look for an agency that is full-service and fully licensed.
A full-service agency is able to provide services from start to finish of the process, whereas other agencies can only handle specific parts. Fully licensed agencies are held to the highest legal and ethical standards, which gives you confidence and peace of mind about the way your adoption is conducted.
Adoption Attorneys: Every adoption requires the assistance of an attorney. If you choose to work with an agency, then your attorney will work in coordination with your adoption specialist.
You could also choose to only work with an attorney when adopting a child in Kansas. However, this sacrifices many services that any agency can provide, especially assistance finding the right adoption opportunity.
Adoption Law Centers: Adoption law centers are a possible alternative to working with an agency. Most law centers offer many similar services to agencies. Although, as you are thinking about adopting a child in Kansas, there is one important caveat: Law centers are not regulated in the same way as agencies.
Could you receive excellent service from an adoption law center? Absolutely. However, due to less oversight and review, it’s also possible to end up in a situation with an organization that oversold their abilities in order to earn your business.
While choosing a professional is a personal decision, it is important to be aware of certain risks, like lack of licensing. Ask any adoption law center about how their work is reviewed, and what legal and ethical standards they hold to.
Adoption Facilitators: You may see ads for adoption facilitators as you learn more about adopting a child in Kansas. It is not advisable, or actually legal, to work with this type of professional.
The bottom line: It’s important to find an adoption professional that will provide the best services, in the most ethical way, for the entirety of your Kansas adoption process. This is the best way to ensure a successful adoption placement.
How Does the Adoption Process Work in Kansas?
Now that you know a bit about types of adoption and professional organizations, we can take a look at the Kansas adoption process.
Each type of adoption, as we’ve shown, is unique. To learn more about your specific type of adoption, make sure to read our in-depth guides to each.
Generally speaking, there are some big adoption steps in Kansas that every process includes, and we’ll go over those here.
Once you have chosen a type of adoption and a professional to work with, this is how to adopt a child in Kansas:
Step 1: Complete the Home Study
The home study is a required step for every type of adoption, it’s one of the first things you’ll do when starting the adoption process in Kansas. Before a hopeful parent can find an adoption opportunity with a prospective birth mother (domestic adoption) or be matched with a waiting child (foster and international), the family must have a satisfactory home study report.
How does this happen? When you’re adopting a child in Kansas with a full-service agency, they can most likely provide the necessary services. Otherwise, you will need to find a licensed home study provider.
Preparing for the home study? Take a look at our home study checklist to be the most prepared.
Step 2: Wait
Nobody likes waiting. But, everyone adopting a child in Kansas, or anywhere else for that matter, will have to learn to be patient. After the home study is completed and an adoptive family profile has been created, the agency will get busy locating the perfect adoption opportunity.
Wait times vary from professional to professional. The wait could be days, weeks or months. For some Kansas adoption processes, like international adoption, the wait time can extend past a year.
Step 3: Accept an Adoption Opportunity
One of the most exciting moments of any hopeful parent’s life will be a call from the adoption specialist. They’ll say that an opportunity has come up — it’s time to take the next step toward adoption. This moment will look different depending on the type of adoption
For instance, in a domestic infant adoption, a prospective birth mother will choose you based on your adoptive family profile. When you are adopting a child in Kansas from foster care, the call will be about a child who is ready to be placed in your home.
No matter how the opportunity occurs, it is an undeniably amazing, life-changing moment.
Step 4: Pre-Placement Contact
This step of the Kansas adoption process is exclusive to domestic infant adoption, but it is too important to leave out. One major upside to this way of adopting a child in Kansas is the possibility of open and semi-open adoption.
After an opportunity is accepted, most hopeful adoptive parents have the opportunity to get to know the prospective birth mother before birth and placement. While it may sound a bit scary at first, this can become a beautiful and important relationship. It also increases everyone’s commitment to seeing a placement through to the end.
Step 5: Placement
The moment a hopeful parent is able to hold their child for the first time is indescribable. When you dream of adopting a child in Kansas, this is the moment you dream of.
Placement looks different for everyone. In a domestic adoption, it usually occurs at a hospital shortly after birth. Those pursuing foster care adoption may meet their child for the first time at the front door. Hopeful parents in international adoption will travel to the child’s country of birth for the first meeting.
However and wherever placement occurs, it is a vital moment in the life of a family. It is the start of an amazing story. But, it’s not quite the last step of the Kansas adoption process. We still have one step left to go.
Step 6: Finalization and the Journey Ahead
After placement, a hopeful parent still needs to finalize the adoption. Typically, this occurs about six months later in a county courthouse. In between placement and finalization, a social worker will conduct a series of post-placement visits to observe how everyone is adjusting to the placement.
At the hearing, a judge will review the post-placement report, as well as other required legal documents. If you are working with an agency and attorney, then your specialist and lawyer will be walking alongside you as you prepare for this day.
The end of the Kansas adoption process comes when the judge issues a final decree of adoption. This means a family is legally, finally, forever.
Learn More About How to Adopt in Kansas
Interested in taking your next steps in the Kansas adoption process? Make sure to read the rest of our detailed guides to adopting a child in Kansas. If you’d like to be connected with an adoption professional, contact us today.