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The Basics of Adoption

Rundberg Law, LLC Jan. 25, 2024

African-American daughter running while walking with parentsIf you want to adopt a child, you probably have many questions about the process. An adoption may involve complex legal issues for the adoption to be successfully completed. An adoption proceeding may terminate the parental rights of a child's biological parents if the court finds that there is a sufficient basis.

Adoption Process

Unless it is a stepparent adoption, all prospective adoptive parents must be approved to adopt. The approval process includes the completion of a home study and background check. An adoption is started by filing a petition for adoption with the court and serving any parties that are required to be notified by law. If the case involves the consent of one or both biological parents, consent may be filed along with the petition. Biological fathers must be notified of the adoption proceedings.

A child who has been raised by a stepfather may be adopted if he wants to become the child's legal parent and the biological father consents or there is a basis to terminate parental rights. In Kansas, a step father's rights may be terminated if the parent has failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent for two consecutive years immediately prior to the filing of the adoption petition or is incapable of giving such consent.

Adoption is finalized with a decree of adoption. The child being adopted is required to consent to the adoption of the child is over age 14. After the adoption decree is issued by the court, it will be sent to the state Department of Vital Statistics so a new birth certificate can be issued.

Have more questions about filing for adoption in and around Overland Park, Kansas, or in Missouri? Call today to schedule a free consultation.

Types of Adoption

Adoption may be a simple or complex process, depending on whether the biological parents consent and whether or not the adoption involves other areas of law. The types of adoption are as follows:

  • Agency Adoption - Adoption agencies screen potential adoptive parents and assist the birth parents in the selection of an adoptive family.

  • Independent or Private Adoption- An attorney may facilitate an adoption when the birth parents want to place a child for adoption with a chosen adoptive family.

  • Step-Parent Adoption - A stepfather who has been raising a child may assume the rights and responsibilities as a child's legal parent through the adoption process.

  • Foster Care Adoption- Children in state foster care may be available for adoption upon the termination of the parental rights of their biological parents.

Sharing of Information in Adoptions

Kansas law does not define "open" or "closed" adoptions. However, openness in adoption is quite common. Birth parents are taking more responsibility for the selection of adoptive parents. Likewise, adoptive parents want more information about the birth parents to share with their adopted child. Only a few birth parents want no contact with the adoptive parents.

Kansas adoption records are available to adoptees 18 years and older. The adoptee must request the records from the Clerk of the District Court in the county where the adoption was granted. An adoptee can also obtain their original birth certificate.

Contact an Experienced Kansas Adoption Lawyer

Do you have questions about adoption in Overland Park, Kansas, or on the Missouri side of Kansas City? Contact Rundberg Law, LLC for more information.