Adoption is a life-changing journey. You are on the path to fulfilling your dreams of becoming a parent. It can be easy to get caught up in the emotions, which is completely understandable. However, it’s important to remember that adoption is also a legal process.
There are state and federal regulations and requirements that must be met by any adoption process. Are you preparing for your own process? If so, you’ll benefit from understanding the most important Kansas adoption laws.
While this article should not be taken as legal advice, it can be used as a helpful educational guide to adoption laws in Kansas. Learning about these laws can help to feel more prepared for the requirements you’ll face throughout your process.
And if there’s only one thing you learn from this guide about Kansas adoption laws, it should be how important it is to work with an experienced adoption attorney.
Kansas Adoption Laws: Working with an Attorney
There are several different professionals that can provide important services throughout your adoption process. The first is your adoption agency, which assists with things like finding an adoption opportunity, preparing for placement, and more.
Your adoption attorney is another important professional for your journey. Kansas adoption laws can be complex, and working with an attorney is required to ensure your placement meets all Kansas adoption statutes. Additionally, working with an attorney is the best way to protect yourself during this process.
Are you looking for an adoption attorney in Kansas? If so, here are a few licensed professionals to consider:
- Michael J. Belfonte, P.C.
- Kevin W. Kenney, Attorney at Law
- Shwartz & Park, LLP
- Martin Pringle, Attorneys at Law
Understanding Kansas Adoption Laws
It can be helpful to develop a personal understanding of Kansas adoption laws and procedures alongside working with your adoption attorney. This process can feel overwhelming at times, and getting a grip on these laws may help you feel a little bit more in control.
Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about the most important adoption laws in Kansas:
Who can adopt in Kansas?
Let’s start at the beginning. What are the requirements to adopt in Kansas? Your eligibility to adopt will depend on a few factors, such as your type of adoption as well as any additional requirements from your agency.
Kansas adoption laws set the following requirements for adoption:
- Age: Any adult (18 years or older) can adopt in Kansas, although you must be at least 21 to become a foster parent.
- Marriage: A married couple may adopt jointly.
- Single Parents: An individual may adopt as a single parent.
While more requirements are likely to come up as you go through the process, such as from your agency and the home study, these are the requirements in Kansas adoption laws.
Who can be adopted in Kansas?
Any minor whose biological parents have lost rights or consented to an adoption may be adopted, according to Kansas child adoption laws. This happens in two primary ways.
In domestic infant adoptions, the birth parents will create an adoption plan of their own volition, usually when the child is yet to be born. When the time comes after birth, the parents will sign their consent to adoption.
Or, in foster care adoption, the state may determine that a child’s biological family cannot provide a safe and stable home. In this case, the parents’ rights will be terminated by a court, and the child will need to be placed in a foster-to-adopt situation through the state foster care system.
Is there an adoption discrimination act in Kansas?
You’re most likely thinking of the news you heard about the state legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ in a Kansas faith-based adoption bill. While this issue is complex, here’s what you need to know:
- It is illegal at the federal level for any state institution to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
- Kansas has created loopholes for private organizations (including those that receive state funds) to discriminate on the basis of religious belief.
This means that it is vitally important to ensure any professional you work with for your Kansas adoption is a true ally and fully supportive of the LGBTQ community.
Can prospective birth parents receive financial assistance in Kansas?
Any form of payment in exchange for placing a child for adoption is legal. There is, however, allowable financial assistance for prospective birth parents during the adoption process. Each state has its own laws dictating what can and cannot be covered.
Kansas adoption laws have this to say on birth parents financial assistance:
- Medical expenses of the birth mother and child in relation to prenatal care, pregnancy and birth are allowed.
- Reasonable living expensesfor the birth mother to support her during the pregnancy, which may include help with rent, bills, groceries and more can be covered.
- The birth parent(s)’ attorney fees will be covered.
Birth parent financial assistance is always worked out on a case-by-case basis. When you start your adoption process, this is something you’ll discuss with your specialist as you create a plan and budget.
Can an adoption be reversed in Kansas?
Although it is incredibly rare, there are cases where reversing an adoption in Kansas was ordered by a court. This could happen if the court rules that the placement was not in the best interests of the child.
How does Kansas adoption consent work?
Each state has its own requirements for birth parent consent. In Kansas, the birth parents can give official consent to the adoption after 12 hours have passed since birth.
Are adoption facilitators legal in Kansas?
While Kansas adoption laws do not strictly prohibit adoption facilitators, it is stated than any such organization or individual must notify you that they are not licensed to provide child placing services. Working with facilitators is widely considered higher risk.
Is open adoption legally enforceable in Kansas?
There are no legally binding open adoption laws in Kansas. You can create a personal contract and have both parties sign if you would like, but there are no methods in Kansas adoption laws to enforce the contract.
Connect with an Adoption Specialist
The best way to ensure your process follows all applicable Kansas adoption laws is to work with an adoption agency and attorney. Would you like to speak with a specialist? Contact us today to be connected with an adoption professional.