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Adoption - Frequently Asked Questions

What is adoption?

Are there different types of adoption?

Who may adopt?

Can gay, lesbian or same sex couples adopt?

What is consent?

Whose consent is necessary for an adoption?

How does one execute his/her consent to adoption?

Is a parent's consent revocable?

What if the father is unknown?

What if the father is unwilling to consent?

What needs to be done to initiate the adoption process?

Where does the petitioner file a Petition for Adoption?

In addition to the Petition for Adoption what additional information needs to be filed with the court?

What is a home study and when is it required?

Are there additional requirements when an individual is adopting a child located out of state? Out of the country?

What are reasonable costs of an adoption proceeding?

How long does the adoption process take?

Can an adoptive parent be awarded temporary custody prior to the final adoption hearing?

Are adoption records in Kansas open?


Will Kansas enforce “open” adoptions?


What is adoption?

Adoption is the method for establishing the relationship of parent and child between persons not already so related by law.
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Are there different types of adoption?

YES, there are four types of adoption: Agency, Independent, Stepparent and Adult.

(1) Agency: The parental rights have been terminated (Internal Link to section on parental termination) and the agency has the authority to consent (Internal Link to section on Consent) to the child being adopted. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2112 on Agency Adoption with reference to (b)

(2) Independent Adoption: The adoption of a minor child where the child's parent or parents, legal guardian or nonagency person acting in place of the parent or parents (in loco parentis) has the authority to consent to the adoption; but does not include a stepparent adoption. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2112 on Independent Adoption with reference to (c)

3) Stepparent: The adoption of a minor child by the spouse of a parent with the consent of that parent. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2112 on Stepparent Adoption with reference to (d)

(4) Adult Adoption: Adults may be adopted with consent of the person to be adopted and spouse of the person wanting to adopt. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2113 on Adult Adoption
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Who may adopt?

“Any adult, or husband and wife jointly, may adopt any minor or adult as their child in the manner provided in Kansas Statute Annotated 59-2111 through 59-2143, except one spouse cannot do so without the consent of the other.” >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2113 on Adoption Law
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Can gay, lesbian or same sex couples adopt?

Kansas law permits any adult or husband and wife to petition to adopt. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2113 for verbage covering who may adopt: gay adoption, lesbian adoption and same sex couple adoption csclick="C43A976E96">

Kansas law does not explicitly prohibit same-sex couples from adopting. It is unclear whether a person can adopt his or her same-sex partner's adopted child.
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What is consent?

Written agreement to carry out an activity after being fully informed of all information relevant to the activity.
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Whose consent is necessary for an adoption?

The consent of BOTH natural mother and father is REQUIRED in an adoption proceeding UNLESS the court specifically finds that the consent of one is not required. In re Adoption of C.R.D., 897 P.2d 181 (Kan.Ct. App. 1995).

If a father or mother fails or refuses to assume his/her parental duties for a two consecutive years preceding the filing of the adoption petition his/her consent is unnecessary.

The parental duties set out in the statute include not only the duty of financial support, but also the parent's natural or moral duty to show affection, care and interest toward his/her child. In re Adoption of B.M.W., 2P.3d 159 (Kan. 2000).

If the father or mother having knowledge of the child's birth, has knowingly failed to provide a substantial portion of the child support as required by judicial decree, when financially able to do so, for a period of two years next preceding the filing of the petition for adoption, then such father has failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2113 on Adoption Consent with reference to (d) and (h)

Except as provided above if a mother or father desires to relinquish or consents to the adoption of such mother's or father's child, a petition shall be filed in the district court to terminate the parental rights of the mother or father. Where practical, the provisions of the law applicable to the father shall also apply to the mother and those applicable to the mother shall also apply to the father. >TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS: Pursuant to Kansas Statue Annotated 59-2136 (h) the court may order that parental rights be terminated, upon a finding by clear and convincing evidence, of any of the following:

(1) The father abandoned or neglected the child after having knowledge of the child's birth;

(2) The father is unfit as a parent or incapable of giving consent;

(3) The father has made no reasonable efforts to support or communicate with the child after having knowledge of the child's birth;

(4) The father, after having knowledge of the pregnancy, failed without reasonable cause to provide support for the mother during the six months prior to the child's birth;

(5) The father abandoned the mother after having knowledge of the pregnancy;

(6) The birth of the child was a result of rape of the mother; or

(7) The father has failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent for two consecutive years next preceding the filing of the petition.
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How does one execute his/her consent to adoption?

(1) Consent MUST be in writing and shall be acknowledged before a judge of the court of record or before a notary. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2114 on Adoption Consent with reference to (a)

(2) Consent shall have been executed NOT more then SIX months prior to the date the petition for adoption is filed. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2114 on Adoption Consent with reference to (b)

(3) Consent may NOT be given by the mother or accepted until twelve hours after birth of the child. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2116 on Adoption Consent
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Is a parent's consent revocable?

A written consent filed in the district court becomes irrevocable absent proof that the consent was not freely and voluntarily given. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2114 on Adoption Consent with reference to (a)

Acknowledgement of the consent is required and filing with the district court is a prerequisite to the irrevocability of consent freely and voluntarily given. In re Adoption of J.G., 702 P.2d 1385 (Kan.Ct.App. 1985).
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What if the father is unknown?

Pursuant to >Kansas Statute Annotated 59-2136 (e) in an effort to identify the father, or establish paternity, the court shall determine the following:

(1) Whether there is a >presumed father under Kansas Statute number 38-1114 and amendments thereto;

(2) Whether there is a father whose relationship to the child has been determined by a court;

(3) Whether there is a father as to whom the child is a legitimate child under prior law of this state or under the law of another jurisdiction;

(4) Whether the mother was cohabitating with a man at the time of conception or birth of the child;

(5) Whether the mother has received support payments or promises of support with respect to the child or in connection with such mother's pregnancy; and

(6) Whether any man has formally or informally acknowledged or declared such man's possible paternity of the child.

If a father is identified to the satisfaction of the court, or if more than one man is identified as possible father, each shall be given notice.

If the court is unable to identify a father or possible father the court shall enter an order terminating the unknown father's parental rights.
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What if the father is unwilling to consent?

When a father or alleged father appears and asserts parental rights the court shall determine parentage. Thereafter if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence one of the following, the court may terminate his parental rights:

(1) The father abandoned or neglected the child after having knowledge of the child's birth;

(2) The father is unfit as a parent or incapable of giving consent;

(3) The father has made no reasonable efforts to support or communicate with the child after having knowledge of the child's birth;

(4) The father, after having knowledge of the pregnancy, failed without reasonable cause to provide support for the mother during the six months prior to the child's birth;

(5) The father abandoned the mother after having knowledge of the pregnancy;

(6) The birth of the child was the result of rape of the mother; or

(7) The father has failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent for two consecutive years next preceding the filing of the petition.
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What needs to be done to initiate the adoption process?

First and foremost an individual must locate a child to adopt. This can be the most difficult component to the process. There are many children who need homes. Nonetheless, it is unfortunate how difficult it is to pair up those children with adoptive homes. A prospective parent may contact an adoptive agency or by an act of God find a child who needs an adoptive home.

Once the prospective parent finds a child, a petition for adoption shall be filed by the person desiring to adopt the child.
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Where does the petitioner file a Petition for Adoption?

In an independent adoption the petitioner shall file in which he/she resides or in the county in which the child to be adopted resides. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2126 on Petition for Adoption with reference to (a)

In an agency adoption in the county in which the petitioner resides, the child to be adopted resided prior to receipt of custody by the agency; or where the child placing agency is located. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2126 on Petition for Adoption with reference to (b)

In a stepparent adoption the petitioner files in the county in which the petitioner or child resides. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2126 on Petition for Adoption with reference to (c)

A court may not exercise jurisdiction over a proceeding for adoption of a minor if at the time the petition for adoption is filed a proceeding concerning the custody or adoption of the minor is pending in a court of another state UNLESS the proceeding is stayed by the court of the other state Kansas Statute Annotated 59-2127(a), the court of that state no longer has continuing jurisdiction to modify the decree Kansas Statute Annotated 59-2127(b)(1)(A), or the court has declined to assume jurisdiction Kansas Statute Annotated 59-2127(b)(1)(b).
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In addition to the Petition for Adoption what additional information needs to be filed with the court?

Pursuant to Kansas Statute Annotated 59-2130(a), in addition to the Petition for Adoption the following information must be filed with the petition in an independent or agency adoption (NOTE: this additional information is not necessary in a step-parent adoption):

(1) A complete written genetic, medical and social history of the child and the parents;

(2) The names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, and social security numbers of each of the child's parents, if known;

(3) Any hospital records pertaining to the child or a properly executed authorization for release of those records; and

(4) The child's birth verification, which shall include the date, time and place of birth and the name of the attending physician.

Pursuant to Kansas Statute Annotated 59-2132 a home study must be completed on the adoptive parents and shall be filed with the court not less than 10 days before the hearing on the petition.
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What is a home study and when is it required?

In any independent or agency adoption (but not in a step-parent adoption) the court requires that the petitioner obtains an assessment or “home study” by a court approved social worker licensed to practice social work in Kansas or by a licensed child placing agency of the advisability of the adoption. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2132 on Adoption Home Study with reference to (e)

The assessment must be completed not more than one year prior to the filing of the petition for adoption. target="_blank">Read Kansas Statute number 59-2132 on Adoption Home Study with reference to (g)
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Are there additional requirements when an individual is adopting a child located out of state? Out of the country?

When an adoptive parent is attempting to adopt a child from out of state that parent must conform with the statutory requirements outlined in target="_blank">Kansas Statute Annotated 38-1202 for out of state adoption, also referred to as the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC). (For more information on the ICPC, see the APHSA Guide to Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, http://icpc.aphsa.org/ )

Prior to bringing any child into Kansas from another state for placement in foster care or as a preliminary to a possible adoption, the individual from the “sending” state (agency, birth parent, ect.) must notify the receiving state written notice of the intention to send, bring or place the child in Kansas. The child shall not be sent, brought or caused to be sent or brought into Kansas until the appropriate public authorities in Kansas notifies the sending party in writing, to the effect that the proposed placement does not appear contrary to the interest of the child.

In order to fulfill the ICPC requirements in Kansas the following must be completed:

(1) Contractual form (ICPC 100A)

(2) Verification the child is free for adoption. (Include signed consents or relinquishments by both birth parents)

(3) Legal Risk Statement.

(4) YA-2300 Parts I, II, III

(5) Home Study

(6) Statement of Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. This statement needs to be signed by the biological parents confirming no Indian heritage. If Indian heritage is identified in either parent, to what degree must be established and noted in the packet. If the degree is such that the tribes need to be notified copies of letters sent to each tribe, and the findings, must be attached to the adoption packet

(7) Release of Medical Information signed by birth mother

(8) Birth Verification from hospital with physician or RN signature, and

(9) Final Accounting.

You can expedite the ICPC process in certain cases. The length of time for ICPC approval can range from three (3) days (for a new born adoption) to six (6) months (for foster child placement.
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What are reasonable costs of an adoption proceeding?

All fees, expenses or other considerations received not meeting the following six exceptions in are clearly excessive and a violation of statute:

(1) reasonable fees for legal and other professional services rendered in connection with the placement or adoption not to exceed customary fees for similar services by professionals of equivalent experience and reputation where the services are performed)

(2) Reasonable fees in Kansas of a licensed child-placing agency;

(3) Actual and necessary expenses, incident to placement or adoption proceedings;

(4) Actual medical expenses of the mother attributable to pregnancy and birth;

(5) Actual medical expenses of the child; and

(6) Reasonable living expenses of the mother incurred during or as a result of the pregnancy.
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How long does the adoption process take?

In Kansas the adoption process is rather expedited compared to other states. Upon filing a petition, the court shall fix the time and place for the hearing. The time fixed may be any time not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days from the date of the petition is filed. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-2133 on Adoption Process with reference to (a)
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Can an adoptive parent be awarded temporary custody prior to the final adoption hearing?

YES. Pursuant to >Kansas State Annotated 59-2131 and temporary custody, the court may make an appropriate order for the care and custody of the child prior to hearing the petition for adoption.
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Are adoption records in Kansas open?

Files and records of the court in adoption proceedings shall not be open to inspection except upon an order of the court expressly permitting the same.
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Will Kansas enforce “open” adoptions?

No. There is no legal authority to enforce promises made to the birth family for visits, contact, or communication. After an adoption, the adoptive parents have the final authority on whether to permit contact with the child's birth family. Any promises made to the birth family cannot be legally enforced. Nonetheless, an adoptive family can voluntarily permit contact with the birth family. Many adoptive families feel morally bound by promises made to the birth family before the adoption, even though their agreements cannot be legally enforced.


Guardianship - Frequently Asked Questions

What is guardianship?

Who may file a petition for guardianship?

How does one obtain guardianship rights?

Is guardianship revocable?


What is guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal relationship between an individual vested with the right to custody of a minor child (or ward) in need of a guardian and the right to exercise control over the person of the minor child (or ward), as provided by law and the minor child (or ward) in need of a guardian. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-3053 on Legal Guardian and Guardianship
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Who may file a petition for guardianship?

Anyone of legal age may file a petition for guardianship.
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How does one obtain guardianship rights?

There are two types of guardianship and two ways to obtain those rights:

(1) Guardianship pursuant to >Kansas Statute Annotated Chapter 59; “Any person may file in the district court of the county of residence of the proposed ward…a verified petition requesting the appointment of a guardian...”to a minor child (or ward) “in need of a guardian.” An individual in need of a guardian as defined by >Kansas Statute Annotated Chapter 59-3051(f) means a person who because of impairment (including minority) and lack of appropriate alternative for meeting essential needs.

(2) Permanent guardianship pursuant to >Kansas Statute Annotated Chapter 38. One must file a child in need of care petition, alleging that the child is a child in need of care and the parent is unfit to parent. A permanent guardian will only be appointed after a finding of unfitness or with the consent and agreement of the parents. >Read Kansas Statute number 38-1587 with reference to (a)
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Is guardianship revocable?

Guardianship under >Kansas Statute Annotated Chapter 59 is revocable. A verified petition may be filed requesting the court to accept the resignation of the guardian or to remove the guardian. >Read Kansas Statute number 59-3088

Parents can petition to terminate a guardianship at any time. The guardianship will be terminated unless the parent is found unfit. This rule is called the “parental preference” doctrine. In the Matter of the Guardianship of Williams, 254 Kan. 814, 869 P.2d (Kan. 1994).

The guardians can respond to a parent's petition to terminate the guardianship by filing a private petition under the Kansas Code for the Care of Children. Then, instead of having to prove that the natural parent is unfit, the guardian need only prove that the child is a “child in need of care.” A child might be a “child in need of care” if the child has been neglected, abused, or abandoned. >Read Kansas Statute number 38-1502 with reference to (a)

For more information on children in need of care, see the sections on this web site pertaining to Abuse & Neglect and Grandparents' Rights; or, call Scott Wasserman & Associates, LLC at (913) 438-4636; or, to e-mail us NOW online, click here or refer to the "Ask Scott a Question" button on the upper left menu bar.

Permanent guardianship under K.S.A. chapter 38 is not revocable, as the parent has been found unfit, or has consented to said permanency pursuant to K.S.A. 38-1587. In the Interest of C.C. 29 Kan.App.2d 950, 34 P.3d 462 (2001).
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